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New Bedford High School leads state in AP Capstone Certificate Awardees

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New Bedford High School took the lion’s share of Advanced Placement (AP) Capstone Certificates awarded in Massachusetts by the College Board for 2018. The next nearest number of AP Certificates awarded to a Massachusetts high school was nine certificates.

In order to earn the AP certificates NBHS students had to complete a two-year course, AP Seminar in the first year and AP Research in the second year. Students had to achieve qualifying scores in AP Seminar in order to continue to AP Research, where they worked with AP-trained teachers and advisors to explore academic topics and problems of their own interest, designing and planning their course of study in the same way as college students do. AP Research “culminates in an academic paper of 4,000-5,000 words and a presentation, with an oral defense… from a panel of evaluators,” according to the College Board.


Students in Mr. Nagayoshi’s Advanced Placement Seminar collaborate in teams on critical thinking problems. New Bedford High School leads the state in the number of AP Certificates awarded in 2018. Photo. New Bedford High School.

Mayor Jon Mitchell, chair of the School Committee, commended students, their families and staff on earning the distinction. “This impressive achievement of our students garnering nearly 40 percent of all Capstone Certificates in Massachusetts continues to demonstrate the opportunities that only New Bedford High School offers. The accomplishment of students and staff further sets New Bedford High apart as a school where all students can reach their fullest potential, exceptionally prepared for success in college and the workforce after graduation.”

“We are so proud of our AP Capstone Certificate awardees,” said Headmaster Bernadette Coelho, who brought the AP Capstone Program to NBHS. “Because these students have passed and earned qualifying scores in AP Seminar and AP Research, they have earned this noteworthy certificate. Those who elect to take four additional AP courses and receive qualifying scores will earn the coveted AP Capstone Diploma, which is highly sought by college recruiters. Students may also earn college credit and tuition savings,” she noted, adding that “New Bedford High School currently offers 20 AP courses, more than any other high school in the region – it’s one of the many resources that we offer our students, as only a fully comprehensive high school can.”

Superintendent Thomas Anderson lauded students and staff on being the leading recipient of AP Certificates in the state by the College Board. “We are delighted to congratulate New Bedford High School on this exceptional accomplishment. NBHS has been in the AP Capstone program for two short years and it now leads the state in certificates awarded – a testament to our outstanding students and our highly knowledgeable and effective teachers,” he said.

Trevor Packer, College Board senior vice president of AP and Instruction offered congratulations to all AP Capstone awardees, noting “Their ability to manage long-term projects, collaborate with teams, and deliver effective presentations will accelerate not only their academic careers, but their professional careers as well.”


Students in Mr. Nagayoshi’s Advanced Placement Seminar collaborate in teams on critical thinking problems. New Bedford High School leads the state in the number of AP Certificates awarded in 2018. Photo. New Bedford High School.

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About the Advanced Placement (AP) Program
The College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) Program gives students the opportunity to take challenging college-level courses while still in high school. A 3 or higher on an AP Exam has multiple benefits for students, including earning college credit, advanced placement, or both for successful performance on AP Exams, saving them time and money. Research shows AP students are better prepared for and more likely to enroll and remain in college, do well in classes, and earn their degrees on time. Each exam is developed by a committee of college and university faculty and AP teachers, ensuring that AP Exams align their high standards.

About the College Board
Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools.

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