Academic Excellence: Hyde Launches the AP Capstone Diploma Program

From left: Betsabed De La Rosa, Matthew Hittenmark, and Christian Deleon.

From left: Betsabed De La Rosa, Matthew Hittenmark, and Christian Deleon.

Hyde is one of only approximately 1,800 schools worldwide to implement the AP Capstone Diploma program―a program that allows students to develop the skills that matter most for college success, like research, collaboration, and communication. The Capstone program is comprised of two classes taken back-to-back: an AP Seminar and an AP Research course. The program is designed to give students adequate college preparation and exposure to topics covered in a collegiate setting. 

Students who score a three or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and  four additional AP Exams of their choosing earn the AP Capstone Diploma. This represents the students’ exceptional academic accomplishment and fulfillment of college-level academic and research classes. Students who score a three or higher in both AP Seminar and AP Research earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. Hyde will start offering the program in the fall of 2019.

“We are excited to venture into the AP Capstone. It shows the rigor of our academics to be included in such an exclusive category, ” said Director of College Counseling, Matthew Hittenmark.  “Allowing students to engage in cross-curricular research is the pinnacle of our academic pedagogy.” 

Typically taken in tenth or eleventh grade, in AP Seminar students choose and evaluate complex topics and look at them from many different points of view.  They also identify credibility and bias in sources provided and develop arguments in support of their position. 

 “We discuss the world’s problems and how we can fix them,” said sophomore Christian Deleon. “We are given the tools to properly and respectfully discuss what’s going on in the world. I’m very honored to be in the class.”

AP Seminar is a project-based class with assessments such as research reports, written arguments, and presentations completed during the academic year. 

“AP Seminar not only helps us learn how to write essays with a clear argument, but it teaches us how to argue in a debate,” said sophomore Betsabed De La Rosa. “The class also strengthens our knowledge of topics and situations outside the classroom. I find myself using what I learned in class in my everyday life.” 

In the AP Research course, students design, execute, present, and defend a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of personal interest. They boost their skills garnered in AP Seminar by learning how to approach and make sense of their research. The class will teach students to use ethical research practices and to compile, analyze, and synthesize academic research. AP Research is also a project-based course. Students’ final AP Research score will be based on their academic paper, presentation, and oral defense of their topic. 

Speaking on what the new partnership means, Mr. Hittenmark said: “Our students have the capacity to become powerful change agents in our community and beyond. Partnering with AP Capstone creates the vehicle for students to engage with real word problems in a collegiate atmosphere.” 

Matt Hittenmark engages student Angie Peña on biases in the media in the AP Capstone Course.

Matthew Hittenmark engages student Angie Peña on biases in the media in the AP Capstone Course.