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  1. #11
    essnce629's Avatar
    essnce629 is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I would do 3 years of language. We're in CA and my son's private high school makes it mandatory for all students to do 3 years of language to be competitive, especially for any UC schools. DS1 hated Spanish but had to power through for all 3 years even though he has 3 years of Japanese outside of school (his HS wouldn't count it).

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  2. #12
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by essnce629 View Post
    I would do 3 years of language. We're in CA and my son's private high school makes it mandatory for all students to do 3 years of language to be competitive, especially for any UC schools. DS1 hated Spanish but had to power through for all 3 years even though he has 3 years of Japanese outside of school (his HS wouldn't count it).

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    I agree with this comment as well. 3 years of language is very important around here.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bisous View Post
    Disclaimer. I'm not even sure we're discussing the same class...I remember listening to an AP teacher talk about why she didn't really like the research project AP class, which I'm assuming (perhaps falsely) that it is the same as this AP Capstone. Anyway, the class she taught she described as a bit of a missed opportunity. In a college setting, under the advisement of a professor a student would be able to be led to produce a piece of good research. She described that she was not able to provide any feedback on the research project and found it frustrating to see good students spin their wheels on things that had fundamental flaws and she couldn't do anything about it. She felt like it would be a much better class and project if that kind of advisement could be included.
    I am pretty sure it is the same class and the no involvement part rings true based on the companion AP Seminar class he took his sophomore year. (that counted as an English credit) Very good point.
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  4. #14
    Percycat is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    I'm only responding on the foreign language aspect.... my daughter has dyslexia too. We have made the decision to 'pull the dyslexia card' -- she will not be taking any language in high school. She tried to take Latin under recommendation of several in our local dyslexia community and was unsuccessful. She was exposed to some Spanish instruction in elementary school. She has also unsuccessfully tried to learn to read music on several occasions with very talented teachers. She and I are convinced that the amount of effort necessary for her to learn vocabulary, grammar and comprehension of a foreign language is far too demanding for what she might gain. We have accepted the fact that there are some schools and some degree programs that will not want my daughter as a student --- fine, those schools will not be a good fit for her. She has taken a lot of computer programming courses --- which I understand some schools consider as an alternative to foreign language. We will request a waiver for any language requirement -- if it is not given, we will look elsewhere. My DD has amazing strengths -- we will choose learning environments that help her build upon these skills and talents.

    1 in 5 students are dyslexic -- there is a wide range in how the learning difference affects different students. Your son apparently has been successful despite his challenges. Congratulations to him for his hard work. If he has particular schools he is set on attending, I would reach out to the disability services departments and see if a 3rd year of language would make a difference. Then, with that information -- let him decide if he wants to do the work to take the next class.

  5. #15
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    Thank you for your thoughtful replies. Some answers:
    I think the bottom line is that the Research class and the Capstone is not necessary. He has done research papers in other classes and the point about teachers not being able to help students in that class all points to not taking that class.

    So then the question is--take Spanish or have a free period. Right now his favorite school is Santa Clara University (not UC Santa Cruz, my bad). They require 2 years of language, recommend 3 years, and prefer 4. So I would really like him to take the language. BUT--he has 4 years of history and 4 years of science and 4 of math. Some schools (Santa Clara included) only require 3 years in those areas. So he is over in that and under in language. The issue is that Spanish 3 is hard and even harder with dyslexia. meh, maybe he just plays the dyslexia card and rests on the other classes and his activities.

    My take on college is why shut yourself out of something because of a choice you made in HS. And, not all colleges are created equal. He really would be so much better at a 5-10K student school but I am not paying to send him to just any college when he can go to the local U for really cheap. (but its huge and I want him to leave the state) He is involved in Student Council and is a school ambassador. He will also have activities outside of school as a Peer Minister.

    I volunteer as an alumni interviewer for kids in my area who can't get to the East Coast to interview at my alma mater--which is a top 10 SLAC. Those kids are all taking 4 AP classes or getting an IB diploma and doing volunteer work, activities, etc. These are awesome, interesting, well balanced kids. So DS's schedule does not look packed at all to me. But neither one of my kids is on the path for a top 10 SLAC. They want something bigger with an engineering degree or a really good theater tech/design department. I worked in admissions while I was in college. Things have totally changed. I will be working with DS to get all of the Common App stuff loaded this summer and the statement written. He will not be able to handle the stress of applying to colleges and school (nor will I). I am going to use a college consultant for him. It will be worth the gray hairs saved and I live in a place where college consulting means you pay a flat fee for 4 sessions and some good guidance. It is not an exorbitant price and I don't interact with tiger parents thank goodness!

    Thanks again for your insights. I am sure I will be coming back for more!
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    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Percycat View Post
    I'm only responding on the foreign language aspect.... my daughter has dyslexia too. We have made the decision to 'pull the dyslexia card' -- she will not be taking any language in high school. She tried to take Latin under recommendation of several in our local dyslexia community and was unsuccessful. She was exposed to some Spanish instruction in elementary school. She has also unsuccessfully tried to learn to read music on several occasions with very talented teachers. She and I are convinced that the amount of effort necessary for her to learn vocabulary, grammar and comprehension of a foreign language is far too demanding for what she might gain. We have accepted the fact that there are some schools and some degree programs that will not want my daughter as a student --- fine, those schools will not be a good fit for her. She has taken a lot of computer programming courses --- which I understand some schools consider as an alternative to foreign language. We will request a waiver for any language requirement -- if it is not given, we will look elsewhere. My DD has amazing strengths -- we will choose learning environments that help her build upon these skills and talents.

    1 in 5 students are dyslexic -- there is a wide range in how the learning difference affects different students. Your son apparently has been successful despite his challenges. Congratulations to him for his hard work. If he has particular schools he is set on attending, I would reach out to the disability services departments and see if a 3rd year of language would make a difference. Then, with that information -- let him decide if he wants to do the work to take the next class.
    Percycat--great idea on contacting the disability services department! We will have him re-do neuropsych testing so he continues to qualify for extra time on tests (that's his only accommodation right now). But I hadn't thought about contacting that department before we even apply. Thanks!
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    Simon--the King Charles cutie
    RIP Andy, the furry first child, 1996-2012

    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

  7. #17
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by StantonHyde View Post


    My take on college is why shut yourself out of something because of a choice you made in HS. And, not all colleges are created equal. He really would be so much better at a 5-10K student school but I am not paying to send him to just any college when he can go to the local U for really cheap. (but its huge and I want him to leave the state) He is involved in Student Council and is a school ambassador. He will also have activities outside of school as a Peer Minister.
    I'm sure my comments made it sound like I'd just say close of the potential of some schools. But, I'm not. I'm saying that there is not enough rhyme or reason to the college selection process and trying to figure it out isn't how we chose to approach things. 3 years of language is great but only if he can be successful. What if he takes it and tanks his GPA in the process?

    Ultimately though this should be mostly driven by him. What if he wants to stay in state and go to a different school than you prefer? Mine made that decision. The school he chose is a big head scratcher to me. He could have gone to a much more prestigious school and it ticked all of his boxes- overall it would have been a perfect fit (size, location, academic programs...). He chose something very different than I would have picked for him. After a bumpy first 2 weeks he went on to make a great group of friends and finished the semester with a 3.8- even took the weed out engineering calc class. It's his journey. I don't mean to sound all smug and all knowing but I wanted to share that I had to let go and let him make decisions for himself. It's easy enough to transfer if you choose poorly too. I am very happy with the tuition savings from his choice so that's a good perk.

  8. #18
    erosenst is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Only scanned prior posts so forgive me if I'm duplicating.

    The classes that OP is referring to are relatively new, and not offered at a ton of schools. It's a two year commitment for most - AP Seminar one year, and AP Research the second. Each year counts as one English class. As part of the second, they create a research study, conduct the research, write a 30 page (pretty sure) research paper, and do a 10 minute (I think) presentation. If they pass both, and get at least a 3 on a minimum number of other AP classes, they receive a Capstone Diploma. The Capstone Diploma was created partially to be like getting an IB diploma, but for those more interested in STEM classes than liberal arts.

    DD is doing Research this is year. It is REALLY self directed, although the other teacher apparently directs a little more.

    I'd check how many other AP classes are needed for the Capstone Diploma - that may make the answer easy as he may not have enough. I would also check the specific schools where he is thinking of applying - many have requirements on years of language, but many do not. I do think 'three years' in a pretty standard cutoff/requirement though.

    Feel free to DM if I can answer any other questions.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by erosenst View Post
    Only scanned prior posts so forgive me if I'm duplicating.

    The classes that OP is referring to are relatively new, and not offered at a ton of schools. It's a two year commitment for most - AP Seminar one year, and AP Research the second. Each year counts as one English class. As part of the second, they create a research study, conduct the research, write a 30 page (pretty sure) research paper, and do a 10 minute (I think) presentation. If they pass both, and get at least a 3 on a minimum number of other AP classes, they receive a Capstone Diploma. The Capstone Diploma was created partially to be like getting an IB diploma, but for those more interested in STEM classes than liberal arts.

    DD is doing Research this is year. It is REALLY self directed, although the other teacher apparently directs a little more.

    I'd check how many other AP classes are needed for the Capstone Diploma - that may make the answer easy as he may not have enough. I would also check the specific schools where he is thinking of applying - many have requirements on years of language, but many do not. I do think 'three years' in a pretty standard cutoff/requirement though.

    Feel free to DM if I can answer any other questions.
    Thanks for your responseŚconfirms my thoughts on the capstone. He has enough AP credit, he is only miss the research class
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    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

  10. #20
    KrisM is online now Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    I'm sure my comments made it sound like I'd just say close of the potential of some schools. But, I'm not. I'm saying that there is not enough rhyme or reason to the college selection process and trying to figure it out isn't how we chose to approach things. 3 years of language is great but only if he can be successful. What if he takes it and tanks his GPA in the process?

    Ultimately though this should be mostly driven by him. What if he wants to stay in state and go to a different school than you prefer? Mine made that decision. The school he chose is a big head scratcher to me. He could have gone to a much more prestigious school and it ticked all of his boxes- overall it would have been a perfect fit (size, location, academic programs...). He chose something very different than I would have picked for him. After a bumpy first 2 weeks he went on to make a great group of friends and finished the semester with a 3.8- even took the weed out engineering calc class. It's his journey. I don't mean to sound all smug and all knowing but I wanted to share that I had to let go and let him make decisions for himself. It's easy enough to transfer if you choose poorly too. I am very happy with the tuition savings from his choice so that's a good perk.
    I agree with this, even though I don't have any in college yet. There are just so, so many colleges out there. There will be one of the right size, location, etc that is completely fine with 2 years of Spanish. DS1 and I are talking a bit about colleges and he has no ideas at all of what he's looking for at this point. So even though yours is saying 5-10k student size and west coast, that could really change in a few months even.
    Kris

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