AP Capstone is an innovative program developed and offered through College Board in conjunction with other Advanced Placement coursework, with the purpose of giving students the chance to cultivate a love of academic scholarship. The two-year program combines research and analytic skills, critical thinking, and an inter-disciplinary approach—enhancing the learning already happening across AP courses. Students will delve deeply into special topics of cross-curricular discussion, relevant to today’s world, their local communities, and their own academic interests.
More information about the nature of the course, requirements, and expectations can be located on the AP Seminar page (year 1) and AP Research page (year 2).
2021-2022 Special Topics: The Human Situation
In 1959, novelist and philosopher Aldous Huxley gave a lectures series at UC Santa Barbara incorporating topics of the environment, technology, and individual human potentialities entitled "The Human Situation." In paying homage to the spirit of such a perennial endeavor, AP Seminar 2021-2022 will seek to build on his foundations, investigating the current state of the planet and our population, the effects of technology on social and political order, the realization of human potential, and the effects of academic and technical specialization and fragmentation of the integrated whole of 'living.' Students will have a broad swath of research inquiry potentials, looking for ways to deal with the complex problems of our world, which Huxley so prophetically foresaw.
Current freshman, sophomores (eligible for both years of the program), and juniors (eligible for AP Seminar as a stand-alone course) may apply for the AP Capstone program. All students will enter AP Seminar (year one) of the program, and those that complete AP Seminar prior to senior year will be eligible to continue on to AP Research the following school year(s).
Currently, AP Seminar does not have any required pre-requisite, but there are some recommendations:
it is recommended--but not required--that students have completed an AP class prior to enrolling in AP Seminar (in any subject matter)
it is recommended--but not required--that students be enrolled in an AP or honors class concurrently with AP Seminar (in any subject matter) [in the future, if/when Mira Costa offers AP Language and Composition, it will be highly recommended that students dual enroll with AP Seminar--currently, students should certainly consider also taking the AP Language and Composition test, as many of the skills are overlapping]
it is recommended--bot not required--that students consider enrolling in AP Statistics concurrently with AP Research (in year two of the program), if their individual research project will engage quantitative data.
AP Capstone is an application-based program that follows a cohort model--each year is limited to a cohort of 20 individuals, who will be together collaborating and providing support and peer input through all projects during the two-year program. AP Capstone is an equal-opportunity program that is committed to reflecting diversity and equal-access across campus. A waitlist may be kept in the event of schedule changes at the beginning of the Fall semester as a result of increased interest.
To apply for this program (either as a one-year stand-alone for AP Seminar, or for the full two years of AP Capstone), prospective applicants need to complete and submit the following:
Letter of Intent--letter should follow basic formal letter format, and be addressed to Stacy Cabrera (AP Capstone Advisor); the letter should include a self-introduction with focus on personal academic philosophy (i.e., personal strengths and weaknesses, views of academia, etc.), personal reasons for interest in the program, and potential academic and research interests. Letters of Intent need to be sent to email@example.com by May 21.
Writing Sample--The writing sample for this application is heavily based on some of the most foundational skills further taught and deeply utilized in this research based program, which leads students into readings that are complex, academic, critical, and argumentative. To complete the application process, students must critically read this article: "If Animals Have Rights, Should Robots?" Upon reading, students will then answer the following three questions:
Identity the author's argument, main idea, or thesis.
Explain the author's line of reasoning by identifying the claims used to build the argument and the connections between them.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the evidence the author uses to support the claims made in the argument.
Submissions must be made to Turnitin.com by May 21, and must follow the MLA Style Guide for page formatting, proper citation, and works cited entries. To submit to turnitin.com, students must register on Turnitin.com, and join using the class ID: 28760384, and pass key: apcapstone21. Upon registration, students will be able to submit to submit by uploading pdf or doc files to the "AP Capstone Application Writing Sample" assignment posting.
Any further questions or necessary clarifications can be addressed to Stacy Cabrera, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some Helpful Resources
To prepare for the writing sample activity above, students may consider reviewing some of the following resources:
Prospective Students are cordially invited to register and attend the 2021 Academic Conference, which will feature AP Seminar students in a poster session, as well as the individual research projects of the second-year AP Research students. To register, please see the Academic Conference page--feel free to submit work for publication and presentation as well! There will also be a formal information session and Q&A at the end of the conference on Saturday, May 15.