Senior Graduation Project Handbook

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1 Senior Graduation Project Handbook INTRODUCTION In 1995, the Fox Chapel Area Board of School Directors adopted a local requirement of a graduation project. With that action, the Fox Chapel Area Board of School Directors require that each senior complete a graduation project before receiving a diploma. Another educational entity, the Middle States Association accreditation process for schools requires that all schools set educational goals for the purpose of enhancing and developing student learning. To identify the most relevant goals, the Fox Chapel Area High School surveyed the community, parents, faculty and students. The groups surveyed noted career exploration as one area needing additional attention and focus. The high school has since implemented a career portfolio to support and encourage students to investigate careers of interest, to consider courses that would assist them in preparing for their future, or simply to explore areas of interest to determine what careers they may or may not wish to pursue. All portfolio requirements have been aligned with the Pennsylvania state career standards. The Senior Graduation Project was redesigned using the career portfolio in Many of the required items for the career portfolio are already embedded within the current curriculum. Ninth and tenth grade students are able to meet their required portfolio products within the mandatory high school curriculum. More flexibility is provided during the junior and senior years to allow for differences among individuals addressing specific future goals. 1

2 MESSAGE TO SENIORS Welcome to your senior year! Part of your senior year includes a culminating project as required by the Fox Chapel Area Board of School Directors. Your senior project will consist of four years of career exploration guided by the list of possible products in the career portfolio and an exit interview/dialog with a panel of staff members to be randomly assigned to you. It is important to note that we did not expect you to select your future career as a ninth grader. The intention of the career binder is to create an opportunity for students to investigate many areas of interest and to determine if they would like to pursue the selected career further or not at all. We recognize that career interests may change or develop further over time due to the variety of experiences students have, conversations with their guidance counselors and the exposure to the career exploration software. The career portfolio is designed for Fox Chapel Area students to monitor their interests and to reflect on how and why the changes occurred. We expect you to make thoughtful decisions about course selections during high school using the appropriate guidance by counselors, faculty and parents and based on the resources available at Fox Chapel Area High School. It is our expectation that the career portfolio can function as a transition tool from high school to the student s postsecondary plans. The exit interview/dialog functions as an evaluative instrument concerning the processes of career exploration and post-secondary planning. The required resume is a valuable tool and should be used to increase your awareness and to communicate your growth and accomplishments throughout high school. The exit interview/dialog will be an opportunity for you to speak about the graduation project and career exploration process to a panel of adults. It is important for every graduating student to articulate the reasons why he/she explored particular areas of interest and how that may have helped them in making their plans for after high school. Interviewing is an essential skill, and we are certain the experience will prove to be of benefit to you in the future. Our hope is that you, as a Fox Chapel Area High School student, will utilize the career portfolio and graduation project to the fullest extent, and that your project contributes to your preparation for your next step after completing high school. 2

3 Career Awareness and Planning PA Career Standards Grade 11 A. Analyze career options based on student interests, abilities, aptitudes and accomplishments. B. Analyze how the changing male/female roles relate to career choices. C. Evaluate opportunities for career preparation. Cooperative education Internship Job shadowing Part-time employment Registered apprenticeship School-based enterprise Volunteerism D. Justify the selection of a career. E. Evaluate all opportunities for the transition from secondary to postsecondary education, training or work. Two-year degree Four-year degree Immediate employment Industry training Military training Part-time employment Full-time employment Professional degree Registered apprenticeship Tech Prep F. Evaluate individual career plan using decision-making skills. G. Analyze the opportunity cost-benefit of continuous learning Career Acquisition A. Know and demonstrate industry-acceptable job interviewing techniques. B. Analyze and evaluate complex technical tasks using sophisticated processes. Equipment Facilities Materials Techniques Technology Tools C. Analyze workplace problems and cite technological solutions. D. Identify sources of health, safety and regulatory practices and their effect on the work environment. Child Labor Laws Employee Right to Know Fair Labor Standards Act Hazardous occupations Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) information Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations Student work permits E. Evaluate prepared career acquisition documents based upon industry acceptable practices. 3

4 Accuracy Completeness Neatness Qualifications F. Analyze performance-based assessments components. Portfolio review Nationally validated assessment Local/state/national skill certificate G. Analyze the need for manipulative/motor skills. Cooperative education Internship Job shadowing Part-time employment Registered apprenticeship School-based enterprise Tech-Prep Vocational program completion Volunteerism Career Retention A. Analyze work habits needed to advance within a career. B. Evaluate conflict resolution skills. C. Evaluate team-member roles to describe and illustrate active listening techniques. Clarifying Encouraging Restating Reflecting Summarizing D. Compare and contrast gross and net pay. F. Evaluate strategies used to manage time and their applications in different work situations. G. Analyze the impact of change on the evolving world economy and the individual's work. H. Analyze the availability and societal and economic factors of lifelong participation in career preparation and advancement opportunities Entrepreneurship A. Analyze the relationship between competition and pricing strategies. B. Apply business principles to the development of an entrepreneurial business plan. C. Relate principles of entrepreneurship to career goals. D. Analyze intervention plans and evaluate their effectiveness in specific situations. 4

5 THE PROJECT This project consists of two parts: the career portfolio and the exit interview/dialog. The career binder must be completed first. Once the QRT teacher signs off that the student has completed the portfolio, the student is eligible for the exit interview/dialog. Both parts must be completed successfully in order to pass the graduation project requirement. Successful completion of the graduation project is required in order to receive your high school diploma and to be invited to participate in commencement ceremonies. Part I CAREER PORTFOLIO 1. All students are required to complete 15 of 21 possible choices in the career portfolio. 2. The ninth and tenth grade years require students to complete four items each year, all of which are part of the curriculum. 3. During the eleventh and twelfth grade years there is more flexibility to allow for differences among individuals to address future goals. Service learning must be completed before finals begin in the junior year. 4. Service Learning and a resume MUST be included as part of the fifteen items. To stay on target for each year, the student must complete the following career portfolio requirements: Grade Level Ninth Tenth Eleventh Twelfth Cumulative Career Portfolio Items Four items Eight items (cumulative) Twelve items (cumulative) Service Learning must be one of the items Fifteen items (cumulative) Resume must be one of the items 5

6 DEADLINES Due dates for completion of the portfolio portion: Early Completion Regular Completion Date November 6, 2015 January 21, 2016 JANUARY GRADUATES MUST BE COMPLETED BY THE EARLY COMPLETION DEADLINE. Part II Exit Interview/Dialog The purpose of the exit interview/dialog is for the students to: Ø Practice interviewing Ø Communicate to the panel how FCAHS has influenced their development Ø Reference the career portfolio and the influences the activities have had on their choices Ø Analyze and evaluate the opportunities provided by the Fox Chapel Area High School experience and how this has impacted their growth Ø Provide feedback to the high school about the effectiveness of the career portfolio A panel consisting of three faculty members conducts the graduation project exit interview/dialog. The Interview/Dialog The student must be dressed professionally and bring the following to the interview/dialog or he/she will be asked to reschedule: Ø Completed career portfolio Ø 3 copies of their Resume Ø 3 copies of most recent transcripts (you can request a day in advance in guidance) The student will be evaluated on: Ø Presentation and professional appearance Ø Voice, composure and professionalism Ø Attitude and enthusiasm Ø Knowledge and preparation ALL INTERVIEWS MUST BE COMPLETED BY May 6 th

7 STUDENT SCORE Quality of Appearance Exit Interview Rubric for Senior Graduation Project Neat and clean professional business attire. Neat and clearn business casual. Casually dressed in school clothes, jeans or sandals. Very casual and/or unkempt clothes. Communication Skills Consistently enthusiastic and confident. Appropriate volume. Enthusiastic and confident most of the time. Voice trails off at times, but good tone is held throughout the interview. Enthusiastic and confident some of the time. Can be heard sometimes, but it is a strain to hear. Lacks enthusiasism and lacks confidence. Most answers very difficult to hear. Mannerisms Responses Shook hands at the beginning and end of the interview; introduced self at beginning; excellent posture and eye contact; no gum chewing. All responses very relevant, fluent and grammatically correct. Thoroughly explains and answers all questions. Trouble with one of the following areas: shaking hands, introducing self, posture, eye contact or gum chewing. Responses were mostly relevant, fluent and grammatically correct. Some points glossed over. Trouble with two of the following Trouble with three of the areas: shaking hands, introducing self, posture, eye contact or gum chewing. Responses sometimes fluent and grammatically correct. Majority of questions glossed over with vague or 1-2 word responses. following areas: shaking hands, introducing self, posture, eye contact or gum chewing. Responses frequently hesitant. One or more questions unanswered. Preparedness Demonstrates knowledge of career portfolio, references career portfolio content when relevent and identifies specific moments, arrives with all required materials and presents in a professional manner. Moderate knowledge of career portfolio, references career portfolio content when relevent, arrives with all required materials and presents in a professional manner. Little or some knowledge of career portfolio, references career portfolio content with a mild prompt, arrives without all required materials or materials are not presented in a professional manner. Unable to cite career portfolio. Fails to bring required career portfolio. Panel Member Names and Signatures: Interview Date Time PASS FAIL 7

8 Graduation Project Exit Interview/Career Conversation Dialogue Questions Leading Dialogue Questions 1. Describe and explain the individual challenges and successes you have experienced during your high school career. 2. Describe and explain: How have these challenges and successes shaped you as an individual and what tools have you identified to help you for your future endeavors. 3. Detail the individual growth that you have managed within your high school career. General 1. How have you grown both academically and personally from entering ninth grade until now? 2. How has your attitude about your education shifted since ninth grade? 3. Discuss the greatest educational benefit provided by the high school during your years here. 4. Do you feel that you fully utilized the available resources at the high school? If not, which ones do you wish you had used? 5. If you could enter ninth grade today, what would you do the same; what would you do differently? 6. What advice would you give to an incoming freshman? Career Related 1. What resources and opportunities at the high school provided the most benefit to your career exploration? 2. How the career portfolio projects helped you focus your course selections and future goals? Cite a specific example. 3. What did you learn about yourself by completing this project? 4. What/Who has had the most impact on the career path you are choosing? Classes? Guidance Counselors? Family? Teachers? Other Sources? 5. What courses did you find the most beneficial in preparing for your future plans? Why? Were these classes your favorite? If so, why? If not, why not? Exit Interview Questions 1. What do you consider to be your greatest strength? What do you consider to be your greatest weakness? How would these traits transfer within your chosen career? 2. What are your short-term goals (5 years) and your long-term goals (10 years)? How did you arrive at these goals? 3. What experiences have you had volunteer, work or activities that relate to your future plans? 4. How well prepared do you feel for life after high school? 5. What activity in your career portfolio was the most beneficial to you? Why? 6. What activity in your career portfolio activities best determined the path you will take after high school? 8

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