Senior Project Guidelines
In the context of the philosophy of St. John's Jesuit High School, the Senior Project will again be conducted this coming May. When you first came to St. John's Jesuit, you joined other young men in the search for your own growth and development in an emerging Christian community. Together with your parents, we try to help you realize that ultimately it is you who must develop yourself into a responsible person in the real world.
Over the past four years we have set high goals for your personal development. This personal growth must be guided by ongoing reflection, reflection not only on your classroom work, but reflection on your role in the civic community at large and your responsibility to the service of that community. And so, an SJJ student must be challenged to experience the wider community, to come to grips with society at large, and to begin a deeper and more reflective process of understanding his role in this society.
To help your personal growth and ongoing reflective process, the Senior Project has been instituted. While some may argue that removing you from a strictly academic environment during the last two weeks of the school year will hinder your performance in college, we believe the contrary: success in college is not only determined by how much you have learned in high school, but also how well you have mastered a method of how to learn. The senior project is presented to you as a means of helping you learn how to handle freedom and responsibility. Critical to your growth and development is reflection of an ongoing experience with the adult world. This may include looking at potential future occupations or careers, developing goals to meet these expectations, and judging whether these goals were met or determining why they weren't. In summary, the Senior Project is an educational experience that is designed and planned to help you grow into a responsible adult.
Specifically, you are to design and execute an experience in one or both of the following areas:
VOCATION/CAREER EXPLORATION OR VOLUNTEER/SOCIAL SERVICE
The actual implementation of the project will take place in early May. Evaluation of your projects will take place during your project, and immediately after your project, before graduation.
In addition, you are to construct a written rationale for your project. Your community sponsor, parents, project moderator, and finally a committee of faculty members must approve these.
The completion of this project is pass or fail and is a graduation requirement.
I. GUIDELINES AND MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:
A. Final proposal forms must be submitted, properly completed (TYPED) and signed by all concerned parties by an annually designated date in March to have your project considered.
B. The Approval Committee must approve the project that you propose during a hearing in March or April.
C. During your project you will create two photo journals, both photo journals must be presented from an ipad or laptop. IPhones and other smart phones cannot be used as a substitute. If you are with police or in a hospital setting you may not be able to take photos. You must ask this question to your community sponsor before you have your approval hearing. If you are unable to take photos, you must personally meet with the Senior Project Director to officially be given the ok to do the alternative assignment. In the place of a photo journal, you will be responsible for typing a 1 page journal each day on what your day was like. That will be emailed to the senior project Director each night. The requirements are outlined below
- Your photo journal in Keynote must be a minimum of 15 slides and a maximum of 20 slides.
- Your photo journal in Keynote must include at least one image on each slide. Each image should also have a caption explaining the image.
- Your images should be photos of you and your sponsor as well as anything that you worked on during your project. Images of the environment that you were in are also required.
- You are required to show your photo journal in Keynote at your final hearing.
D. A weekly meeting with a faculty member will occur at your project placement. Should your schedule deviate from that written on your proposal form, you are to email the project moderator of this change immediately. Visits by faculty members will be comprised of the following:
- Meeting with you and your community sponsor.
- Discussing briefly with student successful completion of goals and objectives (or lack thereof and why).
- Discussing any problems or concerns the student may have while on project.
E. A five-page, typed evaluation (double-spaced, min. of 1250 words) will be submitted at the time of the final hearing. This evaluation or synthesis is not merely a summation of your experience; such papers will not be accepted. What is expected is the following:
- A thesis statement for the paper focusing on the project as a learning experience. Was it valuable, worthwhile, negative, etc.?
- An organization that includes three distinct parts: the preparation phase, the project itself, and post project/the future.
- Proper writing techniques representative of a senior in high school are mandated. The paper should exhibit clear organization, well-developed paragraphs, and appropriate tone. Proper grammar and correct spelling are expected. Those papers with poor organization will be rewritten. Also, grammatical, spelling, or typographical errors in excess of ten will automatically render the paper a failure, and it must be rewritten. PROOFREAD!
H. A cooperating agency evaluation of your performance will be submitted to the school. The faculty visitors and project moderators will handle this.
I. A handwritten thank-you letter on stationery or an appropriate Thank You card to each community sponsor will be turned in the day of the final hearing. Your Thank You cards should be unsealed, but other than that they should be mail ready. This means proper address, return address and stamp.
J. In addition to the formal requirements, any project out of the Toledo area requires that the student inform the Senior Project moderators of his intentions, by email, no later than the date listed on the Senior Project Calendar. The senior must also meet a few extra requirements:
- Consent from the Academic Assistant Principal and the Associate Principal. Consent will be given to those students who are in good academic standing and have an acceptable disciplinary (attendance) record. Project moderators will obtain this consent.
- Fill out the Out-of-Town Rationale Form (located on the SJJ web site) and turn it in at the same time you turn in your proposal form. The Out-of-Town Rationale has the same deadline as the Senior Project Proposal Form.
- The Out-of-Town Rationale includes information relevant to your travel plans-where you will stay, how much money will you take, etc. Your parent must sign this form.
- Arrangements must be made for making a weekly phone call to the Senior Project Moderators.
K. The Senior must be at a different location and have a different sponsor for each of the two weeks of their project. The senior is permitted to do a project in the same field for each week, but as stated before it must be at two different locations (addresses) and with two different sponsors. No exceptions.
NOTE: the above requirements must be completed by the Proposal Form due date.
II. SENIOR PROJECT CALENDAR
A. Mid JANUARY - introduction of the Senior Project to seniors by Senior Project Moderators.
B. Mid JANUARY - introduction of the Senior Project to parents by Senior Project Moderators.
C. JANUARY through MARCH - Senior Project Planning Period
- Seniors will develop their own project during this time. Plans should include the following: goals, feasibility, i.e. some preliminary contact with a cooperating agency to see if it is possible to do the project with them; and time spent on project (starting and ending), transportation to and from project, any additional expenses, etc.
- Seniors will complete an intent form identifying the rationale for the proposed project and the contact with the community sponsor. Students who fail to submit satisfactory proposal forms by the due date will be assessed a $25 late fee. Every additional week late will incur an additional $25 fee per week.
D. March through April - Approval Period
1. A committee composed of faculty members must approve each project.
- All faculty members will assist according to direction by the Senior Project moderators.
- Committees will be formed and hearings will be held during a senior's free period by appointment.
Approval appointments will be handled through the project moderators. Seniors must be prepared and ready for the interview. It is mandatory that seniors have all late forms in and approved by 8:00 a.m. on the day prior to the hearing. Any senior missing his scheduled hearing or failing to be prepared for it will be fined $15 per missed hearing or failure.
2. Majority vote carries any decision of an approval committee.
3. Reasons for non-approval:
- General content of the proposal is unacceptable; that is, in the mind of the committee, it does not meet the overall purpose of an educational experience that fosters growth and critical reflection.
- General content of proposal is acceptable, but plans for execution need improvement (e.g. a rationale that is too weak, signature of sponsor, parents or project moderator missing, proposal not typed or sloppy, etc.).
E. First two weeks of May - Senior Project
F. Third week of May – Final Hearing
1. Seniors must attend a fifteen-minute oral presentation, in dress code, in front of a committee composed of one faculty member.
- 5-7 minute presentation by senior
- 5-8 minute question period by faculty members
2. A final written report will be five full pages (minimum of 1250 words) typed and doubled-spaced. This will be handed in at the time of the final hearing.
3. Students must present their photo journals.
4. Finally, each senior must turn in a hand-written thank you letter(s) on stationery or in an appropriate Thank You card to each of his community sponsors. The letter(s), which will be inspected, will be turned in at the oral interview. The senior will also submit an unsealed, stamped envelope addressed to each community sponsor.
5. Majority vote for Pass or Fail will be based on both the oral report and the three written assignments. If the senior should fail any or all of these aspects, appropriate make-up work will be assigned by the project moderator to insure graduation.
III. SOME FURTHER REQUIREMENTS, OBSERVATIONS, AND SPECIFIC PROHIBITIONS:
A. Each project will last a minimum of 6 hours per day. (Equivalent to time spent in school.)
B. There will be NO PAY, WAGES, OR SALARIES for services performed during the project.
C. There will be no project approved that involves students' own parents or immediate relatives or firms run by the same. No project will be approved if a parent or relative works for the same company at the same site being considered. No project will be approved that involves a sponsor that is currently employed by St. John's Jesuit, either as a faculty member, staff member or coach.
D. As a general rule, seniors' projects should be at places different from other seniors' projects. Several seniors at one location affect the project's goal to give an experience away from school-related work and relationships. The Senior Project Moderators will approve special group projects only if their goals warrant such an exception. It is an understanding for all projects, whether they are group or single, that the senior is personally responsible to fulfill his own requirements.
E. The development of a project and the contacts with a community resource or agency are to be done by the individual senior. He will have to secure a commitment from his community sponsor at the location of his project. Each project needs to have a community sponsor. A letter of introduction from the Principal can be downloaded from the SJJ Web site to facilitate contacting a sponsor.
F. Projects out of the Toledo area will be considered. Such projects will ordinarily need much more time for preparation. Also, seniors going out of town will need to meet all the demands mentioned previously.
G. Any senior who is considering doing a project that is in any way connected to the various hospitals in the Toledo area - Toledo, Bay Park, Flower, St. Vincent's, St. Luke's, UTMC or St. Charles may need to seek approval from the Director of Volunteers of that hospital. To work at St. Vincent's the senior must have approval from the Director of Volunteers. The Senior Project Director has volunteering applications from St. V's. UTMC also requires a form.
H. Students working with a physician are required to submit an additional schedule (filled out by the doctor's office manager) detailing hospitals, hospital hours, office hours, days off, and any other potential scheduling difficulties.
I. Students should consider carefully the need for confidentiality of certain projects. If any information with which the senior comes in contact is of a confidential nature, that information cannot be shared with friends or family or any other entity. Confidential MEANS confidential-keep it to yourself.
J. Because of problems with the "substance" of similar projects in the past, the following areas are prohibited:
- Any work project that approximates an apprenticeship in any of the traditional trade areas; e.g., carpenter, plumber, house builder, etc.
- Any project which is, clear on its face, an early attempt at summer, part-time, or full-time employment.
- Any project which is highly recreational in nature.
- Any project that doesn't require additional education to be qualified.
- Any project that is located at St. John's Jesuit.
IV. ROLES OF PROJECT MODERATOR, FACULTY VISITORS, COMMUNITY SPONSORS, AND COMMITTEE OF EVALUATION OF ORAL PRESENTATIONS.
A. Role of the project moderator will be to:
1. Handle all administrative responsibilities involving the senior project.
2. Review and approve the senior's proposal before submission to the Approval Committee.
3. Act as a liaison with a community sponsor before and/or during the project should the need develop.
B. Role of the faculty visitor will be to:
1. Act as a liaison between the school and the community sponsor.
2. Insure that the student is experiencing no problems on the project.
3. Check to make sure the student is successfully completing all duties assigned by the sponsor.
C. Role of the community resource will be to:
1. Help the senior select and organize a suitable project.
2. Advise and guide the senior as he follows through on his project.
3. Complete an evaluation that a faculty member will give him/her on the faculty member's final visitation.
D. Role of the committee for evaluation will be to:
1. Listen to the senior's oral presentation.
2. Ask questions based on both oral and written presentations.
3. Assess the quality of the work completed on the project.
4. Vote Pass or Fail at the conclusion of the senior's oral presentation.
NOTE: Questions or concerns related to senior project should be directed to the Senior Project Diretor.