College Board and University of Cambridge International Examinations Chooses Wunsche to Pilot New Education Program that Will Develop High School Students’ Critical Thinking Skills from a Global Perspective
HOUSTON - July 24, 2012 - Carl Wunsche Sr. High School in Spring ISD is one of 15 schools in the world and the only school in the Southwest United States selected by the College Board and University of Cambridge International Examinations to pilot an AP/Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential for high school students. The pilot, beginning in August 2012, will determine how the program can best be implemented across the range of schools that AP serves.
Debi Koch, former Wunsche principal and new executive director for college and career readiness, said the two-year program is being offered to students enrolled in English III AP and a seminar course in global issues at Wunsche. Several students have already expressed an interest in the program, which can serve up to 24 students.
“It is an honor to be involved with highly respected programs like Advanced Placement College Board and Cambridge in breaking in a new program. As part of that inaugural group, our kids will be leading the way for other students and be better prepared for post-secondary education,” Koch said.
Two Wunsche teachers, Crystal Chapman, English III AP, and Dana Tabor, global issues seminar, are being trained this summer by College Board and Cambridge before implementing the program, which will focus heavily on project collaboration and presentation skills, Koch said.
Bob Thompson, former executive director for instructional engagement and new Wunsche principal, said, “This is an exciting opportunity, not just for Wunsche, but for Spring ISD to expand our relationship with College Board and Cambridge. These partnerships are especially meaningful because, like our district, these organizations believe commitment to student engagement is necessary to produce meaningful learning.”
According to a news release by the College Board and University of Cambridge International Examinations, the program is designed to equip students with knowledge and skills that are valued by colleges and necessary for life in an interconnected world. It was developed following feedback from higher education organizations requesting that high school students develop stronger backgrounds in independent research, collaborative teamwork, and 21st-century knowledge and skills now essential for success on college campuses and in today’s global marketplace.
Ann Puntis, chief executive, University of Cambridge International Examinations, said, “We know that colleges want their undergraduates to be well prepared for higher education. Likewise, we know schools want programs that help to deliver this preparation for their students. I’m therefore delighted that we have collaborated with the College Board to bring together this project, which I’m confident will benefit teachers and students in high schools throughout the U.S.”
The AP/Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential combines the in-depth subject-matter study offered through AP courses and exams with the interdisciplinary global seminar curricula and the assessment of research projects and presentations offered by University of Cambridge International Examinations.
“The College Board is delighted to collaborate with University of Cambridge International Examinations to create a program which engages high school students in some of the most challenging issues facing our world today,” said Trevor Packer, senior vice president of Advanced Placement and College Readiness for the College Board. “The AP/Cambridge Capstone program — with its concentration on research methodology, global issues and challenges, and team collaboration — will enable motivated high school students to take their advanced studies to the next level,” Packer said.