Senior Mastery Process

The Senior Mastery Process was developed based on the belief that students must have opportunities to link what they are learning in school to the real world. This belief has been a strong conviction of the Henry Ford Academy, the nation's first charter school developed in part with the Ford Motor Company. As a Henry Ford Academy school, Power House High shares this principle and partners with students and businesses to prepare students for careers in the 21st century.

The primary purpose of the Senior Mastery Process is to provide students with an opportunity to learn through experience in an environment where they can make valuable connections between learning in the classroom and learning beyond the school. The goal is to enable them to become self-initiating learners by:

  • Investigating their career interests;
  • Developing their own Mastery Project plans;
  • Choosing research projects that are interesting and challenging to them;
  • Exploring their research questions in a supervised, work-based learning experience;
  • Creating a Practicum product related to their career exploration experience;
  • Using what they learned 'on the job' and further research to write a paper on the Senior Mastery Process; and
  • Presenting their learnings and finding to an interested audience.
This experience is designed to assist students in developing an awareness of the skills and attitudes required to function as productive, contributing members of the community. It enables students to be involved in real-life problem-solving, in which they are regarded as valuable and unique individuals whose ideas, opinions and suggestions are respected and considered seriously.

Junior Workshop, Senior Practicum, and Senior Workshop are the three courses that make up the Senior Mastery Process. Students must successfully complete each course prior to graduation.

Please see the Senior Mastery Process overview chart for an illustration of this process.

This page is under construction so please check back often for updates.

Junior Workshop

Junior Workshop is a ten-week course that is required for all juniors. It is an individualized seminar to help students develop the focus, materials, skills and plan for completing the Senior Practicum and the Senior Workshop. This course is a prerequisite for Senior Practicum and must be passed in order to proceed.

There are four components -

Learning About Self

Exploration of personal character traits and discovery of how they can impact their performance in school and in future endeavors

Learning About Careers

Investigation of possible career choices using Career Cruising, an online career exploration program

Learning Job Skills

Creation of a professional resume and are mock interviewed by working professionals in order to understand the challenges of matching skills and interests with career exploration

Developing a Professional Portfolio

Construction of a personal portfolio that identifies important academic and employment credentials to potential employers and college admission officers Students complete Junior Workshop by writing a Final Reflection paper on their workshop experience and their upcoming internship as part of Senior Practicum, the next course in the Senior Mastery Process.

Senior Practicum

Senior Practicum is the opportunity for seniors to gain real world experience by interning at a professional work place. In Junior Workshop students explored how certain professions match with their interests, goals and personalities; out of this exploration students developed a Top 2, which are two careers that were identified as best matches. Senior Practicum, which is the course that follows Junior Workshop, then connects students to internship opportunities (preferably) in one of the Top 2 careers.

Requirements of Senior Practicum

Intern for 75 hours at a work site (student is responsible for own transportation)

Work with an Adult Partner, who is your supervisor at the work site

Attend Academic Coaching sessions with the Practicum Coordinator

Maintain a time log and reflective journal

Create a unique product that will remain at work place

Write a Part II Paper that details your practicum experience

What do you mean by "create a product"?

Your product must demonstrate a clear answer to your Research Question. You must include and discuss your product at your defense. Preferably, you will use it throughout your presentation. Because your final product is worth 40% of your final grade -- 30% for the product itself and 10% for its presentation -- and you should spend considerable time developing it.

Some of these ideas may not fit your particular topic. Whatever you do, think professional. You might also have to combine some of these ideas into one project. Remember, this is a big part of your grade! You are expected to demonstrate your growth and maturity as well as show a sufficient understanding of your subject matter. Here are some possible ideas:

Video demonstration or live demonstration

Advertisement (radio, video, display) or pamphlet

Computer program
Interactive display
Debate, play, skit or role play
Mock press conference
Pop-up book
Design a magazine or a game
Create a song
Note: A PowerPoint presentation is NOT an acceptable product.
Senior Practicum Forms
Senior Practicum Checklist
Academic Coaching Information
Description of Senior Practicum for Adult Partner
Adult Partner Agreement Form
Adult Partner Orientation Completion Form
Adult Partner Personal Data Form
Student Weekly Activities Log
Student Weekly Practicum Time Log
Student Weekly Progress Report (completed by Adult Partner)
Practicum Product Approval Form
Rubric for Final Product
Part II Paper Guidelines
Final Performance Evaluation by Adult Partner

Senior Workshop

After successfully completing both Junior Workshop and Senior Practicum, seniors take Senior Workshop, the third and final part of the Senior Mastery Process. This course has three components: the Senior Mastery Process paper, the refinement of the Practicum Product; and preparation for Senior Defense.

The Senior Mastery Process paper, which is a research paper that analyzes data and information collected from the Practicum experience, also consists of the Junior Workshop and Part II papers.

Students also refine the product they developed during Senior Practicum. Final products must demonstrate their learnings and findings to their research questions. Final products can be but are not limited to any of the suggestions listed above. However, they must demonstrate in a creative way what students have learned throughout the Senior Mastery Process.

The final stage of the Senior Mastery Process is the Senior Defense. Students present or 'defend' their research as well their Practicum product in a 25-minute presentation to the Defense Committee that consists of the following people: Adult Partner, Advisory teacher, Senior Workshop teacher, Practicum Coordinator, and a teacher and fellow student of the defending student's choice.

The Defense Committee hears the defense, reads the Senior Mastery Process paper, and after an evaluation provides feedback to students. The process ends with the recognition of the students' tremendous accomplishment and the celebration of the completion of the Senior Mastery Process.

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