To take the Humanities and Arts signature program one of the main requirements of the program is junior and senior seminar. These two classes are the second semester of junior year, and the first semester of senior year. In these two classes, students learn how to do college-level research, and then they write an 18-20 page paper that they present to a panel of teachers. In the upcoming years this part of the program will be going through major changes, as it will become an AP class.
Junior and senior seminar will now no longer be two half-semester classes, and the change to this will happen over time. “In the future we will have AP Seminar be the class students take all of junior year, and then following that will be AP Research, which will be all of senior year. The current sophomores will have the option to do the traditional version of AP seminar, or the newer version, and eventually we will phase out the old version completely,” Humanities and Arts coordinator Michelle Hanson said.
The change to this new version of seminar is all part of a larger program called the AP Capstone. “The AP Capstone is basically where any student who passes AP Seminar, AP research, and four other AP classes of their choice will have the opportunity to receive the AP Capstone diploma, which is the highest award given by the AP board,” Hanson said.
The opportunity to receive an AP Capstone diploma could attract more people to the Humanities and Arts program. “I do think that more people would want to take part in the program with the goal of earning the Capstone diploma. Our long-term goal is to open the AP Research and AP Seminar classes to kids who are not in the Humanities program, too,” Hanson said.
Students who may not have wanted to be in a signature program may be more attracted to Humanities under its new format. “I feel like this new system would make me more interested to do the program because there is more incentive, and you have the opportunity to get a prestigious award,” sophomore Melanie Roberts said.
One aspect of the program that may make kids hesitant to sign up for it is that it will now take up a full class period for all of junior and senior year. “I think that the program does sound very interesting, but I do not know if it would be something I could do because I already plan of having a very full schedule the next two years,” sophomore Alan Sun said.
The current seminar program had similarities to the AP version, which is one of the reasons why the program is changing. “The program that we do now is very similar to the AP class, so that definitely contributed to our decision to change to the AP classes. They will really help student be prepared to do college level research and writing,” Hanson said.