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Goodbye Gold Medallion, hello AP Capstone

Students need to embrace the AP Capstone program and the bene ts that come with it

Alyssa Magrone, A&E Editor

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Editoral Cartoon by Alyssa Magrone

The Gold Medallion honors program that many students hold dear to their hearts will soon be replaced with the AP Capstone program. Though some may be heartbroken, they need to open their eyes and minds to the greater advantages of the new program.

The aspect of the AP Capstone that makes it most advantageous for young scholars is the program’s national recognition. Though Gold Medallion was the North Kansas City School District’s [NKCSD] honors diploma, it was also only their diploma, meaning no other school district in the country had the same program.

The honors program most used by high schools across the nation is the AP Capstone. So if a student from the NKCSD who completed the Gold Medallion and a student from a school district who completed the AP Capstone were competing for a spot at a college, the student who completed the AP Capstone would be more likely to be chosen as the program is more well known.

Another reason students should not complain about the swap is because the programs are similar in construct. The Research Methods and Research Exhibition classes for Gold Medallion consist of nearly identical course work as AP Seminar and AP Research for AP Capstone.

The main concern young students have about the program is the amount of AP courses required to complete the program. According to the college board website, students must earn a qualifying score on at least four AP courses outside of AP Seminar and AP Research. Considering the current Gold Medallion honors diploma candidates, only two would qualify for the AP Capstone diploma.

However, the majority of the students would have likely met the expectations if they would have been informed their freshman year, as they are students who push themselves rigorously.

Though the amount seems like a tough load, the school district is making an effort to ease the stress by providing the option for students to spread out the amount of AP classes they take throughout high school.

For example, AP Human Geography was a course introduced to freshman this school year. Sophomores have the option of taking AP U.S. History. Juniors can take AP Government, and seniors can take AP Psychology. Taking these courses would land them with four AP courses total in just social studies by the end of high school, without having to cram them all in senior year.

Another way the district is encouraging AP courses is by introducing a variety of courses, including AP Art History and AP Computer Science. These classes help incorporate all students instead of just students who perform well in the core AP courses.

Some students are worried they will not be able to earn enough qualifying scores on their tests, whether it is due to their own poor test taking skills or the lack of coaching and teaching from AP teachers.

However, these students need not to worry because the district is putting money where their mouth is and will be putting the AP teachers through more training to help students excel in the AP classes.

Though it may be sad to see the gold gone from the district, the platinum advantages of the AP Capstone will outweigh the loss. It is time for a new tradition to take place.

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Goodbye Gold Medallion, hello AP Capstone