The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye March 2024 issue
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Senior Project guidelines


Many seniors this school year are having a tough time for different reasons, and one of the biggest ones is their senior project.

The senior project is a year-long assignment that the 12th grade students work on. It is their choice, as long as it’s approved by their administrator. It is also a graduation requirement that they have to pass.

Here’s the whole senior project broken into four components called the 4 P’s.

  • Paper
    • Each senior will write a career-based thesis research paper in MLA format of 5-10 pages.
    • Topic should be related to project or internship area and will be approved by English teacher and academic adviser.
    • The research paper will begin during junior year in English class and be completed in senior year in English class.
  • Project (one of three options)
    • Career focus: 40 hour Job Shadowing/Mentorship
      • The student works with a community mentor in a specific area related to the student’s desired goals and interests.
    • Service learning
      • The student completes a 40 hour service learning project that makes a concrete and visible impact in the school or community.
    • Student Personal Interest: Product and Action
      • The student completes a project-based or research-based product that should be related to the student’s desired career goals and interests.
  • Portfolio
    • The Senior Project portfolio documents the student’s learning, personal journey, processes, and personal insights.
    • Minimally, the portfolio will contain Letter of Intent, Department of Education liability forms, project verification forms, the research paper, learning log and final reflection paper.
  • Presentation
    • Each senior will present his/her Senior Project to three judges during an Academy Awards Night.
    • Presentation will be 10 to 15 minutes in total length.
    • Following the basic presentation and detailed explanation of the project, the senior will field questions from the judges about the Senior Project.

Now it is important that seniors are doing their project to do all of these four components and go through what they ask for. The biggest advice to follow would be to start early.

The best time to start on the project, or to start preparing for it, is the summer before senior year, where the student doesn’t have a lot of other worries and has plenty of free time. The hardest and saddest thing is when a senior student chooses to start on their project too late, not having it ready in time, and putting their graduation at risk.

It’s best to not be that person. Another big trait to have while doing this project is organization. The senior who plans ahead and know exactly how they will do the project executes it the easiest and in the most successful way. An example of good organization is working on the portfolio component early on, and making sure that everything needed is accounted for. Being prepared for all the things ahead and for anything that could go wrong is another thing.

Another key advice to take is to get advice from other people. Find teachers, fellow students, and people who have done a senior project themselves and ask if they could lend you help and words of wisdom. It will greatly help get their senior project on the right track and stay on it.

Lastly, it is recommended that the project chosen by the senior making the project is something unique and is around what they are passionate about. It’s because this project is all about the person, and is suppose to help that person realize and show what kind of lifestyle they want to follow. By choosing something that’s important to the person, it makes doing the whole project, the planning, the hours, and even talking about it during the presentations significantly easier, more genuine, and worthwhile.

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