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Cristo Rey San Diego to Offer AP Capstone Diploma Program

Diploma program focuses on college-level research, collaboration, and presentation skills crucial for college and career success 

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. Cristo Rey San Diego High School is one of approximately 2,000 schools worldwide to implement the AP Capstone Diploma program―an innovative program that encourages students to develop skills for college and career success, including critical thinking, research, collaboration, and communication. The program consists of two yearlong courses taken in sequence: AP® Seminar and AP Research. 

Students who score a 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on 4 additional AP Exams of their choosing earn the AP Capstone Diploma. This signifies outstanding academic achievement and attainment of college-level academic and research skills. Students who score a 3 or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research (and on 4 additional AP Exams) earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. Cristo Rey San Diego High School will start offering AP Seminar in the fall of 2022. 

Mr. Derrick, Cristo Rey San Diego High School’s founding principal, says this is the next step in ensuring Cristo Rey students are prepared for college. “The AP Capstone program will prepare our diverse student population to become skilled collaborators, critical thinkers, and consumers of information. The Capstone courses will give students flexibility to explore the complex topics affecting their lives, and we are excited to see their research,” he added.

In AP Seminar, typically taken in 10th or 11th grade, students choose real-world topics and evaluate them from multiple perspectives. Students identify credibility and bias in sources and develop arguments in support of a recommendation. In the subsequent AP Research course, students design and execute a college-level research project on a topic of personal interest. Students receive firsthand experience in writing a research question, executing an appropriate method, analyzing data, presenting their results, and defending their findings. Both AP Capstone courses are project based, and students are required to deliver written arguments, collaborate in teams, and deliver professional multimedia presentations as part of their AP Exams.

“The AP Capstone courses enable students to explore real-world issues in great depth through research and collaboration,” said Rushi Sheth, executive director of the AP Capstone Diploma program. He adds, “This provides terrific opportunities for students to write and present their work effectively, both individually and in teams—the very skills professors and employers are demanding.” 

In partnership with the higher education community, College Board developed AP Capstone so students can practice and master skills that serve them well in college and career. 

“We’re excited more schools are offering the AP Capstone Diploma program,” said Kedra Ishop, vice president for enrollment management at the University of Southern California. “We believe the research, collaboration, and presentation skills taught in the two courses will be valuable to students throughout their academic and professional careers.”

About Cristo Rey San Diego

CRSD is the 37th school in a growing national network of private high schools recognized for transforming education through a unique integration of rigorous academics, professional experience and spiritual formation. The Cristo Rey Network boasts over 23,000 alumni and a 90% college enrolment rate. Students of any faith, race, color, gender identity, sexual orientation, and national and ethnic origin are welcome at Cristo Rey

About College Board

College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success—including the SAT®, the Advanced Placement® Program, and BigFuture. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators, and schools. For further information, visit collegeboard.org

AP Equity and Access Policy

College Board strongly encourages educators to make equitable access a guiding principle for their AP® programs by giving all willing and academically prepared students the opportunity to participate in AP. We encourage the elimination of barriers that restrict access to AP for students from ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underrepresented. Schools should make every effort to ensure their AP classes reflect the diversity of their student population. College Board also believes that all students should have access to academically challenging coursework before they enroll in AP classes, which can prepare them for AP success. It is only through a commitment to equitable preparation and access that true equity and excellence can be achieved.

Media Contact: 

Cristo Rey 619-432-1899 info@cristoreysandiego.org 

College Board 212-713-8052 communications@collegeboard.org