Senior Project Information
The senior project provides an opportunity for senior-level students to demonstrate the skills and expertise they have developed in their chosen academic field. As you prepare for your senior project, think about:
- Integration—The senior project requires students to integrate their varied learning experiences into a single, comprehensive project.
- Professional Preparation—It provides students with materials they can show to prospective employers.
- Personal Assessment—It helps students identify areas of strength and future growth in their professional development.
The senior project also allows the department to assess its programs and curricula as measured by the professional growth of its graduating seniors.
Senior projects are intended to be completed individually in regular consultation with your advisor. Some students choose to partner up for their senior project. In this case, the responsibilities of the project will be divided up clearly between the individuals for evaluation purposes.
- Identify an appropriate project based on your major and your interests
- Compose a senior project proposal based on the guidelines provided
- Complete your senior project using your proposal as a guide
- Prepare a binder with details and info from your proposal
- Give a 10-minute presentation to the Faculty and Staff followed by a Q&A
The timeline for your senior project will begin three quarters prior to your graduation. For instance, if you plan to graduate in June, your project timeline will begin in the first week of the fall quarter before your graduation ceremony.
- Pick up a syllabus from your advisor: 1st week
- Proposal Due: 3rd week
- Faculty response returned: 6th week
- Proposal Revisions Due: 9th week
- Final Presentation: Approximately 3 weeks before graduation.
Before beginning the project, you should consult with your academic advisor in seeking a designated faculty project advisor. The faculty project advisor may be your academic advisor, but when the project dictates, another advisor may be assigned.
To warrant approval, the project proposal should demonstrate the integration of communication skills, should demonstrate a professional communication-related challenge, and should include plans for an outside project evaluation—in addition to the faculty project advisor evaluation.
A written project proposal must be submitted to and approved by the faculty project advisor. The advisor then submits the project to the department chair for faculty input and approval. You will receive written confirmation and project feedback from the chair when the project has been approved.
First and foremost, your senior project will be graded upon the extent to which it shows a full and complete execution of the approved proposal. Higher grades will reflect the additional effort used to transform the original proposal into a substantial final product. We expect that the final project will display extensive evidence of your breadth of communication knowledge and skill across various aspects of the discipline.
Before your presentation, you will create a portfolio binder containing the senior project proposal, project timeline, budget, and any other hard-copy or digital materials created during the project. If your project includes digital files that are difficult or impossible to print, you may submit these files in the form of a .zip file or a USB drive along with your portfolio binder. (To submit a .zip file, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org via link or attachment.)
Department faculty will review your portfolio when determining a final grade for the project. Your portfolio binder will remain in the main office as an example for future seniors after your portfolio has been graded. Your portfolio should show the progression of your project from start to finish and should include, but is not limited to, the following items:
- Actual timeline in comparison to expected timeline
- Actual budget in comparison to expected budget
- Self-evaluation (1-2 pages in length)
- Evaluation from an outside evaluator
- Any outcomes printed or produced associated with the project (i.e. posters, programs, published articles, photos of the event, etc.)
With regard to the project, the faculty will grade each of the following areas: service to others, use of time management, learning challenges, documentation of evidence, problem-solving, creative thinking and approach to the project, quality of project, and presentation of the senior project. Following the presentation, faculty will use this rubric to assign a grade A-F to the project.
At the end of your senior year, a 10-minute presentation will be delivered to the Communication & Languages faculty and anyone else who wishes to attend. Presentations should provide a formally organized representation of the project, project timeline, success and failures, and the final result of the project. There will also be a 5-minute Q & A session following the presentation.
Faculty will have the opportunity to ask clarifying questions. Formal quality, organization, effective use of supporting examples, presentation style, and a sufficient display of authority and confidence in the Q & A session will all factor into the final project grade. Within two weeks of the presentation, you will receive an email from your faculty project advisor notifying you of the outcome and grade of your senior project presentation.