Four Miami-Dade public high schools are getting a rare chance to try out a new, first-of-its-kind academic program created by The College Board and the University of Cambridge.
Vice-president of Advanced Placement and College Readiness for The College Board Trevor Packer told students at Barbara Goleman High School Monday, that Miami-Dade was chosen for its outstanding advanced academic achievement.
"There's no district in the world that has achieved a higher number of Hispanic students earning AP exam scores of three or higher," said Packer.
"The program will be rolled out at Goleman High, Southridge Senior High, North Miami Beach Senior High and Miami Palmetto high next school year. The syllabus will focus on real-world topics like medical ethics and global climate change while challenging junior and senior students to build their research and collaboration skills.
Goleman sophomore Cristian Jimenez said the course load could make him a more attractive college candidate.
"It's going to offer a lot of new opportunities to learn about a variety of subjects, and maybe when I go to college that'll definitely make an impact on which schools are interested," Jimenez said.
Officials from the College Board said a number of higher institutions had requested a more stimulating course load that would better prepare students for college and the changing global marketplace.
The Miami-Dade school district joins only a handful of schools around the world in test driving the Capstone program, one of many distinctions Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said Miami-Dade public school students have earned.
"Just from three years ago til now, we increased participation in advanced academics in AP level classes through IB and IS programs by 30 percent," he said.
Students aren't expected to pay any fees for the advanced curriculum. Only students who earn a three out of a highest possible score of five on at least three AP exams and pass their Capstone requirements will earn a special Capstone Credential certification.