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Graduation Project

 ONSLOW COUNTY SCHOOLS
GRADUATION PROJECT OVERVIEW AND GUIDELINES

In accordance with Onslow County Board of Education Policy 3460, students must satisfactorily complete a senior project in order to meet local graduation requirements.*  The Graduation Project provides the opportunity for students to apply concepts, knowledge and skills necessary for success in post-secondary education and careers in the 21st Century.


Interested in helping with Graduation Projects?  We are looking for community members to serve as mentors for our students as they develop their projects, and to assist as judges for student Oral Presentations.  Select one of the following links if you would be interested in assisting with Graduation Projects!

Graduation Project Mentor

Graduation Project Judge

   

 PURPOSE

The Graduation Project is a multi-disciplinary performance-based assessment completed over time.  It provides students the opportunity to connect content knowledge, acquired skills and work habits to real world situations and issues.  Through the Graduation Project process, students will demonstrate computer knowledge, employability skills, information retrieval skills, reading/language/writing skills, teamwork and thinking/problem-solving skills.

The Graduation Project is a performance-based exit assessment that provides students with a vehicle to demonstrate what they know and are able to do as they prepare to graduate from high school.  To fulfill all graduation requirements, a student must master the Graduation Project skills before completion of the senior year.  Although the project culminates in the senior year, students should already possess and begin to demonstrate specific required skills beginning in the 9th grade year or earlier.

 


REQUIRED COMPONENTS

·          A 5-7 page research paper written on an approved topic of student choice

·          A product related to the paper that requires significant hours of work

·          A portfolio that reflects the Graduation Project process

·          A presentation to a panel of community and faculty members

Research Paper:  Students will choose an area of interest and a specific topic for research.  The selected topic should be approved by a school-based committee.  Development of the research paper should follow routine procedures for composing a research paper.  The paper should reflect the results of a purposeful, focused, in-depth study on a specific topic of choice.

Product:  Students must create a tangible or intangible product related to the research project.  The process of production will demonstrate applications of learning, critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, teamwork and personal employability skills, such as responsibility, persistence and independence.  The quality of the product should reflect a minimum of fifteen (15) hours of student work.  Students may use job-shadowing, internship or apprenticeship experiences as products.  These experiences may result in a physical product, such as a scrapbook or journal.

Portfolio:  Students will maintain a learning record of the process and progress through all steps of the Graduation Project.  The portfolio should contain a collection of Graduation Project documentation, such as work samples, pictures, work schedules, interview logs and reflections, as a showcase of the student's progress throughout the Graduation Project process.

Presentation:  Students will demonstrate public speaking skills in an 8-10 minute oral presentation to a review panel.  The focus should be delivery of accurate, credible information on the chosen topic.  Students should also be prepared to respond to questions from the Graduation Project panelists.

*Special consideration will be given to transfer students arriving in the second semester of the senior year.

 


EVALUATION CRITERIA

Rubrics and descriptors have been developed for evaluation of all components of the Graduation Project.  In order to meet the graduation requirement, students must earn a satisfactory or above on all components.  Each of the four levels is described below:

Exemplary:  Exemplary work implies that the student has exceeded expectations in every way and has presented a model Graduation Project worthy of showcasing and emulating.

Satisfactory:  Satisfactory work implies that the student has worked diligently to do strong work on all components and has presented a worthy Graduation Project.

Developing/Emerging:  Developing/emerging work implies that the student has more work to do to present satisfactory work in order to complete the Graduation Project.

Resubmission Necessary:  Students performing at this level have not achieved proficiency in all components and have not met the minimum standards for completion of the Graduation Project.  Resubmission implies the student has considerable work to do and is in need of coaching in order to complete the Graduation Project.

Not Submitted:  The student did not submit evidence of any effort toward completion of the designated task.

 


PREPARATION TIMELINE

The following timeline is provided as evidence of the multi-year preparation for completion of the Graduation Project:

GRADE LEVEL

TEACHER & STUDENT GOALS

RESOURCE/SUPPORT

At 9th grade

      
  • Attend a Graduation Project Orientation
  •   
  • Participate in an Interest Inventory
  •   
  • Select topics of interest
  •   
  • Explore writing and speaking styles

      
  • Teachers, parents,  family, community members
  •   
  • Hobbies, sports, and extracurricular activities
  •   
  • Graduation Project presentation during freshman orientation

At 10th grade

      
  • Attend a Graduation Project Orientation
  •   
  • Refine topics of interest
  •   
  • Develop skills to retrieve information about topics of interest
  •   
  • Refine skills on compiling a portfolio
      
  • Media Specialist
  •   
  • Community resources
  •   
  • Input from parents and family members
  •   
  • Models of written and verbal communication
  •   
  • Classroom experiences in research, presentation and public speaking skills
                  

At 11th grade

      
  • Attend a Graduation Project Orientation
  •   
  • Meet with academic advisor and mentor
  •   
  • Identify top two research topics
  •   
  • Understand expectations for each component of the graduation project
  •   
  • Outline a plan of action for completing the four components of the Graduation Project
  •   
  • Evaluate, organize and identify gaps in the Graduation Project portfolio
  •   
  • Refine writing and speaking skills

      
  • Graduation Project mentor and coordinator
  •   
  • Meetings with experts in the field
  •   
  • Opportunities for real world experiences (job shadowing/internship)
  •   
  • Parents and family members as evaluators
  •   
  • Mentor logs
  •   
  • Existing resources to enhance the Graduation Project portfolio
  •   
  • Public speaking opportunities

At 12th grade

      
  • Attend a Graduation Project Orientation
  •   
  • Meet with academic advisor and mentor
  •   
  • Define Graduation Project topic
  •   
  • Develop the project      
    o   Research paper
          
    o   Product
    o   Portfolio
    o   Oral Presentation

      
  • Graduation Project mentor and advisor
  •   
  • Graduation Project coordinator
  •   
  • Forms and documents that verify research experiences
  •   
  • Community and school showcase components, process and outcomes of the Graduation Project

Related Links:

Interested in assisting with Graduation Projects?  If so, select the following links to provide your information:

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