The Senior Project Program is a yearlong undertaking that provides highly motivated students with the opportunity to work independently to investigate a specific area of interest not offered in the Upper School curriculum or to explore a topic that represents an in-depth extension of courses already completed.
Students who are accepted into the program agree to submit a formal paper of 40-50 pages and to speak about their work in a 20-minute public presentation. The written component of the project can take the form of an analytical paper but may also include creative writing that illuminates what has been learned. Videos, films, artwork, and music can be used to enrich the public presentation. The Senior Project is graded on a Pass-Fail basis.
A Senior Project must be based upon a written proposal and be sponsored by a faculty member. A student wishing to undertake a project should do the following:
- Discuss the project with a faculty member and request that he/she serve as project mentor.
- Prepare, in consultation with the mentor, a written proposal that conforms to the guidelines set out below
- Submit copies of the written proposal for approval to the members of the Senior Project Committee, the School Head, the Upper School Director, and the Director of Studies, by May 15.
The Senior Project Committee may 1) approve the proposal, 2) reject the proposal, or 3) ask for revisions and refinements.
Responsibilities of the Project Mentor
- The mentor should assist the student in the preparation of the proposal.
- After the proposal is approved, the mentor should maintain a regular schedule of meetings with the student to monitor progress on the project.
- It is the responsibility of the mentor to communicate with the student’s advisor and, when necessary, with parents.
Required Features of the Senior Project Proposal
- The project title
- The signatures of both student and mentor
- A general description and rationale of the project
- A list of research materials, e.g. books, articles, films, interviews, to be used
- A proposed schedule of meetings with the mentor
- A list of the expected products of the project, e.g. analytical papers, journals, novellas, screenplays, short stories, art work, music recitals, recordings
- A list of interim deadlines for completion of major components of the project, e.g. reading sources, writing drafts or outlines of work in progress