• What are AP courses and why should a student take them?

    Amaya Gaines

    Matt Goard

    AP stands for "advanced placement." AP courses are created and guided by College Board which is an organization designed to connect students with college opportunities. When students take AP courses, they will learn important skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, analysis, communication, and research along with the content they choose to study (history, math, English, foreign language, etc.). These skills are helpful to all students regardless of their plans after high school. These classes are meant to model the types of classes that students might find at a college or university. In May, students take the AP exam in order to earn college credit which can help them save time and money in college. All UNC system schools award credit for a "3" or higher. Credits at schools outside the UNC system vary and can usually be found on college/university websites. 

    • 85% of selective colleges and universities report that a student’s AP experience favorably impacts admission decisions.
    • Research shows that students who receive a score of 3 or higher on AP Exams typically experience greater academic success in college and have higher graduation rates than their non-AP peers.

    Who should take AP courses?

    AP students with awards

    Everyone! All students can benefit from AP courses and AP courses are open to all students. AP students are determined, persistent, and ready for a challenge.  If you have questions about which AP courses might be best for you, reach out to the counseling department or Ms. Peele!

    AP Capstone is more than just AP classes!

    AP students dressed up for spirit week

    From the College Board Website (click here for more information):

    "AP Capstone™ is a diploma program based on two yearlong AP courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. These courses are designed to complement other AP courses that the AP Capstone student may take.

    Instead of teaching specific subject knowledge, AP Seminar and AP Research use an interdisciplinary approach to develop the critical thinking, research, collaboration, time management, and presentation skills students need for college-level work.

    The College Board developed the AP Capstone Diploma program at the request of higher education professionals, who saw a need for a systematic way for high school students to begin mastering these skills before college."


    At Western, AP Capstone students build a community that is positive and supportive. Students have access to enriching opportunities like special lectures, field trips, college visits, service projects and more. 

    What Makes Western Advanced Placement Capstone Academy Unique?

    AP students at recruitment event

    College Board Advanced Placement Capstone Program:

    • We were the only AP Capstone program in North Carolina and only 1 of 114 schools nationally to be accepted the first year in 2014.
    • Our first year we graduated 67% with Capstone Diplomas or Certificates
    • Our second year we graduated 85% with Capstone Diplomas or Certificates
    • Our 3rd year we graduated 86% with Capstone Diplomas or Certificates

    Service Learning:

    • Goal: Service Learning Diploma (250 hours)         
    • Expectation: Service-Learning Award (100 hours)



    Rigorous College Program within a Traditional High School:

    • Our program allows students access to a rigorous college-level course load while enjoying all the aspects of a traditional high school such as Athletics, Cultural Arts, Career and Technical courses, and clubs.


    Flexible AP Course Selection:

    • To earn the diploma, Capstone Students can pass any four AP exams they chose in addition to the AP Seminar and AP Research exams. We offer 20 AP courses and hope to offer more based on student interest.
    • To earn the certificate, Capstone Students need to pass AP Seminar and AP Research Exams.
    • AP Capstone paths

AP Capstone Announcements

  • There are no upcoming events to display.

View Calendar

File Library

  • For more information contact:


    Ms. Taylor Peele
    AP Capstone Program Coordinator

    Mrs. Sadie McCleary
    Curriculum Facilitator