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New Program Will Focus on Inquiry, Research, and Writing Skills Crucial for College and Career Succe

School of the Nations to Take Part in the College Board’s AP Capstone™ Program

New Program Will Focus on Inquiry, Research, and Writing Skills Crucial for College and Career Success

By Lisa Perskie, Director, School of the Nations, Brasilia

We are pleased to announce that starting in the 2015-16 school year we will offer all students enrolled in School of the Nations’ High School a new diploma program, the AP Capstone Program. This will provide a unique opportunity for all students to prepare for high-level academic and professional challenges they will face in Brazil or abroad.

School of the Nations will be one of two international schools in Brazil and one of more than 300 schools worldwide to implement AP Capstone™ — an innovative diploma program that allows students to develop the skills that matter most for their future college success: research, collaboration, and communication. The program includes a two-course sequence: AP® Seminar and AP Research. Developed in direct response to feedback from higher education faculty and college admission officers, AP Capstone complements the in-depth, subject-specific rigor of Advanced Placement® courses and exams.

“This innovative program prepares a broader, more diverse student population for college and career success, and provides our teachers with flexibility in the curriculum to expand access to challenging course work and the development of important skills.”

What is Advanced Placement?

Advanced Placement® is a program developed and overseen by the College Board, the not-for-profit organization that is responsible for the PSAT/NMSQT®, SAT®, and other programs and services in college readiness and college success that help more than seven million students each year prepare for a successful transition to college.

The College Board develops the SAT test, a nationwide test in the United States, which is similar to the Brazilian ENEM. In addition, it develops Advanced Placement® courses and exams for subjects ranging from English Literature to Microeconomics. The College Board administers tests for each of the 34 AP courses that a student may potentially take. Students who receive a score of 3 to 5 on an Advanced Placement test may receive credit for the corresponding course (Calculus, Spanish, etc.) in many universities.

AP Capstone Diploma Requirements

Students who complete the AP Seminar and AP Research with scores of 3 or higher, and receive scores of 3 or higher on four AP Exams in subjects of their choosing, will receive the AP Capstone Diploma™. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on the two AP Capstone exams but do not take or earn qualifying scores on four additional AP Exams will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate™.

The AP Seminar course, which all students will take in grade 11 beginning next year, will equip students with the power to explore academic and real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Through a variety of materials — from articles and research studies to foundational and philosophical texts — students will be challenged to explore complex questions; understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints; interpret and synthesize information; and develop, communicate, and defend evidence-based arguments. Teachers have the flexibility of choosing themes based on student interests, whether they are local, regional, national, or global in nature. Samples of themes that can be covered in the AP Seminar course include education, innovation, sustainability, and technology. By tapping into students’ personal interests, AP Capstone gives a broader array of students an entry point into challenging course work. Students are assessed through both an individual project and a team project completed during the year and a year-end written exam.

Our goal is for all our students to develop the abilities that make them dynamic world citizens, ready for the challenges they will face in higher education and the workplace. Taking and passing Vestibular and international university entrance exams is an important part of this journey. However, students’ true success depends on so much more. It is this additional training, mind-expansion, and capacity building that we seek through the Advanced Placement Capstone Program. We are confident that every student will grow and develop through this experience.


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