AP Capstone Program

St. Johnsbury Academy is one of a short list of schools worldwide that offers the AP Capstone Diploma program. SJA was selected to offer the program by the College Board from among more than 18,000 independent and public schools from across the world. The other U.S. boarding schools selected to participate during the first year of the program were Choate Rosemary Hall, Taft School, and Deerfield Academy.

In 2017, 28 SJA seniors earned AP Capstone honors: 18 earned the AP Capstone Diploma and 10 the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. Out of these 28 eligible students, 91% passed the required AP Research exam, compared to a pass rate of 70% nationally; 49% received the highest possible score on the exam (5), compared to 17% nationally; and 82% scored a 4 or higher, compared with only 35% nationally. Additionally, 67 students took the AP Seminar exam (the first course of the two-course AP Capstone sequence). Of these, 100% passed the exam, compared to 86% nationally. St. Johnsbury Academy is currently the only school in northern New England to offer the AP Capstone program.

2017 was the second year that students in 118 schools from across the U.S. selected by the College Board to pilot this new and highly regarded program were eligible to complete the AP Capstone Diploma or the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. The AP Capstone program was developed with input from the faculty and admissions staff from more than 50 colleges and universities, including Stanford, Columbia, Duke, and UC Berkeley. Philip Ballinger, Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Washington, said, “At the University of Washington, we are very interested in enrolling students who have distinguished themselves through the AP Capstone program. Students who successfully participate in the AP Capstone program learn how to read and assess sources critically, distill and synthesize conclusions based on evidence, and effectively communicate their conclusions to others. This developed skill of critical reading, thinking, and communicating is precisely what leads to high achievement and outcomes in college.”

The AP Capstone program involves a two-course sequence: AP Seminar followed by AP Research. Students who complete the AP Seminar and Research courses and earn scores of 3 or higher on the subsequent exams, as well as on at least 4 other AP exams, earn the AP Capstone Diploma. Students successfully completing only the AP Seminar and AP Research courses and exams earn the AP Seminar and Research Certificate. St. Johnsbury Academy offers 29 AP courses in addition to AP Seminar and AP Research.