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PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. -- Over 2,000 schools participated in the AP Capstone Diploma program, a project-based learning experience valued by colleges and universities across the U.S. and around the world.

Mills University Studies High graduate Dayton Strick earned the AP Capstone Diploma™ during the 2020-21 school year. The AP Capstone Diploma program helps students to develop critical thinking, research, collaboration, and presentation skills that are critical to academic success. 

“The AP Capstone Diploma Award is so impressive because it is the culmination of several years of a student´s high school career, rather than just the score from a single course or test,” said Mills University Students High teacher, Ms. Lori Delk. “A student has to demonstrate consistent excellence in order to qualify for the award. The award tells colleges that this student is more than ready to be successful in the academic world.”

To receive the AP Capstone Diploma, students must earn scores of 3 or higher in AP Seminar, AP Research, and on four additional AP Exams. 

Strick is attending the University of Arkansas. Mills University Studies High also had 3 students pass the AP Seminar exam which is step one in becoming an AP Capstone Scholar - 2 current seniors: Mia Ellington-Williams and Jasmine Jones, and 1 graduate: Amber Shumaker.

Unlike traditional AP subject exams with a single end-of-year assessment, AP Seminar and AP Research assessments are project based and evaluate skills mastery through group projects, presentations, and individual essays completed throughout the year. Instead of focusing on one specific academic discipline, AP Seminar and AP Research are interdisciplinary: students are empowered to create research projects based on topics of personal interest and they are assessed on the critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills needed to complete their projects.

“Congratulations to the AP Capstone award winners, who conduct, present, and defend academic research on topics they are passionate about,” said Trevor Packer, College Board senior vice president of AP and Instruction. “Their ability to manage long-term projects, collaborate with teams, and deliver effective presentations will accelerate both their academic and professional careers.”