SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Students at Captain Shreve and two other Caddo Parish high schools were offered a new advanced placement course this school year.
Before the school year began, Captain Shreve Principal Ginger Gustavson, and the teacher of the AP Capstone course, Amy Douglas, explained new coursework and how they are preparing for it.
Douglas said this class is designed to push her students out of their comfort zone and to a higher level.
"I have seen lots of growth in all of my students," said Douglas. "At first, what I saw was papers that look a lot like book reports and what I am asking them is being an attorney getting ready for trial. You can't just tell the information. You have to tell me is it credible, where did you get it from, was that source credible and do you agree with it."
Amber Salone, a sophomore at Captain Shreve, said the skills she is learning in this class will help her 5-10 years from now.
"I know how to analyze [problems] and break down [problems] and [be able to] learn it for myself, so that I can understand it personally, said Salone.
Next year the same students will be enrolled in the research portion of the coursework next year, and new students will be enrolled in the seminar portion.
The AP Capstone course is broken into two parts: an AP Seminar class and an AP Research class.
Before a student can take the research class, they have to complete the seminar class.
Right now, 10 students at Captain Shreve are completing the seminar portion, and are learning and practicing critical thinking skills, reading attacks, how to pose a problem and come up with a solution and how to analyze things from a different perspective.
"It's a skills-based course," said Morgan Hughes, a sophomore at Captain Shreve. "We actually learn skills that are really useful when we go on to our profession or go on to college. We learn how to research, how to present, how to organize our ideas and let others know how we think."
Hughes went on to say this is not your typical high school class.
"It's nothing like chemistry or math where you are learning one specific thing. You are learning skills that you can use in all your other classes. "We are learning how to write and present. You can use that English. You can use that history."
One goal of the class is to teach the students how to collaborate and work as a team.
"You have to work with a team. You have to learn how to delegate and just work with each other and communication that I haven't learned from a lot of other classes," said Joshua Morton, a sophomore at Captain Shreve. "This class has been a lot more about students kind of learning from each other and from the coursework."
Douglas has seen her students teach each other, too.
"I'll have a student that is strong with writing and have a student that is strong with the presentation to see them sit there and they help each other," she said.
Only 5 highs schools in Louisiana are offering the same coursework, and three of them are in Caddo Parish: Captain Shreve, C.E. Byrd and Caddo Magnet High School.