SENIOR PROJECT As you enter your senior year, the faculty and staff at Reardan High School would first like to congratulate you for your accomplishments thus far. We know that each of you has the potential to go far in this world with hard work and dedication. As you begin to prepare for your future and as part of your graduation requirements, you will be expected to complete a senior project. We would like to try to alleviate any fears you might have about this project. Hopefully, the attached materials will confirm that while the project is a valuable and rewarding activity, it is by no means a difficult one. For the past several years, every senior has completed and passed their senior project! You will too! Most of them even told us they found the experience rewarding. HOW WILL THE SENIOR PROJECT HELP YOU? Organizational Tool: Seniors often have to scramble to find important documents and records required for college, work, and scholarship applications. The senior project will help students to create and organize these materials. Self Awareness Tool: The project will include opportunities for a job shadow, community service and assessments which help students to identify their strengths, abilities, interests, and skills. These assessments, combined with examples of their best work in a variety of subject areas, plus what they observe outside of school through their job shadow and community service experiences will help the students explore and choose educational and career paths that match their strengths, talents, and interests. Having a good educational plan is important these days when the cost of all post high school education is rapidly escalating. Marketing Tool: Colleges, scholarship reviewers, and employers require applicants to show what they know and can do. The senior project will provide the student with a professional means to showcase their individual talents, abilities, and accomplishments. Staff members have visited a variety of schools in the process of developing our senior project and, in every instance; those schools have said that the senior project is an incredibly valuable learning experience for the students. We are optimistic that it will be the same for Reardan students. Finally, the senior project is a work in progress; each year we ask the graduating seniors for recommendations to improve the project, if you have suggestions for improving it, please let us know. Mr. Baumgartner Mr. Ballance Mr. Roberts Ms. Adams Updated: 9/18/2009 All Reardan High School seniors must successfully complete a culminating project as a requirement of graduation. Students who fail to complete the project or do not score at least 70% will have until August 1st of their senior year to complete and present their project, enabling them to receive their high school diploma. The goal of the project is to provide graduating seniors with the opportunity to reflect on educational experiences and to demonstrate the connection between their learning competencies and their post high school plans. Transfer student requirements may differ in length and time from the following information but will include all of the components as required by all Reardan High School Graduates. The Reardan High School Culminating Project consists of these components: 1. A Reflective Research Paper - This paper is assigned and completed in Senior English classes and will be a culmination of research and experiences throughout high school as well as information regarding your chosen career. The goal of this paper is to better understand all aspects of the career that you envision. Through this paper, you will also have a chance to reflect on high school experiences and critically think about the career choice researched. You will also have the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate any further career choices to ensure that they fit your values and goals as you progress in life. Finally, you will have the opportunity to write and present a fifth year plan outlining what you will be doing the year after leaving Reardan (this will also include expenses and your plans for payment).. 2. Job Shadow - While only one experience is required, we suggest that you complete at least two. The job shadows are meant to give you an idea of what your chosen career would entail each day. Please choose the job shadows carefully and critically think about the experience you have had throughout the day. Then write a follow-up assessment of the experience to be included in your senior paper and presentation. You should have also completed a job shadow in your junior year. 3. Community Service You are required to complete 40 hours of service (we suggest completing 10 hours each year) by the end of your senior year. This requirement not only provides the community with much needed service, but it also provides you the opportunity to give back to the community, which has supported you throughout your time in Reardan. We suggest that you complete several hours in your career of interest to gain extra experience with and knowledge about your career choice. 4. Portfolio - This has been stored throughout your time here at Reardan. You will be able to use the information compiled throughout this year and into your future. The information you have been gathering should include a resume, cover letter, sample application, “best works” and much more. Portfolio work will be completed throughout the year to ensure that all components have been included. 5. Presentation - This will be completed during the month of May and will include a speech and an illustration (either poster board or PowerPoint) to accompany the information. The purpose of this presentation is to give you the experience of writing a speech and presenting to a group of evaluators. This is a chance to “sell yourself” and summarize information gathered through your research project. You will also have the opportunity to reflect, once again, on many experiences. This is a professional presentation to help prepare you for other presentation and speaking experiences throughout your life. The expectations are to dress and act professionally as you present information regarding your career and plans after high school. WAC 180-51-061 (Washington Law Supporting Required Senior Project) “Footnote 8: Each Student shall complete a culminating project for graduation. The project consists of the student demonstrating both their learning competencies and preparations related to learning goals three and four. Each district shall define the process to implement this graduation requirement, including assessment criteria, in written district policy.” Following is a more in depth description of each component: Reflective Research Paper: Senior English teachers will require a research paper focusing on the student’s choice of a career. The paper will be five to ten pages in length and include: Autobiographical description of how what you did for this project influenced your future plans. Research information on their chosen career path. Why this career was chosen (use of interest inventories, etc.). Reflection on their job shadow. Reflection on their community service. Reflection on the overall career exploration experience. Detailed plan for the student’s plans after high school (especially the first year out of high school). Job Shadow Your job shadow will consist of your spending an entire day observing one or more people while they work at the job you have selected. Your goal will be to learn as much as possible about the job by observing, asking questions, and taking good notes. The job shadow will be an important part of your research paper. Community Service Your community service will consist of a minimum of ten hours of volunteer (non-paid & non-punitive) work. It would be helpful if you could arrange community service that is related to your career choice. Numerous past graduates have told us that they regret not having done at least part of their community service in their career field. Your community service must be documented to count. Community service forms are available in the career center or the office. Community Service completed during summer vacation is acceptable. Portfolio Your portfolio will consist of those items collected through high school and those used to complete your senior project. The contents of the portfolio will be invaluable in the completion of your research paper. It will also contain items that will help you apply for scholarships, admittance to college/training programs, or to get a job. In addition, the portfolio will contain examples of your best school work and evidence of your practical competencies. Examples: Resume letters of reference, transcripts, job applications, 1040 and W-4 tax forms. Presentation The presentation is the culmination of your year’s work relating to the senior project. You will make a 10 to 15 minute presentation to staff members. Following the presentation, you will be asked a series of questions regarding your career and future choices. This presentation will explain your senior project to the panel. This year we are encouraging seniors to use a PowerPoint or display boards to enhance their project. Think Ahead—Take some digital pictures of your job shadow and community service. IMPORTANT REMINDERS The senior project is a graduation requirement and like any other requirement you will not receive a diploma or participate in graduation ceremonies until the project is satisfactorily completed. Appeals Process—If you have a disagreement concerning the evaluation of any part of the senior project you may appeal to Mr. Roberts. SENIOR PROJECT RESEARCH PAPER All assignments must be typed and be grammatically and structurally correct. The acceptable fonts are Geneva, Helvetica, or New York. The size of the print should be 12 pt. Papers are due by the Friday before Spring break. Sixty percent is the minimum passing grade. The paper must be five to ten pages long. Students may use either APA or MLA research style citation format. When an assignment is not completed correctly, the assignment will be returned to the student to revise and make corrections and the overall senior project grade will be lowered by 5%. THEREFORE, it is imperative that a student allows time for proofreading and revision before the deadline. THE PAPER MUST INCLUDE BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING: This paper is an autobiographical description of all the activities involved in completing your senior project and how these activities influenced your future plans. How/why you chose this career. Interest and Skills inventories Job experiences Family experiences Interests/hobbies Career research information. Job opportunities Salary/wages Schooling/training required Where schooling/training is available Job benefits/risks Your plan for next year and how it will start you toward your career goals. Job shadow experience. Name of supervisor Description of the supervisor’s job Business name Location What you did/saw/learned How the experience affected your feelings about this job. Community Service. What you did. Where. Why you chose this service. Who did it benefit. How might you relate the service to your career. Is community service a valuable experience for students? Why or why not?