Senior Project

Welcome to the 2014-2015 Senior Project

As a senior at Valley View High School, you will be required to complete a “Senior Project.” The curriculum of your senior English class requires you to: choose a topic or field of study; produce a thesis driven paper of no less than five complete pages; select a community mentor with expertise in the topic or field you have chosen; complete 25 hours of fieldwork; maintain and submit a portfolio documenting your process; and give a final oral presentation summarizing your experience in front of a board of judges.

Choosing a topic for your senior project is the first and most important step in the process. The topic choices are vast. What have you always wanted to know more about or to learn how to do? What career or personal interest do you want to explore? What are your passions? What are your hobbies? What do you see in your community or the world that you want to change or inform others about? These are only a few questions you should consider when determining a topic. Here’s a hint: choose a topic which you are genuinely interested in exploring, as you will be working on this quite a bit throughout the year.

The selection of a topic deserves much thought and discussion. Experience has shown that students who put in much thought and choose carefully enjoy this journey. Conversely, those who make “easy” or “quick” choices and do not challenge themselves tend to find the journey tedious and unfulfilling and fail to gain the rewards this journey has to offer. You have been given the opportunity to explore a wide range of topics. Put serious thought into your senior project and choose wisely. Doing so will ensure you learn from and enjoy the challenges towards which your choices have led you.

Some Advice:

Does this subject really interest you? This project gives you the opportunity to select and design a major portion of your academic work. Choosing a subject of genuine interest will make the work interesting and valuable to you.

Are sources of information readily available? Material for your research should be obtainable. The majority of your research will most likely be performed online, but make sure you only use legitimate sources (no Wikipedia, no ask.com, no blogs, no social media, etc.). You may find yourself using actual books and magazines. If this is the case, city, county, and college libraries can complement our limited high school resources and expand your capability to retrieve data.

Can a meaningful and challenging project be developed from this topic? Whether you create a product, present a performance, or perform a service you need to feel that the work you do is meaningful and challenging to you.

Approach potential mentors personally! Treat this like you are preparing for a job interview! Dress appropriately and sell yourself. Remember that a personal face-to-face discussion is more effective than a phone call. And remember that your choice of a mentor is as critical as your choice of topics. A knowledgeable mentor, who sets high expectations for your work, will teach you the most and be your most valuable asset.