We are very proud and pleased to announce that we have completed the selection process for our first cohort of AP Capstone Diploma students. Fifteen of our most ambitious and high-achieving Grade 10 students have won a place in our AP Seminar course, the first step towards earning the AP Capstone Diploma. Students’ applications were supported by letters of recommendation from their teachers and samples of their strongest work, and applicants had to make a convincing case for inclusion in interviews that challenged them to discuss not just what they have achieved so far, but their plans and ambitions for the future. The application process was certainly not easy, and if you are wondering what motivated students to go through all this effort, then please do read on.AP Capstone is a young program, introduced only a few years ago by the College Board, the people who administer AP and SAT examinations. However, in just a few short years, the AP Capstone Diploma has quickly become highly-recognized and valued by schools and universities alike, and formally and fully endorsed by illustrious institutions such as Yale, Harvard and MIT. AP Capstone is a particularly young program in a Chinese context; we here at SUIS Wanyuan are only the 4th school in Shanghai, and the 14th school in all of China, to be approved to offer the AP Capstone Diploma. Like our students, we needed to go through a careful process in order to demonstrate to the College Board that we were the right type of school, with the right type of students, for a challenging and academically rigorous program such as this one.As a result, our students will now, with hard work and dedication, be able to obtain an additional diploma that clearly demonstrates to universities and the world how talented and well-rounded they are. Obtaining the AP Capstone Diploma is not easy, but the potential rewards are more than worth the effort. Our students who have been admitted to the program will acquire a wide range of valuable soft and hard skills that will prepare them for great success in school, university and beyond.As the famed educator, leader and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Peter Drucker put it, “the most important skill is the skill of learning new skills”. Our graduates will enter a world that is fast-changing, evolving and dynamic. AP Capstone prepares students for this world by focusing on developing students’ capacity as thoughtful, independent, resilient, self-motivated, self-directed and ambitious researchers. Students will work together and individually on projects and topics of their own choosing, conducting genuinely independent research and producing college-level research papers, along with oral defenses of their theses in front of a panel of experts. They will be supported in this not only by their AP Seminar teacher, the talented and endlessly committed Ms. Sarah Wun, but by our entire faculty, ensuring that they got expert advice no matter what area they choose to conduct research in.The result will be that, by the time these students leave SUIS Wanyuan’s US High School, they will have truly mastered the key academic skills required to do well on any university course, and that these universal skills will give them the foundation they need to master whatever specific course they choose to study. The AP Capstone Diploma indicates that a student can work on complex projects, analyze and critically evaluate information, research, compile and synthesize information to support unique arguments and perspectives, take on new challenges, and do all of this both independently and as part of a team. Securing the AP Capstone Diploma will send a signal to everyone, from university admissions officers to professors to future employers, that these students have learned the right way, the 21st century way.We here at SUIS Wanyuan’s US High School are beyond excited to be one of the very first schools in China to be starting on the AP Capstone Diploma journey, and we know our AP Capstone students are tremendously excited too, even though they know that they will need to invest great amounts of thought and energy into this program. Our teachers will work with an equal amount of effort and dedication in order to ensure that these students obtain the success they deserve, and we look forward to keeping our school community updated on these students’ progress and the fantastic research they will be conducting, as well as on the future expansion and growth of our AP Capstone Diploma Program.