Because our school embraces the principles of rigor, relevance, and relationships, and because our school embraces project-based, inquiry-based, and work-based learning, the Senior Project is a course requirement for students enrolled in English IV Honors at Wayne Early/Middle College High School. The Senior Project serves as the final exam for the class, and it consists of the following four components:
1. An 8-12 page MLA research paper on a topic of the student’s choice
2. A physical product completed with an expert mentor from the community
3. A portfolio highlighting the Senior Project experience
4. An 8-10 minute presentation before a panel of judges selected from the community
Each of the above four components contributes equally to the final Senior Project grade. The model for the Senior Project as it exists now comes from colleagues of mine who have been trained by the official Senior Project Center. Here is a link to the official Senior Project home page, where you can read more about the philosophy and rationale behind the project: http://www.seniorproject.net/
In the next few years, Wayne Early/Middle College High School, in accordance with state and local initiatives, will be moving towards the North Carolina Graduation Project guidelines, which are outlined on DPI’s website, here: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/graduationproject/
The Senior Project as it exists now at Wayne Early/Middle College High School is very similar to the North Carolina Graduation Project, and only slight changes will be made. Teachers are invited to contact me for more information about our successes with this culminating project in its current stage of implementation. Though I have over nine years of experience working with this project, I also welcome suggestions and ideas from anyone who can help improve our current process.