HONESDALE HIGH SCHOOL
2013 - 2014
Section 5.214(b) of the Pennsylvania Department of Education Curriculum Regulations, requires that all graduating seniors complete a Graduation Project as a prerequisite for graduation. The regulation states that... A student shall complete a project in one or more areas of concentrated study under the guidance and directions of the high school faculty. The purpose of the project which may include research, writing or some other appropriate form of demonstration, is to assure that the student is able to apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information and communicate significant knowledge and understanding.
The preparation and completion of the Graduation Project will typically be a year-long effort and can be completed at any point during the students’ high school career. The project will have multiple parts and will be completed as a portfolio. Many of the components are not difficult or hard to complete, however, students will need to spend time on the computer researching a career. All of the items submitted in the portfolio must be based on one career that has been chosen by the student as a possible career choice upon completion of high school or it has been identified as a high interest career for that student based upon the completion of an interest inventory.
The purpose of the Graduation Project is to broaden the scope of a student’s high school career. Students must complete all of the following components: career interest survey, personal business letter to your mentor, table of contents, career research information, school research information, final copy of cover letter, final copy of resume, samples of student work and/or awards, list of references, letter of recommendation, letter of acknowledgment, graduation project student time line, graduation project contract (must be signed by student, mentor and parent/guardian) and the student and parent/guardian checklist. Each project must also include two of the following criteria: mock interview with a reflection and follow-up letter, telephone etiquette with a reflection, career person interview with answers to interview and follow-up letter, college professor interview with answers to interview and follow-up letter (college professor must specialize in or be knowledgeable in your identified career choice), career speaker presentation with reflection and follow-up letter, career related field trip with reflection and follow-up letter, career related project with reflection and follow-up letter, career related employment log and follow-up letter and/or a career related job shadowing experience. All of the above listed items are included in the Graduation Project Requirement Checklist.
Each student will be assigned a faculty adviser in conjunction with the Honesdale High School Mentor Program to assist in completing the above requirements. Ninth grade students will receive their GPA assignments at the beginning of their freshman year. In addition, the Career Prep course offered through the business department at Honesdale High School as an elective will guide students through completion of the Graduation Project portfolio requirement. A final presentation must be made to the student’s assigned mentor. Mentors will assign the final graduation project grade.
Portfolio Requirement Descriptions
Each portfolio must be neatly presented in a three ring binder with all items attached. Overall presentation of the portfolio will be part of the grading process. Portfolios must be organized, neat, clean and presented in order of the checklist. Creativity of the presentation may also enhance the overall rating of the portfolio. Pictures and graphics associated with the career choice and/or tab dividers will improve the appearance and organization of the portfolio and may improve the final grade.
Table of Contents
Each portfolio must include a table of contents. Students may choose the table of contents format that best fits their portfolio presentation.
Career Interest Inventory
Students must complete a career interest inventory. Students can use the Career Cruising website at www.careercruising.com to complete the Career Matchmaker and My Skills inventories. Students may also complete the Getting to Know Yourself inventory offered through the Pennsylvania Career Guide. This is available at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=809063&mode=2
Advanced planning of any project is a good practice. A timeline is a good tool to utilize and helps to ensure completion of a task on time. A graduation project timeline must be presented as part of the portfolio.
Graduation Project Contract
Each portfolio must contain a Graduation Project Contract. Each contract must be signed by the student, mentor and parent/guardian. The contents and description outlined in the contract must match the final project presentation.
Personal Business Letter to your Mentor
A personal business letter must be written to your mentor according to proper formatting guidelines. The letter should include a reflection of the portfolio, your career choice and reasons for choosing your particular career.
Career Research Information
Students must use the Career Cruising website at www.careercruising.com to complete and print the career research information related to their chosen career or occupation.
School Research Information
Students must use the Career Cruising website at www.careercruising.com to complete and print the school research information related to their chosen career or occupation.
Final Copy of Cover Letter
Cover letters are essential to a resume and provide prospective employers insight into a candidate’s qualifications for possible employment. This information may not be apparent simply through a candidate’s resume. Each portfolio must include a final cover letter that supports the final resume. Improperly formatted cover letters will not be accepted.
Final Copy of Resume
A good resume is an essential component to a portfolio. It provides prospective employers insight into a candidate’s qualifications. Resumes support the candidate’s experiences expressed in the cover letter. Improperly formatted resumes will not be accepted.
Samples of Student Work and/or Awards
Samples of student work and/or awards will give a prospective employer additional information that supports a student’s candidacy for employment. Examples could include assignments that received high marks, awards, certificates of participation, report cards, etc.
List of References
References are people who can attest to your past employment, skill set or can speak candidly about your character. Students must include a list of
Letter of Recommendation
Students should include at least one (1) letter of recommendation. The letter of recommendation should come from a person who knows the student well and can reflect on the student’s attributes. The letter of recommendation cannot be from a relative.
Letter of Acknowledgment
A letter of acknowledgment is a letter written to an employer that has offered you a position. In this letter you will be either accepting or declining the offer. If accepting the offer, you should include when you can begin the new position and if there is any additional information you need to discuss with the new employer. If declining the offer, you should thank the employer for their time and offer, but be honest and express that you have accepted another position. This letter should be written to a prospective employer.
Student and Parent/Guardian Checklist
Each portfolio must contain the student/parent checklist. This checklist is an all inclusive checklist of each required item for completion of the student portfolio.
Students must complete two (2) of the following:
Students may choose to participate in a mock interview. Students may complete this component through the interview streaming process offered through Career Prep class, arrange a mock interview with an employer in their chosen career or utilize the mock interviews offered through the School to Work Program through Honesdale High School. Students will need to complete a reflection and a follow-up letter regarding the mock interview.
Professional Telephone Contact
Soft skills, such as telephone etiquette are mandatory requirements in any work place. That initial telephone conversation is many times the first impression an individual will have of a workplace. Students will be required to make two (2) telephone contacts. After each contact, students will need to reflect on the outcome of the phone conversation.
Career Person Interview
Students may choose to interview a person who is currently employed in their chosen occupation. Students must respond to the interview questions included as part of the graduation project resources. Students must provide the answers to their interview questions and a follow-up letter to the person interviewed.
College Professor Interview
Students may choose to interview a college professor who is currently instructing in their chosen field. Students should refer to the interview questions provided in the resources section of the graduation project. Students must provide the answers to their interview questions and a follow-up letter to the person interviewed.
Career Speaker Presentation
Students may attend a career presentation offered during the school day. Students should refer to the resources section of the graduation project. Students must complete a reflection on the presentation and write a follow-up letter to the presenter.
Career Related Field Trip
Students may participate in a field trip related to their chosen occupation. Students should refer to the resources section of the graduation project. Students must complete a reflection on the field trip and write a follow-up letter to the host field trip site.
Career Related Project
Students may complete a community service project related to their chosen occupation. Students should refer to the resources section of the graduation project. Students must complete a reflection on the project and write a follow-up letter to the contributing entities.
Career Related Employment Log
Students who are currently employed in their career area are able to complete an employment log. The log will include a description of the associated duties and responsibilities, hours worked (minimum requirement of eight (8) shifts) and any additional certifications or job training necessary for continued employment. Students should refer to the resources section of the graduation project. Students must complete and include in their portfolio a follow-up letter to their employer.
Career Related Job Shadowing
Students may complete a four (4) hour job shadowing experience of a career related to their career choice. Students should refer to the resources section of the graduation project. Students must complete and include in their portfolio a follow-up letter to the employer they job shadowed and complete the job shadowing reflection questions.