Trinity Catholic High School to add college prep courses

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Posted December 4, 2020 | By Susan Smiley-Height, Ocala Gazette

An average of 500 Trinity Catholic High School (TCHS) students in grades nine through 12, from six counties, come from a wide range of economic, ethnic and religious backgrounds, and have varying academic abilities. The school has a goal of helping every one of those students go on to college, in part through targeted prep courses.

The College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Program helps students pursue college-level studies while they are in high school. Through AP courses, students learn to think critically, construct solid arguments and see various sides of an issue. TCHS already offers AP courses ranging from calculus to chemistry to music theory and world history. In the fall of 2021, the school will add the AP Capstone Diploma program, which includes AP Seminar and AP Research components.

“This innovative program gets a broader, more diverse student population ready for college and beyond,” said Lou Pereira, TCHS President/Principal. “The program adds to a robust academic college prep curriculum so our students can access more challenging coursework and sharpen their reading and writing skills.”

AP Seminar is typically taken in 10th or 11th grade. The students choose topics, seek sources and develop arguments. Assessments include research reports, written arguments, presentations and a written exam.

“Students will be able to choose their own topics. Our instructors will utilize training from the College Board, which can help students limit the scope, but the topic is student chosen,” Pereira said. “I anticipate that our junior class will have several candidates who will want to take AP seminar. We will offer the senior research course in 2022-23.”

In the AP Research course, students design, execute, present and defend a yearlong research-based investigation on a topic of their choosing. Their score is based on an academic paper, presentation and oral defense.

“Trinity Catholic recognizes the need for students to be able to utilize authentic primary and secondary sources in research. It is also crucial for students to be able to isolate pertinent information from those sources,” Pereira stated. “We feel that the year-long senior research class will add to the already rigorous college prep curriculum at TCHS and help students to be ready for the work they will produce in college.”

TCHS, founded in 2000, offers students dual enrollment with the College of Central Florida and Barry, Embry Riddle Aeronautical and Saint Leo universities. To learn more, visit

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