New data show that 49 students in the Long Beach Unified School District earned the prestigious Advanced Placement Capstone Diploma, and 54 students earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate during the 2017-18 school year.
AP Capstone is a diploma program from the College Board based on two yearlong AP classes: AP Seminar and AP Research, courses that LBUSD began offering in 2016-17. Both courses prepare students for college and career success through the development of critical thinking, academic research, collaboration, presentation and time management skills. Only 4,800 students worldwide earned the AP Capstone Diploma, and 2,400 earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate last school year.
“We are proud to recognize the outstanding achievements of students who participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program, and we continue to look forward to providing students with opportunities to explore their passions while building college-level academic and collaboration skills,” LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser said.
Earning the AP Capstone Diploma is no easy feat. Students must earn scores of 3 (out of 5) or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP exams. To receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research. More than 1,100 schools participated in the AP Capstone program worldwide last school year.
The AP Capstone program provides student-centered learning while incorporating performance-based assessments. Throughout the program, AP Seminar and AP Research students study a variety of topics across multiple disciplines and have the flexibility to choose topics of personal interest to show mastery of critical thinking, research and presentation skills. Official AP Seminar and AP Research assessments also go beyond a single AP exam to include academic papers, multimedia presentations and defense of findings.
“Congratulations to the AP Capstone award winners, who conduct, present and defend academic research on topics they are passionate about,” said Trevor Packer, College Board senior vice president. “Their ability to manage long-term projects, collaborate with teams and deliver effective presentations will accelerate not only their academic careers, but their professional careers as well.”
LBUSD students took a record high of 14,786 AP exams last school year, passing a record 6,624 tests. Even as the number of attempted tests increased, so did the pass rate, improving by 4 percent over the prior year.