• Senior Project Video

Senior Projects

Toward the completion of senior year, students are required to be involved in a five week "Senior Project." This project can include an internship, mentorship, faculty-run seminar, or independent project of the student's design. Senior Projects allows students to bring their accumulated academic and personal skills to an off-campus learning experience. Projects can take place on the Academy campus, in the professional community of Albuquerque, the United States, or the world, depending upon a student's individual project choice. Students bring their experiences back to the classroom by sharing them with classmates and teachers through Presentations of Learning. The goal of Senior Projects is to provide a guided transitional-learning opportunity that allows seniors to experiment with independent planning, study, work, and personal responsibility off-campus, with continued guidance and support from the school. Senior Projects provides an opportunity for students to experiment with different learning and working environments and professions, while guided and supported by on-campus faculty and off-campus sponsors.

Questions About Senior Projects

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • What are "Senior Projects"?

    Senior Projects is a required program for all seniors and takes place during the final five weeks of senior year. This program allows students to study an area of particular interest within one of four options: internship, mentorship, seminar, and self-directed project. The first four weeks are for the project itself, and the last week is reserved for students to present their project experiences to their peers (Presentations of Learning). Students who are enrolled in AP courses during the spring semester may continue in one or two AP classes and/or review during the project month. Students can also opt to stay in Performing or Language Arts classes, if they choose. Students also have the opportunity to continue in extracurricular and co-curricular activities. As students develop their ideas for their Senior Projects and choose an option, they should keep in mind other responsibilities and interests they would like to continue.
  • Do all seniors participate in Projects?

    Yes, Senior Projects is required of all seniors. Seniors must be in good academic and disciplinary standing to participate in a self-directed project or a project off-campus. Seniors must have completed their community service and PE requirements and turn in all borrowed materials, such as calculators and library books, by Friday, April 10, 2015, before they can go on Projects.
  • Who is the on-campus coordinator for Senior Projects?

    The Senior Project Committee is made up of Jeremy Johnson, Mike Hanselmann, and other faculty members. Jeremy and Mike's offices are located in the Experiential Education office, located between McKinnon Hall and the East Dining Hall, on the ground floor. Jeremy can be reached at 828-3256.
  • What are the dates of Senior Projects?

    The dates of Senior Projects for 2015 are Monday, April 13 through Sunday, May 10. Seniors will get the most out of the Senior Projects experience the more they can be involved in it. The dates for Presentations of Learning are Monday-Friday, May 11-15, 2015. Presentations of Learning are mandatory and will take the whole school day. Please do not schedule college visits or doctor's appointments during this time.
  • What are "exit exams"?

    Before a senior can pass a class for the spring semester, he/she must pass an exit exam. These exams take place the last two weeks of classes before Senior Projects. Grades from exit exams count towards the fourth quarter grades. Please contact specific teachers or department chairs to learn more about particular exit exams.
  • What are the options for Projects?

    Seniors have four options from which to choose a Project: 1) internship, 2) mentorship, 3) seminar, or 4) self-directed project.
  • When do seniors receive applications and when are they due?

    Any senior wishing to propose a self-directed project must have made an initial proposal by the middle of November of their senior year. Self-directed project applications are due by early January of their senior year. All other applications will be available to seniors on the Canvas site in early January and are typically due in early February.
  • What is my role in Projects as a parent?

    The goals of Senior Projects include providing an opportunity for seniors to have a new experience and to work independently in developing and completing a project of interest. Your ideal role for Senior Projects is to:
    • support your senior student in reaching his or her goals for Projects.
    • know what your senior is proposing for Projects and discuss the project's feasibility and what the proposed project entails.
    • support your senior in meeting deadlines and in using the variety of resources on- and off-campus to complete a proposal and the actual project.
    • share resources with which you may be familiar and allow your child to pursue these resources on his/her own.
    • understand that Albuquerque Academy does not accept responsibility or liability for the supervision of your son/daughter when off campus during this four-week period, except when he or she is on-campus for school activities.
    • and, most importantly, have faith in the learning process and allow your student to personally experience and overcome obstacles and to enjoy the rewards of the experiential process.
  • Is there money available for individual Senior Projects?

    No. Senior Projects is a program run by the Experiential Education Department, and there is no money budgeted for individual student projects by the department or the school.
  • What if a project runs into trouble or circumstances require a change in the project after the proposal deadline or start of Projects?

    If your student's project is not turning out the way he or she planned, do not panic. These spontaneous hurdles can be part of the learning process. Your son or daughter should speak immediately with his or her on-campus sponsor, and if any significant changes or accommodations need to be made, he or she should speak with one of the Senior Project Committee Members to make sure the changes are acceptable and approved.
  • Can students fail Senior Projects?

    Yes. Senior Projects are graded on a pass/fail basis. If a student fails Projects, it is possible that he or she may not graduate. Students are expected to remain in good academic and disciplinary standing during Senior Projects and to meet the required expectations of Projects. While most students over the years have had no trouble satisfactorily meeting the expectations, a student who does not meet expectations or fails to present a satisfactory Presentation of Learning may fail Senior Projects. Students will not necessarily fail if their project has trouble or a student is not able to complete a project as planned. However, if a student runs into trouble, he or she should meet with the on-campus sponsor or one of the Senior Project Committee Members as soon as possible to formally adjust the project goals as appropriate.
  • What is the attendance policy during Projects? Can we take a college visit during this time?

    Students are expected to participate in the required weekly hours for their project type for all four weeks of the program. Some schedules do not fall into regular work times (e.g. 9 to 5) during a day. For example, internships are expected to be 30 hours a week, but there are no parameters about when, during the week, those 30 hours must be completed. Time expectations for each Project option are made clear in the Projects option descriptions. Students with irregular hours are expected to establish schedules with their on- or off-campus sponsors.

    Senior Projects is not a time for indiscriminate time off for college visits or vacations. We have a policy regarding time off for college visits and other absences. Students will submit, as part of their application, a calendar with all events, including missed time, for the duration of Senior Projects. Students may miss an equivalent of 3 days during this time for excused absences, such as athletic events or college visits. Absences in excess of 3 days need to get approval from the Senior Projects Committee prior to leaving on Senior Projects. The Senior Projects Committee makes decisions about what will be allowed by consulting the College Guidance Office, the 10-12 Division Head, and the 10-12 Dean of Students.
  • What are "Presentations of Learning"?

    Presentations of Learning are the culmination of Senior Projects. During the week of May 11, each student is required to give a presentation to his or her peers as the final assessment of his or her Senior Project. Seniors will have the option of presenting to a small group of classmates or to the entire class and will sign up for a presentation time during a class meeting the last week of Projects. Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend presentations. Please keep in mind that while every effort is made to stabilize the presentation schedule, sometimes changes are required due to unforeseen circumstances and without an opportunity to give notice. There will be more information available in the spring regarding the Presentations of Learning.
Albuquerque Academy is a private, coeducational, college preparatory day school serving middle school and high school students in grades 6 through 12, located in Albuquerque, NM.

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