The College Board and University of Cambridge International Examinations announce new education programme for high school students


The College Board and University of Cambridge International Examinations are collaborating to offer an AP® | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential for high school students, designed to equip students with knowledge and skills that are increasingly valued by colleges and necessary for life in an interconnected world.

The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program® (AP) and University of Cambridge International Examinations developed the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program following feedback from higher education organizations 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.

Ann Puntis, Chief Executive of University of Cambridge International Examinations, said, “We know that colleges want their undergraduates to be well prepared for higher education. Likewise, we know schools want programs that help to deliver this preparation for their students. I’m therefore delighted that we have collaborated with the College Board to bring together this project, which I’m confident will benefit teachers and students in high schools throughout the U.S.”

The AP | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential combines the in-depth subject-matter study 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 College Board is delighted to collaborate with University of Cambridge International Examinations to create a program that engages high school students 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. “The AP | Cambridge Capstone Program – with its concentration on research methodology, global issues and challenges, and team collaboration – will enable motivated high school students to take their advanced studies to the next level.”

Miami-Dade County Public Schools to Pilot AP | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential

During an event today (5 March 2012) in Miami, officials from Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the College Board announced that four Miami-Dade public high schools have been selected to participate in the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential pilot program scheduled to begin this fall:

  • Miami Palmetto Senior High School
  • Barbara Goleman High School
  • Southridge Senior High School
  • North Miami Beach Senior High School.

“We are honored to be chosen to pilot the AP | Cambridge program,” said Perla Tabares Hantman, chair of the Miami-Dade School Board. “Our district leads the nation in terms of educational opportunities for students, and this program will only strengthen our efforts to ensure their future success.”

Miami-Dade County Public Schools has one of largest, most comprehensive AP programs in the country, with high AP performance rates for traditionally underserved students – making it an ideal district to pilot the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential. Miami-Dade ranks first in the nation in both the number of AP Exams taken by Hispanic/Latino students and the number of Hispanic/Latino students earning a 3 or higher on at least one AP Exam.

“I am thrilled to bring this extraordinary opportunity to our students,” said Alberto M. Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. “This program will distinguish our students to college admission officers who will recognize their ability to master the skills required in college and in their careers.”

The pilot program, which will determine how the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential can best be implemented across the range of schools that AP serves, will be offered in approximately 15-18 schools in the U.S. and abroad. The full list of participating schools will be announced at a later date.

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 analyse 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. Statements such as the following reflect the value leaders in college and university admission are expressing for this new program:

“As a strong supporter of the College Board’s AP Program and Cambridge programs and qualifications including Cambridge International AS and A Level and Cambridge AICE Diploma, I am very excited by this new partnership.The Capstone Program holds the promise of enriching college preparation with its emphasis on breadth of study across curricula and its development of critical thinking, analysis and research skills.” –John Barnhill, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management, Florida State University

“The AP | Cambridge Capstone program engages students with rigorous college-preparatory curricula and a critical, questioning approach to information. It offers students the opportunity to develop disciplined and scholarly research skills within a context of interdisciplinary learning and global awareness. At the University of Washington, we value these skills and would be very interested in enrolling students who have distinguished themselves through the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program.” – Philip Ballinger, Assistant Vice President for Enrollment, Director of Undergraduate Admissions, University of Washington

“At MIT, we seek to develop the next generation of creative thinkers and leaders in this global society. Students who have challenged themselves with a rigorous curriculum, developed strong critical thinking skills, and have experience in interdisciplinary learning in a global context will be in a good position to take advantage of our educational opportunities. Based on what I’ve seen, I believe the AP | Cambridge Capstone Program will be an excellent preparation for success.”-Stuart Schmill, Dean of Admissions, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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 tothink 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 scorea 3 or higheron 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 2011, nearly 2 million students representing more than 18,000 schools around the world, both public and nonpublic, took 3.4 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.

About Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Miami-Dade County Public Schools is the fourth- largest school district in the United States, comprised of 392 schools, 345,000 students and over 40,000 employees. Located at the southern end of the Florida peninsula, the school district stretches over 2,000 square miles of diverse and vibrant communities ranging from rural and suburban to urban cities and municipalities. A truly global community, district students speak 56 different languages and represent 160 countries.

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