The Seattle Academy Senior Project provides our students with career exploration opportunities in alignment with our mission that challenges students to question, imagine, and create in order to contribute boldly to a changing world. The Senior Project Program is a non-paid educational/professional experience designed to introduce our students to real-world job experiences in a career field of their interest.
The three guiding principles behind Senior Project Program are:
- take a risk
- integrate disparate skills in a moment of action per the Culture of Performance
- demonstrate our Core Values: trust, respect, integrity, and responsibility
The Senior Project Program prepares students for life by exposing them to real-world settings that require risk-taking, resilience and empathy. Students are thrust into environments that require them to apply interdisciplinary skills and display an ability to work in a team setting with individuals from extremely diverse backgrounds and experiences. They are faced with real-world issues that require problem-solving skills on a daily basis.
"To be sure, there was initially a steep learning curve- public lands, surveys, grants and patents –all new stuff; plus some GIS software, but he became quite skilled very quickly. That allowed a more independent approach to his work." - Charles Raines, Cascade Checkerboard Project/Forest Conservation
2019 Senior Project Mentor Survey Results
Following the completion of the Senior Project, site mentors were asked to rate students performance on a scale of 1-10. Results from the 2019 survey are below:
How satisfied were you with the quality of the work performed by the Seattle Academy student? (Rated 8, 9, or 10)
Respondents willing to mentor again
Rate Seattle Academy students Ability to respond to Failure (Rated 8, 9, or 10)
Students Offered Internship Extensions
“During her time here, I and others were quite in awe of her level of maturity for adapting to the daily scheduling unpredictability, of her steadfast passion for justice, and of her ability to quietly size up questionable situations.”
- Karen Murray, Associated Counsel for the Accused Division (ACAD)
- What is the SAAS Senior Project Program?
- What are the program benefits?
- What are the program requirements?
- Are there any other ways to support the SAAS Student?
- What are typical challenges that students face in Senior Project?
- Is it okay if I give students administrative work?
- What do I do if I have questions/challenges?
Organizations often benefit from skills that SAAS students have as well as the unique point of view of a high school student. Students participate in a variety of projects including hands-on technology work, research, materials engineering, presentation development, they build things, they help businesses organize and transform systems, or they can develop a social media program, among other duties that benefit the business/organization.
Yes, clear communication of expectations and accountability setting is critical for success. We also encourage site representatives to attend Project Presentation Night in late May/early June. Each Senior will prepare a five-minute presentation, followed by a Q&A attended by students, faculty, and sponsoring organizations. This is the culmination of the entire Senior Project experience.
The purpose of the program is for the student to provide meaningful work for an unmet business need or challenge. Consistent with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries Criteria for Unpaid Internships, this program is not intended to provide free labor for a position that should be done by a regular professional.