Newest AP Classes Teach Students Life Skills, Prepare For College


Aashna Farishta, staff writer

In an AP Seminar class, students get to share their ideas and perspectives on the trending topics of the world. The students have educational autonomy as they can chose what they want to research about based on what they’re passionate about.

If a student takes AP Seminar and AP Research, passes their AP exams, and passes four other AP exams of their choice, then the student graduates with the AP Capstone Diploma. This diploma is not only an outstanding academic achievement, but also shows colleges that the student has the necessary research, writing, and collaborative skills to be successful in college.

“AP Seminar, coupled with AP Research, trains students for other AP classes and distinguishes them to colleges and universities”, Biology teacher Katie Parson said; she suggested this class be added to Central.

Parson suggests that students take AP Seminar in their early high school years because it will help them excel in other AP courses.

“I took AP Seminar because I heard only a few high schools offer it which means when I apply to college, I’ll stand out from all the other students”, Junior, Mariah Carter said.

Only 650 high schools out of the 21,000 public high schools in the U.S. offer AP Seminar and AP Research making it a unique asset on a student’s college application.

“In AP Seminar, students work on different skills, advanced research skills,” AP Seminar teacher Bettina Becker said. “We practice these skills so that when students chose the topic they want to research, they will be prepared.”

In AP Seminar a student’s AP score is determined by the Team Project and Presentation, the Research-Based Essay and Presentation, and the End-of-Course Exam. In AP Research a student’s AP score is determined by the Research Process Documentation, the Academic Thesis Paper, and the Presentation and Oral Defense.

“I’m working on a group project in which we are looking at historical, social, and scientific lenses of mental institutions,” junior Nimesh Wijewardane said. “Researching has opened my mind to new ideas, and I love that I was able to chose what I wanted to research.”

Nimesh chose this topic based on the stimulus material given to him in class, which included multiple possible topics based on overcoming adversity.

“AP Seminar is an open-minded class in which we get to analyze different perspectives and see topics through different lenses such as social, economic and religious,” junior Samuel Pierce said. “We are developing analytical skills and compiling them for advanced projects.”