AAR-AP Seminar & AP Research Starting 2017-18
The AAR program plans to implement the district’s recently approved AP Capstone Seminar and Research courses in 2017-18, working with both Gunn and Palo Alto High School. The AP Capstone course sequence is a program the College Board initiated two years ago. The two Capstone courses “equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. It cultivates curious, independent, and collaborative scholars and prepares them to make logical, evidence-based decisions.” AAR applied to the College Board for the approval to implement these process-based sequential courses over the summer and the official approval was granted early November. AP Capstone Seminar (open to all juniors and seniors) is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. The course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.
AP Capstone comprises of Seminar Course for the first year and the Research for the second year. Students have the option to solely take Seminar only.
AP Seminar (no prerequisite): AP Capstone Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational, literary, and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in research-based written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.
AP Research (AP Seminar prerequisite): AP Capstone Research is a year-long course. The course will focus on developing a research project and connecting students with external mentors from various fields to aid in this process. The course will abide by the AP equity and access policy set by the College Board. Equitable access is a guiding principle for the AP programs by providing all willing and academically prepared students the opportunity to participate in AP Research upon completion of AP Seminar. AP Research is not tied to a specific content area. Rather, it emphasizes, and strives for competency in, core academic skills. Students gain Essential Knowledge (EK) and develop and apply discrete skills identified in the Learning Objectives (LO’s) of the Enduring Understandings (EU's) within the five Big Ideas, represented by the acronym QUEST.
Research is a year-long course with AP Seminar as the prerequisite. In AP Research, students focus on developing a research project under the guidance of their instructor and external mentor. Both courses are emerging in an effort to meet student demand for comprehensive research courses that innovatively provide students with college-level research practices and instruction. Additionally, both courses in this AP sequence are not driven by specific content; this opens the courses for students interested in taking non-subject specific AP courses. AAR envisions this process-based AP opportunity as inviting to diverse groups of students including those who are taking AP for the first time as well as historically underrepresented groups. AP Seminar will be open for enrollment for the 2017-18 academic year.
The AAR program at PAUSD is one of approximately 1,000 schools worldwide to implement AP Capstone™. AAR is extremely thrilled to incorporate these programs into PAUSD's curriculum.