Cassidy McLellan- Mustangs Ahead  

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)- This year is the first year the diploma program, AP Capstone, is being offered at the Ranch. AP Capstone is a two-year long course that consists of AP Seminar and AP Research.  

Instead of a class based on subject-specific content, the courses focus on developing skills regarding research, analysis, evidence-based arguments, collaboration, writing and presenting.  

In order to earn the AP Capstone diploma, a Mustang must earn a score of three or higher on the AP Seminar test, the AP Research test, and four other AP tests.  

If a Mustang passes the AP Seminar and AP Research AP tests with a three or higher but does not for the additional four AP courses, they will still receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate just not the AP Capstone diploma.  

Engaging in the AP Capstone program helps students stand out to colleges when applying, establish crucial academic skills that will be used during and after college, develop into self-confident, self-reliant thinkers, problem solvers, and earn college credit. 

The first year of the AP Capstone program is AP Seminar. 

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According to the College Board, “AP Seminar is a yearlong course in which students investigate real-world issues from multiple perspectives.  

Throughout AP Seminar, Mustangs execute a team project as well as an individual presentation.  

AP Seminar teacher Sammy Stoltz explained, “We want to better prepare Mustangs who are college bound with the ability to do research and use information to create their own thoughts and ideas and with this program we can.” 

The second year of the AP Capstone program is AP Research. 

The College Board stated, “AP Research lets students deeply explore an academic topic, problem, or issue of interest to them. Students design, plan, and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation to address a research question, documenting their process with a portfolio.” 

At the end of the course, there is a 4,000-to-5,000-word paper along with a presentation and oral defense. Unlike AP Seminar though, AP Research does not have and end-of-course exam.