Miami-Dade schools selected to pilot innovative program

Leading the nation in providing educational opportunities for students, this fall Miami-Dade County Public Schools will offer an innovative program that will equip high school students with additional skills for college and beyond.

The program — AP|Cambridge Capstone Program — was developed by the College Board and the University of Cambridge International Examinations, a not-for-profit department of the world renowned University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

The capstone program consists of:

• A seminar taken in the 11th grade including writing, researching and team projects which explore topics of global relevance such as genetic engineering, climate change, and online and interactive communities.

• A research project taken in the 12th grade, growing out of the skills developed in the seminar course and ending with a 4,500- to 5,000-word research paper.

• AP courses of a student’s choice, usually taken in 11th and 12th grades.

Students who pass the seminar course and research project and score 3 or higher on at least three AP exams will receive the AP|Cambridge Capstone Credential. By completing the capstone program, students will demonstrate skills beyond those acquired in individual AP courses. Trained within an international curriculum framework, participants will develop stronger research, communication and collaboration skills necessary for today’s global marketplace.

The new program will be offered in about 18 schools in the United States and abroad. Miami-Dade County Public Schools was selected to pilot the program due to having one of the largest, most comprehensive AP programs in the country — ranking 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.

Four high schools in the county were selected to pilot the program for the 2012-13 school year: Barbara Goleman Senior High School, Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Miami Southridge Senior High School, and North Miami Beach Senior High School. Students interested in participating in the AP|Cambridge Capstone Program must apply through the annual magnet application process.

Additional information may be requested from the schools offering the program this fall: Barbara Goleman, 305-362-0676; Miami Palmetto, 305- 235-1360; Miami Southridge, 305-238- 6110, and North Miami Beach, 305-949- 8381.

Raquel Regalado is a member of the Miami-Dade School Board.

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