Requirements for graduating seniors


Communication seniors: capstone project

The senior project provides an opportunity for senior-level students to demonstrate the skills and expertise they have developed in their chosen academic field.

  • Integration—It 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.  Projects involving more than one individual will be considered when components of the project can be assessed individually.

    Language seniors: exit exam

    The Exit Exam consists of three parts: 

    • Senior Oral Presentation
    • Oral Proficiency Interview by Computer (OPIc)
    • Writing Proficiency Interview (WPT)

    Oral presentation

    The first part of the exam is an oral presentation on two literary works.  You must submit your two book titles to your academic advisor by the end of March, if you plan to graduate in June.

    Sample Senior Exit Exam Outline
    Senior Exit Exam Book and Movie List

    Proficiency interviews (oral and written)

    The other two parts of the exam are conducted by Language Testing International, a subsidiary of American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).  This part of the exam, Oral Proficiency Interview by Computer (OPIc), an internet delivered test which provides valid and reliable oral proficiency testing on a large scale and the WPT, a standardized test for the global assessment of functional writing ability in a language.  The OPIc and WPT can be taken at Student Development Services (509) 527-2147.  This part of the exit exam must be completed by the end of May, in order to graduate in June.

    DO NOT discard your test confirmation as it contains your login information to check on your results.  The following links will give you information for each type of test:

    Academic Individual
    Teacher Candidate

    1. Identify an appropriate project based on your major and your interests
    2. Compose a senior project proposal based on the guidelines provided
    3. Complete your senior project using your proposal as a guide
    4. Prepare a binder with details and info from your proposal
    5. Give a 10-minute presentation to the Faculty and Staff followed by Q&A

    The timeline for your senior project will begin 3 quarters prior to your graduation.

    • Pick-up a syllabus from your advisor.
    • Proposal Due: 3rd week of the quarter (i.e. 3rd week of fall quarter for   June graduates)
    • Proposal response from faculty will be returned by the 6th week.
    • Proposal Revisions Due: 9th week
    • Final Presentation: Approximately 3 weeks before graduation.

    The student should consult with his/her academic advisor in seeking a designated faculty project advisor. The faculty project advisor may be the student’s academic advisor, but when the project dictates, another advisor may be assigned.

    To warrant approval, the project proposal should demonstrate an 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. The student will receive written confirmation and project feedback from the chair when the project has been approved.

    The senior project will be graded by the department faculty first and foremost upon the extent to which it evidences and reflects 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 the student’s breadth of communication knowledge and skill across various aspects of the discipline. 

    A portfolio should be put together in a binder containing the senior project proposal, project timeline, budget, and any hard copy materials created or designed during the project.  Hard copy materials designed during the project can be left in the portfolio as a DVD or printed materials.  Department faculty will review this binder when determining a final grade for the project.  After the senior projects have been graded the student’s portfolio binder will remain in the main office as an example for future seniors.  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
    • Actual budget in comparison to expected budget
    • Self-evaluation (1-2 pages in length)
    • Evaluation from 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 challenge, documentation of evidence, problem solving, creative thinking and approach to project, quality of project, and presentation of senior project.  Following the presentation faculty will use this rubric to assign a grade A-F to the project.

    At the end of the student’s 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 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, students will receive an email from their faculty project advisor notifying them of the outcome and grade of the senior project presentation.

    Senior Project Examples

    Need Inspiration? Take a look at the great work some of our former students have done!

    If you have questions about senior outline and graduation requirements, email either of these professors...











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