Dyersburg High School to Participate in the College Board
AP Capstone Diploma Program
Diploma Program Focuses on College-Level Independent Research, Collaborative
Teamwork, and Communication and Writing Skills Crucial for College and Career Success
Dyersburg High School in Dyersburg, TN is one of approximately 1,500 public and
private schools worldwide to implement the AP Capstone™ diploma program―an innovative
program that allows students to develop skills that matter most for college success, such as
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 higher
education faculty and college admission officers, AP Capstone complements the in-depth,
subject-specific study of other Advanced Placement® courses and exams.
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 Diploma™. This
signifies their outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and
research skills. Students who earn scores of 3 or higher on both AP Seminar and AP Research
assessments only (but not on four additional AP Exams) will earn the AP Seminar and Research
Dyersburg High School will start AP Seminar in the fall of 2018 and AP Research in the
fall of 2019.
“This innovative program gets a broader, more diverse student population ready for
college and beyond. The program gives our teachers more leeway with curriculum choices so
their students can access more challenging coursework and sharpen their reading and writing
skills,” said Neel Durbin, Director of Dyersburg City Schools.
The AP Seminar course, typically taken in the 11th grade, equips students with the ability
to look at academic or real-world issues from multiple perspectives. Through a variety of
materials—articles to research studies to foundational and philosophical texts—students tackle
complex questions; understand and evaluate opposing viewpoints; interpret and synthesize
information; and construct, communicate, and defend evidence-based arguments. Teachers have
flexibility to cover local, regional, national, and global topics relevant to their students, around
themes such as education, innovation, sustainability, and technology. Students are assessed
through a team project and presentation, an individual project and presentation, and an end-of-
course written exam. By tapping into students’ personal interests, AP Capstone gives students
from a wide range of backgrounds an entry point into stimulating coursework.
“Allowing students to tackle complex real-world questions while constructing an
argument to defend their viewpoint will enable these students to prepare for college and any
career field of their choice,” said DHS Principal Kim Worley.
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.
“We’re proud to offer AP Capstone, which enables students and teachers to focus on
topics of their choice in great depth,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president for AP and
Instruction at the College Board. He adds, “This provides terrific opportunities for students to
develop the ability to write and present their work effectively, individually, and in groups—the
very skills college professors want their students to possess.”
In partnership with the higher education community, the College Board developed AP
Capstone so students can practice skills that will serve them well in college and career. Colleges
and universities have voiced their support of the program.
“AP Capstone is a unique program that teaches skills we think are very valuable not only
for college but life,” said John Barnhill, assistant vice president for enrollment management at
Florida State University. “The ability to analyze, to critically think, and to present information is
really wonderful, and I think both courses do a great job of preparing the student for the rest of