Senior Project Description
Senior Project was piloted in 1992 with twenty students. It has become an established lighthouse program at New Trier as a student opportunity that allows seniors to design and engage in a self-created, in-depth experiential project, similar to an internship. Projects are completed during the school day, in the community, and last for four weeks. The project experience replaces most, if not all of a student’s traditional classroom work. The last day for Seniors participating in Senior Project 2022, whose project ideas are approved is Thursday, April 14. Senior Project runs from Monday, April 18 through Friday, May 13.
To begin creating their project, students must first identify an experience or topic they would like to learn more about or work they’d like to engage in. Students will work with the Career Services Coordinator or Senior Project Liaisons to detail their experience and develop a project plan which includes goal setting, action items, and a culminating exhibit reflecting what they learned. Once the project plan, or application, is approved, students work to find a Community Sponsor with whom they engage with during their Project. The Community Sponsor should be an expert in the field of their Project topic. In most cases, students work at the Community Sponsor’s place of business. In other cases, students work independently with help from the Community Sponsor as needed (minimum twice per week).
Most Projects are career based with students exploring various career options. Other projects include creative Projects, artistic Projects, academic exploration Projects or service Projects. Students may work with a partner if they share the same interest and the Project requires two people to complete.
Students approved for Senior Project end their coursework on Thursday, April 14, 2022 and their final grades are determined as of that same date. Students enrolled in the following classes must attend those classes during Senior Project: All AP classes, PLTW classes, Dance Lab I & II, Specific Music/Performing Arts classes. Students will be excused from all other classes as well as adviser room. Students enrolled in any of the classes listed above are able to engage in a Modified Senior Project. Modified Project students have fewer hours required per week, in order to accommodate the continued in-person learning requirement.
While the Senior Project is open to all seniors, there is a significant application/preparation process. Students will work closely with the program coordinator and a group of volunteers (community, staff and fellow students) who will help shape and oversee their Project.