Jackson County Comprehensive High School to implement AP Capstone program

High school students in Jackson County will soon be able to register for an AP Seminar course, which will begin at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year on August 4.

Jackson County Comprehensive High School will join approximately 1,000 other schools worldwide by implementing the new AP Capstone program this fall.

Originally developed in the fall of 2014, the AP Capstone program is comprised of two different courses called AP Seminar and AP Research. Students typically take the AP Seminar course in 10th grade or 11th grade, and the AP Research course in the following year.

According to the College Board, which develops the AP programs, the AP Capstone program was developed in response to feedback from higher education faculty and college admissions officers.

The AP Seminar course helps students look at real world issues from different perspectives. Students or teachers choose several relevant issues to analyze throughout the year. They are assessed through a team project and presentation, an individual project and presentation, and an end-of-course written exam.

According to JCCHS assistant principal Jessica Rehberg, the AP Seminar course will be offered at the beginning of next school year in August 2017.

Once students have completed the AP Seminar course, they may enroll in the AP Research course the following year. This course consists of designing, planning and conducting a yearlong research project on a topic of their choice. According to the College Board, this project teaches students research methodology and ethical research practices and enables them to build, present and defend an argument with the information they have collected.

The AP Research course will be offered at JCCHS beginning in fall of 2018 once the first group of AP Capstone students have completed the AP Seminar course.

Students who achieve a score of three or higher on the AP Seminar and AP Research courses will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. If students achieve a score of three or higher on the AP Seminar and Research courses as well as four other AP exams, they will receive the AP Capstone Diploma.

Twenty other high schools in Georgia currently offer the AP Capstone program, including North Oconee High School and Oconee County High School. JCCHS is the first high school in Jackson County to implement the program.

JCCHS currently offers 14 AP courses. Rehberg says that the Capstone program will help students develop research, collaboration and communication and will strengthen the academic rigor of the JCCHS AP program.

Students will soon be able to register for the AP Seminar course, which will begin at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year on August 4.

By Janey Murray

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