Western Guilford logoGreensboro area students stand to gain a competitive edge thanks to the new AP Capstone program which will be offered at Western Guilford High School beginning in 2014. The exciting news was captured well in the following release by Nora Shoptaw, Program Administrator – Communications, Guilford County Public Schools:

Two-year program will boost students’ skills in independent research, collaboration

Western High’s new Advanced Placement Academy will open in 2014 with the state’s only AP Capstone program, a challenging two-year program designed to train students for the independent research and collaborative projects common in college-level courses.

The AP Capstone program was developed by College Board, which oversees Advanced Placement courses and testing, in response to the needs of colleges and universities. The program consists of two year-long courses, AP Seminar and AP Research, beginning in 11th grade. In AP Seminar, students will learn to think critically, consider issues from multiple perspectives, evaluate the strength of an argument and make logical, fact-based decisions. In AP Research, students cultivate the skills and discipline necessary to conduct independent research to produce and defend a scholarly academic thesis.

Students who complete the program and earn a 3 or better on those two AP exams, plus four additional AP courses, will earn the AP Capstone Diploma. Students who receive a 3 or better on only the Capstone courses will earn the AP Capstone Certificate.

Western High will join approximately 100 schools across the country that have been selected by the College Board to offer the program. “Your dedication to student learning and the expansion of rigorous coursework at Western Guilford is clearly a model for school improvement,” says Barden Keeler, College Board’s senior director for AP Capstone. “I am delighted to be able to offer this opportunity and to contribute to your efforts on behalf of the students at Western Guilford.”

The AP Capstone program is part of the district’s new AP Academy, launching in 2014. Through the AP Academy, students will strive to complete a minimum of six Advanced Placement courses, including the two-year AP Capstone Program, achieve a Level 3 or higher on the Capstone  exams and complete the GCS Service-Learning Diploma requirements. Students also will have the option to earn an Advanced Placement International Diploma with scores of 3 or better on at least five AP exams emphasizing world languages and culture.

Students can apply for the AP Academy beginning Jan. 25, 2014, which marks the start of the district’s magnet application period. Applications will be accepted for all 54 of the district’s magnet schools through Feb. 21, 2014. For more information, visit www.gcsnc.com/magnet.

This is particularly good news for those Greensboro homeowners who are districted to Western High School as this signals success in local efforts to bolster education offerings and attract or retain the best and brightest students. You can find all sorts of great school information, including independent reports on Western Guilford High School in our Market Insider section.

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