The Infamous Senior Project

Staff Writer: Mayson Cambron

There is an overwhelming amount of anticipation that comes with the start of senior year… graduation, college, moving out, dorm decorating. However, there is one dreaded obstacle that stands between a senior and graduation: Senior Project.

Designed to capture the last 13 years of knowledge and skills, students are tasked with one final project that is intended to help prepare them for their future by researching various career options. Different from years past, students did not need a Project Facilitator or a set number of hours put into their project. They simply had to choose one of three options or routes to take for their project, and link it to the career field they want to go into. Students could choose Leadership, Solving a Real-World Problem, or the Post-Secondary option.

Yazmine Natt

Yazmine Natt with her final portfolio. Photo Courtesy: Mayson Cambron

The Leadership route entails hosting an event or fundraiser that allows the student to gain leadership experience. All events would require approval by the Cherokee County Office, and require photo/ video evidence that the event took place, plus a reflection on the outcome of the event. This option is designed for students to be able to see if they have the skills and passion it takes to plan, organize, and host an event successfully.

The Solving a Real World Problem route requires an experiment or well thought out plan as to how this student believes a “real world problem” can be solved. This option requires collecting data to support the proposed idea as well as proof of time spent in developing a plan to solve an issue.

Dance Camp

Hands-on experience at a dance camp over the summer for one of the Senior Project events. Photo Courtesy: Bella Mendez

The final option is the Post-Secondary option. This route has students choose a career they are interested in and research it. From rate of pay, education required, even seeing how their personality would best fit into the career field, this option allows students to create a plan for the next 10 years of life and set goals for themselves to aim for.

Regardless of which option students choose, they must also complete 5 “events” that will work into their final portfolio. Events would look different depending on which option, but can be anything from the Aptitude personality test, hands-on experience, ACT/ SAT scores, to a college visit.

UNG

Megan Dumond holding a UNG sticker at the College Fair for one of her events. Photo Courtesy: Megan Dumond

For each event, students must write a reflection essay about why they chose that specific event and how it helps them further their future plans. Evidence must also be provided in the form of pictures, scores, videos… anything that proves that the event wasn’t faked.

After all five events are completed; students must work to perfect their research papers and speeches for their e-portfolio, Stand & Deliver, and Senior Boards. Stand & Deliver is for each student to present their Senior Project to their lit class as a “practice round” for Boards, where they will sit before 2 or 3 judges for their final presentation.

Chloe VanSlooten

Chloe VanSlooten with her final portfolio. Photo Courtesy: Mayson Cambron

Traditionally, students have had the entirety of senior year to complete their projects; however starting this year, Senior Project was confined to first semester only. Limiting the time frame to first semester alone was intended to reduce the end-of-year stress that often comes with graduation, college planning, finals, AP exams and Senior Project. Not to mention the widespread case of Senioritis that will surely infect the whole senior class. When asked about the project, all senior Katie Hartman had to say was, “I’m glad it’s over with.”

As there have been for many years, there are whispers of Senior Project going away entirely next year. Seniors Megan Dumond and Yazmine Natt both admitted that it was beneficial to really look into their “dream jobs.” Dumond stated, “I didn’t like doing the whole project but it helped me realize I don’t want to be a teacher anymore,” while Natt mentioned, “it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be… it made me look deeper into nursing and I found things that I didn’t know before.” Both students agreed that though tedious, the project as a whole did aid them in solidifying their aspirations.

UGA

Campus tour of UGA as an event. Photo Courtesy: Katie Hartman

Some students, however, feel as though the project is too much stress. Senior Hannah Menard commented that “[Juniors] should have to suffer like we did but also it sucked so bad and should never be done again” (sic).

Only time will tell if Senior Project is to stay around for another year or another five. Whether liked of not, it has helped challenge seniors to think critically about their future plans and goals for after high-school.

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