Garden Grove High School to Offer College Board’s AP Capstone Program

Three Grove students at their graduation ceremony.

Garden Grove High School is one of only 1,000 schools worldwide that has been selected to implement the College Board’s AP CapstoneTM program in the fall of 2017. The innovative diploma program helps students strengthen the skills that matter most for college success, including research, collaboration, and communication.

The program consists of two courses taken in sequence: AP® Seminar and AP Research. Developed in direct response to feedback from college admission officers, AP Capstone compliments the in-depth, subject-specific study of Advanced Placement® courses and exams.

“We are so proud to offer our students another opportunity to gain those high-level strategic thinking skills critical for success in competitive college programs and 21st century careers,” said Board of Education trustee Dina Nguyen. “This rigorous course will give students an important advantage when they enter college with the ability to research, collaborate, and present with confidence.”

Garden Grove High School students who earn scores of 3 or higher on AP Seminar and AP Research assessments and on four additional AP exams of their choosing will earn the AP Capstone DiplomaTM. This signifies their outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic skills. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on AP Seminar and AP Research assessments only will earn the AP Seminar and Research CertificateTM.

The AP Seminar course, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade, equips students with the ability to look at real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Through a variety of materials, students tackle complex questions; understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints; interpret and synthesize information; and construct, communicate, and defend evidence-based arguments. Teachers select subject content based on students’ interests, making coursework more stimulating and engaging. Students are assessed through: a team project and presentation, an individual project and presentation, and an end-of-course written exam.

In the subsequent AP Research course, students design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research- based investigation on a topic of individual interest, documenting their process with a portfolio. Students build on skills developed in the AP Seminar course by learning how to understand research methodology; employ ethical research practices; and collect, analyze, and synthesize information to build, present, and defend an argument.