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Provo City School District

Timpview High School

Last modified: September 10, 2020

AP Capstone Seminar Syllabus

Course Description/Overview/Welcome Statement


2019-2020                      AP Capstone Seminar Course Overview                   Mrs. Van Orden

Identity, Community, and Social Conscience


About the AP Capstone Program


AP Capstone is an innovative diploma program from the College Board that equips students with the independent research, collaborative teamwork, and communication skills that are increasingly valued by colleges. AP Capstone is built on the foundation of two AP courses — AP Seminar and AP Research — and is designed to complement and enhance the in-depth, discipline-specific study experienced in other AP courses.


In AP Seminar, students investigate real-world issues from multiple perspectives, gathering and analyzing information from various sources in order to develop credible and valid evidence-based arguments. In AP Research, students cultivate the skills and discipline necessary to conduct independent research and inquiry in order to produce and defend their scholarly work.



The AP Capstone Diploma and AP Seminar and Research Certificate


Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research and on four additional AP Exams of their choosing will receive the AP Capstone Diploma.


Students who earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar and AP Research but not on four additional AP exams will receive the AP Seminar and Research Certificate.



AP Seminar Course Description


AP Seminar is a foundational course that engages students in cross-curricular conversations that explore the complexities of academic and real-world topics and issues by analyzing divergent perspectives. Using an inquiry framework, students practice reading and analyzing articles, research studies, and foundational, literary, and philosophical texts; listening to and viewing speeches, broadcasts, and personal accounts; and experiencing artistic works and performances. Students learn to synthesize information from multiple sources, develop their own perspectives in written essays, and design and deliver oral and visual presentations, both individually and as part of a team. Ultimately, the course aims to equip students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.


This AP Seminar course will introduce students to the QUEST pedagogical framework that will be utilized in Capstone over the next two years:


Question and Explore
Questioning begins with an initial exploration of complex topics or issues. Perspectives and questions emerge that spark one’s curiosity, leading to an investigation that challenges and expands the boundaries of one’s current knowledge.
Understand and Analyze Arguments
Understanding various perspectives requires contextualizing arguments and evaluating the authors’ claims and lines of reasoning.
Evaluate Multiple Perspectives
Evaluating an issue involves considering and evaluating multiple perspectives, both individually and in comparison to one another.
Synthesize Ideas
Synthesizing others’ ideas with one’s own may lead to new understandings and is the foundation of a well-reasoned argument that conveys one’s perspective.
Team, Transform, and Transmit
Teaming allows one to combine personal strengths and talents with those of others to reach a common goal. Transformation and growth occur upon thoughtful reflection. Transmitting requires the adaptation of one’s message based on audience and context.
AP Seminar Coursework Overview


Like any other academically rigorous course, much of the coursework for AP Seminar will include various reading and writing activities, tests and quizzes, etc. In addition to these routine/daily types of tasks, College Board requires that students enrolled in the Capstone Seminar course complete the following performance tasks:


Performance Task 1 – Team Project and Presentation | 20% of AP Score

Individual Research Report – Due 12/16/19

Team Multimedia Presentation and Defense – Due 1/10/20, Presented 1/22/20-1/24/20

Performance Task 2 – Individual Research-Based Essay and Presentation | 35% of AP Score
Individual Written Argument – Due 3/13/19
Individual Multimedia Presentation – Due 3/31/20, Presented 4/20/20-4/24/20
Oral Defense – Day of Presentation

Performance Task 3 – End-of-Course Exam (2 Hours) | 45% of AP Score – 5/12/20
Understanding and analyzing an argument (3 short-answer questions)
Synthesizing information to develop an evidence-based argument (evidence-based argument essay)


Performance Tasks 1 and 2 will actually be electronically submitted to, and scored by, College Board faculty. As such, students will not receive numerical score data on these performance tasks from the teacher during the school year other than progress/completion grades. Due dates are based on College Board submission deadlines and are inflexible.


Additionally, once the process of a performance task has been initiated by students, the teacher can give no feedback of any kind on the performance task. No teacher (or parent) is allowed to give any corrective guidance to individual students, including numerical grades, on any part of a performance task to be submitted for College Board scoring. In lieu of “traditional” grading during performance tasks, students will instead be graded/evaluated on their ability to meet deadlines, function independently and in team environments, etc.


Statement on Diverse Perspectives


As the AP Program engages students in college-level work, the AP Seminar course may include perspectives that could be considered controversial, including references to ethnicity, nationality, religion, politics, race, dialect, gender, or class. AP Seminar requires students to have the level of maturity and skill to thoughtfully consider and analyze diverse perspectives. The inclusion of topics, readings, texts, and other source material is not intended as an endorsement by the College Board, Provo School District, Timpview High School, or Mrs. Van Orden of the content, ideas, or values expressed in the material.


Class Expectations and Policies


As the AP Capstone program is new this year, expectations and procedures may evolve to reflect any requirements, practices, or needs to which the course may need to adapt. Timely and accurate notice will be given to parents/guardians and students in case of any change in policy or procedure.


Supplies:  You need a one-inch binder dedicated exclusively to this class.  You will keep all of your handouts, assignments, essays, and practice exams in this binder so you have them to prepare for the AP exam.  In addition, you might want to purchase post-it notes to mark the texts we read.  This will enable you to interact more effectively with your texts and will help you review these texts more easily.



1.   I grade on a point system.  Your grade will be weighted as follows:  35% Major Exams and

Projects; 25% Writing Assignments; 20% Assignments/Homework; 20% Quizzes/Participation


2.     Participation is an important component of your grade.  Both a self-evaluation and a teacher- evaluation of your participation each term will be included in your final grade.


3.     Weekly reading journals are required first semester.  Each reading journal will be one to two pages, typed, and double spaced.


4.     In addition to assigned class readings, you will be required to read an independent book each term.  You may choose what you read for your independent book, but you should strongly consider reading books that relate to AP Seminar themes you are interested in exploring in the future.


Attendance:  I expect you to be in class every day on time.  Excessive tardies and absences will jeopardize your preparation for the AP exam, your participation grade, and my willingness to be flexible with you.


Late Work and Make Up Work:

1.     Any assignment not handed in on the day it is due is considered a late assignment.  If you are

not in school the day an assignment is due, you should email the assignment to me at  Late assignments will be docked by fifty percent after they are graded.


2.     When you miss a day of class, you are responsible for getting and completing the homework before class meets again.


3.     If you are absent on the day of a test, you will have five school days to make up the test.  After

those five days, you will receive a zero.


Electronics Policy:  Do not be rude with phones during class.  If you must use a phone, please ask permission first.









Plagiarism Statement


This course adheres to the AP Capstone Policy on Plagiarism and Falsification or Fabrication of Information: “Participating teachers shall inform students of the consequences of plagiarism and instruct students to ethically use and acknowledge the ideas and work of others throughout their course work. The student’s individual voice should be clearly evident, and the ideas of others must be acknowledged, attributed, and/or cited.


A student who fails to acknowledge the source or author of any and all information or evidence taken from the work of someone else through citation, attribution, or reference in the body of the work, or through a bibliographic entry, will receive a score of 0 on that particular component of the AP Seminar and/or AP Research Performance Task. In AP Seminar, a team of students that fails to properly acknowledge sources or authors on the Team Multimedia Presentation will receive a group score of 0 for that component of the Team Project and Presentation.


A student who incorporates falsified or fabricated information (e.g. evidence, data, sources, and/or authors) will receive a score of 0 on that particular component of the AP Seminar and/or AP Research Performance Task. In AP Seminar, a team of students that incorporates falsified or fabricated information in the Team Multimedia Presentation will receive a group score of 0 for that component of the Team Project and Presentation.”



Consultation:  I will be available every day after school for individual writing conferences and other appointments.  I am also available several times a week during lunch, and I will make myself available by appointment other times, as needed.


How to Contact Me:  I greatly appreciate involved parents and would love to discuss concerns and questions with you at any time.  The best way to contact me is through email:   I can also be reached by phone at the school (801-221-9720) or at home in an emergency (801-709-4522).  If you have an email address, please include that below so that I can contact you as well.


AP Capstone Seminar Disclosure

Please sign and return this page stating that you have read and understand the disclosure statement.




______________________________     ____________________________           __________

Print Student Name                                 Student Signature                                      Date


______________________________     ____________________________           _________

Print Parent/Guardian Name                   Parent/Guardian Signature                        Date



Email Address






Learning Expectations

Assessment of Progress

Course Materials

Classroom Procedures

Calendar of Due Dates for Major Assignments

Progress Reports and Report Cards

Connecting Home to School

Personal Statement and other items (optional)