Irving, Texas. January 23, 2013 –
Two high schools in Irving ISD (Nimitiz High School and Jack E. Singley Academy) have been selected by the College Board and Cambridge International Examinations to pilot the new AP® | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential program in the 2013-14 academic year, joining the 15 schools that began in 2012-13. This rigorous new program, which was designed to equip students with knowledge and skills that are increasingly valued by colleges and necessary for life in an interconnected world, combines the in-depth subject matter offered through AP courses and exams with the interdisciplinary global seminar curricula and the assessment of research projects and presentations offered by University of Cambridge International Examinations.
The pilot program will determine how the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential can best be implemented across the range of schools that AP serves. Schools are selected for the pilot based on a number of factors including Advanced Placement® participation and performance, and a commitment to providing equitable access to AP for all academically prepared and motivated students.
The College Board and University of Cambridge International Examinations created the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program based on feedback from colleges and universities requesting that high school students develop stronger backgrounds in independent research, collaborative teamwork, and 21st-century knowledge and skills now essential for success on college campuses and in today’s global marketplace.
“The students from Irving ISD who participate in the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program will be engaged in some of the most challenging issues facing our world today,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of Advanced Placement and College Readiness for the College Board. “With its concentration on research methodology, global issues and challenges, and team collaboration, this program will enable motivated high school students to take their advanced studies to the next level.”
Dr. Dana T. Bedden, Superintendent of Schools notes, “In Irving ISD we want to ensure that our students have the opportunity to participate in rigorous academic programs. In a diverse district like ours, this new endeavor will encourage some students to pursue AP courses and participate in a college level course. All of our data indicates that students who take an AP course do better in college. Providing this program helps us to continue to expand our AP offerings and to increase the number of students taking college level courses that support college and career readiness. The AP | Cambridge Capstone Program will help to improve our students’ research, critical thinking, problem solving and collaborative teamwork skills.”
About the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential
The AP | Cambridge Capstone Program is composed of:
- The AP | Cambridge Interdisciplinary Investigations and Critical Reasoning Seminar, taken in the 11th grade. The seminar focuses on developing inquiry skills — through writing, researching and team projects — by exploring a specific topic of global relevance. Topics are selected by the individual school and are drawn from a list that includes the following: alternatives to oil; endangered cultures; global climate change; integration and multiculturalism; and medical ethics and priorities. Students in the seminar are assessed through a written exam, a presentation and a team project.
- The AP | Cambridge Capstone Research Project, taken in the 12th grade. It culminates in a 4,500- to 5,000-word academic paper, which enables students to develop practical skills in research methodology and the skills to manage a sustained piece of academic work. Students are evaluated on their ability to design, plan and manage a research project; collect and analyze information; evaluate and make reasoned judgments; and communicate their findings and conclusions.
- AP courses (typically taken in the 11th and 12th grades) of a student’s own choice.
Students earning passing scores in the seminar and research project as well as scores of 3 or higher on a minimum of three AP Exams will receive the AP | Cambridge Capstone Credential, demonstrating their proficiency in college-level subject knowledge as well as their research, communication and collaborative skills.
During the next few years, the higher education advisory committees of the College Board and University of Cambridge International Examinations will be sharing information about this new program with college and university officials nationwide to raise awareness and understanding of the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program.
About the Advanced Placement Program®
The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP®) enables willing and academically prepared students to pursue college-level studies — with the opportunity to earn college credit, advanced placement or both — while still in high school. Through AP courses in 34 subjects, each culminating in a rigorous exam, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments and see many sides of an issue — skills that prepare them for college and beyond. Taking AP courses demonstrates to college admission officers that students have sought the most rigorous curriculum available to them, and research indicates that students who score a 3 or higher on an AP Exam typically experience greater academic success in college and are more likely to earn a college degree than non-AP students. Each AP teacher’s syllabus is evaluated and approved by faculty from some of the nation’s leading colleges and universities, and AP Exams are developed and scored by college faculty and experienced AP teachers. Most four-year colleges and universities in the United States grant credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of successful AP Exam scores — more than 3,600 institutions worldwide annually receive AP scores. In the last decade, participation in the AP Program has more than doubled and graduates succeeding on AP Exams have nearly doubled. In May 2012, 2.1 million students representing more than 18,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took 3.7 million AP Exams.
About University of Cambridge International Examinations
University of Cambridge International Examinations is the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 5- to 19-year-olds. We are part of the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s top universities and trusted for excellence in education. Our qualifications are recognised by the world’s universities and employers.
We understand education. More than 9,000 schools in over 160 countries are part of our Cambridge learning community. Our mission is to provide excellence in education, and our vision is that Cambridge learners become confident, responsible, innovative and engaged.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of learners gain the Cambridge qualifications they need to enter the world’s universities. We believe in setting educational standards — and then encouraging learners to exceed them.
Understanding learners’ needs around the world means listening carefully to our community of schools, and we are pleased that 98 percent of Cambridge schools say they would recommend us to other schools. We are a part of Cambridge Assessment, a department of the University of Cambridge and a not-for-profit organisation. We invest constantly in research and development to improve our programmes and qualifications.
Irving Independent School District is a diverse school district based in Irving, Texas. The district, which covers 48.5 square miles (126 km2), serves most of the city of Irving and also small portions of Grand Prairie and Dallas. Irving ISD’s peak enrollment for 2012-2013 is 35,114 students, including 9,500 high school students. It is also a majority-minority district. The student population which is 82% economically disadvantaged represents ninety-five countries and speaks fifty-three languages. The district is one of only 15 in Texas to receive a 5-Star rating for 3 consecutive years for its financial management and academic progress by the State Comptroller.
Jack E. Singley Academy opened in 2000 and is a lottery-populated school of choice of approximately 1700 students in grades 9-12 in Irving Independent School District. Singley Academy is a career-oriented comprehensive high school, offering both traditional core curriculum and cutting-edge career and technical education classes, all designed to promote career preparation and college readiness. The School was recognized in 2012 as U.S. News and World Reports Silver Medal School.
Nimitz High School is a large diverse high school named for U.S. Navy Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Approximately 2,500 students in grades 9-12 participate in an advisory program called VISTAS (Viking Interactive Student-Teacher Advisory Sessions). Through VISTAS, individual attention is given to every student's personal, educational, and career development. The Nimitz Academic Decathlon Team has won first place at the regional meet twenty-two times in the last twenty-five years.
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