Senior Capstone Experience
Ideas from the community for Senior Projects can be emailed directly to Chasidy Kannianen, Senior Project Coordinator, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
A BRIEF OVERVIEW
The Senior Capstone Experience/Senior Project is a student-selected exploration of a topic which results in a research paper, a project or a product, and a presentation. The Senior Capstone Experience moves students away from departmentalized learning toward a more interdisciplinary approach. This approach is one which allows students to use a variety of skills in the areas of writing, speaking, research, and documentation. Upon completion of the Senior Capstone Experience, students have learned more about their topics, their community, and, most importantly, about themselves.
As part of their English 12 class, students compose written proposals of their projects. Students present their project proposals to a Senior Project Proposal Approval Committee, made up of faculty members. The approval committee members ask questions of the students to clarify the proposal. During the proposal approval process students identify the academic and personal stretch the project will require.
Following the time line established for their projects, students write research papers with the guidance of their English teachers. Along with secondary sources, students are required to use primary sources. Students conduct interviews, read research, prepare reports, and complete self-evaluations as part of the writing process. Students follow the documentation rules of Modern Language Association (MLA).
The projects/products direct the students toward individualized learning. The projects/products require students to apply the knowledge gained during the research phase. The projects/products must be completed on the students’ own time, must be challenging, and must require from fifteen to forty hours or more of work. Mentors work with students during this phase of the Senior Capstone Experience.
At the close of the Senior Capstone Experience, students assemble their electronic portfolios. The portfolios consist of the approved proposal, research paper, project log, journal entries, a letter to the judges, as well as artifacts displaying visual verification of the project. Judges read the portfolios before presentations begin to formulate questions which they will ask students during the presentation.
In the final step of the process, students design ten minute presentations of their complete Senior Project experience. Students are required to speak to a panel of judges and then are required to answer questions from those judges. Community members serve as panel judges.