Siegel High launches AP Capstone program

Siegel High School is only the eighth school in the state of Tennessee to receive permission from the College Board to implement an Advanced Placement Capstone program.

Siegel is the only school in Rutherford County to offer the accredited program.

“This innovative diploma program allows students to deeply explore the topics that interest them while developing the analytic, research, problem-solving, and communications skills that colleges seek in their applicants,” said Caroline Ott, a librarian at the school. “Capstone students complete a two-year sequence of classes. In year one, students take AP Seminar, where they are challenged to consider evidence through multiple lenses, explore divergent points of view, and use their findings to make credible, fact-based arguments on complex, interdisciplinary topics. Success depends on completion of a team project, individual paper and presentation, and a written end-of-course exam.”

The first cohort of AP Capstone students began in the fall of 2017.

The program is taught by Tricia Evans (AP Seminar) and Ken Mosier (AP Research).

Evans also teaches AP U.S. Government and AP Human Geography. Mosier teaches AP U.S. History, AP Comparative Government and Politics, Global Diplomacy and currently serves as Siegel Advanced Placement Director.

Students enroll in AP Research as sophomore.

Students are then given the opportunity to work independently under the guidance of a trained instructor and outside expert advisers to develop an academic paper on a topic of their choosing.

Success in the program requires students to learn the accepted methodology of their chosen field of study, gather original data through experimentation, archival research, qualitative interviews and compile what they learn into a 5,000-word thesis.

“Upon completion of the thesis, student must present and defend their work against a panel of expert instructors,” Ott said. “Through this process, students gain invaluable experience in the sort of highly rigorous research and communication required by college honors programs and graduate work.”

AP Capstone joins a roster of 22 additional Advanced Placement courses offered by Siegel High School.

Students who complete both AP Seminar and AP Research receive the AP Capstone Certificate.

“Those who complete AP Seminar, AP Research and four additional AP courses receive the prestigious AP Capstone Diploma, which is recognized as a special distinction,” said Ott, who explained, “Students then submit their scores and thesis to prospective schools to receive advanced research opportunities and even additional hours of credit in recognition of their work.”

For more information about the Siegel AP Capstone program, contact Tricia Evans at

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