Point: Should the Senior Experience project be mandatory for students?

Maddie Hiller, Staff Writer

The Senior Experience at Schreiber High School is a requirement for graduation that is imperative to a rewarding high school education.  All seniors must finish this project over the course of their second semester. 

The main purpose of the Senior Experience is for all students to complete and carry out a project entirely of their choice, and to get involved in an area of study or work that they are passionate about.  There is a great number of opportunities that seniors can take advantage of to complete their experiences. 

Critics of the program argue that the projects are too time-consuming and that seniors won’t be able to find a project that is a good fit for them.  However, they are not thinking of the bigger picture.  No matter what students end up doing, the experience is rewarding in the end, and the projects are extremely fulfilling. 

These projects should remain mandatory for years to come because they are enriching and provide students with a sense of self-worth before they graduate from high school and embark upon their next adventure.  

“Students can choose to do an internship, participate in community service, or complete an academic or creative project to complete their experience.  Students begin planning their project in the fall and carry out the project in the spring.  Each project culminates with a student presentation in which the student discusses both what they did and what they learned,” said Assistant Principal Mr. Craig Weiss, the administrator of the program.  

One of the benefits of the Senior Experience is that students can pick which subject they will focus their project on.  The easiest way to complete the Senior Experience requirement is to enroll in one of the various Senior Experience courses that Schreiber has to offer for seniors. 

These classes are either a full-year course or a second semester course, and include instruction in social studies, English, math, FACS, and health. 

One pathway to accomplishing the Senior Experience can be through the Senior Options government course, which is part of the required curriculum for senior year. Moreover, students can also do an independent project with a mentor from an AP class they are enrolled in. 

In each of these classes, students work closely and enthusiastically with the teacher to create a Senior Experience that suits their interests.  While engaged in these courses, students usually discover new passions and interests, while also becoming exposed to many new ideas.

If the Senior Experience was optional, many students would take different classes instead, and they would end up missing out on incredible instruction and opportunities they didn’t know about in the past.

If students are not interested in taking one of these classes as their Senior Experience, they also have the option to get an internship directed toward a career of choice, or something that will enhance their education.  Another alternative is to participate in community service. 

“For my Senior Experience, I am volunteering at an after school program to play with kids and help them complete their homework after school,” said senior Kayla McElroy.  “I love working with kids and I’m really excited to begin my volunteering soon.” 

The Senior Experience is an amazing opportunity for all seniors to get involved in classes or extracurriculars of their choice, and to show others what they are most passionate about.  The program is a special aspect of senior year, and it should be valued more than any typical academic core class. 

The Senior Experience project will hold a lasting impression on each student throughout their lives.  It should continue to remain mandatory throughout the years so that each student can be able to fulfill an enriching project of their own, and leave lasting impressions on the school and community.