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Dallastown Area High School will implement a new advanced placement  Capstone program come 2017-18 to help students develop skills for college.

According to the AP Capstone website, the high school will be the first in the county to implement this program, which has students take two different courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. The two courses aim to teach students skills related to research, collaboration and communication, according to a news release.

Students will take the two courses one after the other, starting with AP Seminar. This course is usually taken in 10th or 11th grade and can vary in subject matter, which teachers choose. In the course, students must use different materials, such as research studies and philosophical texts, to answer complex questions, evaluate different viewpoints and interpret information, according to the release.

The students would then take AP Research the following year, during which they would plan and conduct a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic. A student would describe the process of choosing a topic, collecting information, analyzing that information and presenting the argument through a portfolio.

AP courses are scored on a scale of one through five, with one being the lowest possible score and five being the best. For a student to pass an AP course, they must receive a three or higher. AP courses are often considered college-level courses and are accepted for credit by many colleges nationwide.

If the student passes these two courses in addition to four other advanced placement exams, they will earn an AP Capstone Diploma, according to the release. If a student earns a score of three or higher on just the AP Seminar and Research courses, they will earn an AP Seminar and Research Certificate.

The AP Capstone courses will be offered beginning next school year.

"We hope this opportunity provides our students with skills that enable them to be successful in our globally connected and digitized world," the district said in the release.

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