All seniors at Mount Alvernia are required to complete a Senior Symposium project. Since 1994, this experience has been a right of passage for graduates.
In the second semester of senior year, each student chooses an author and a history topic related thematically, geographically, and/or chronologically with her chosen author. Their project consists of a research paper for history, an analytical paper for English, research logs and a formal oral presentation.
The students’ papers are bound and become part of the permanent collection in the school library.
Each senior art student spends her last year producing a Senior Art Thesis, a work of art that demonstrates her facility with art as a medium and message.
Senior technology students apply their advanced technology skills to designing and building the Symposium website and producing the program book.
In establishing this requirement for graduation our goal is fourfold:
- To provide an opportunity for formal closure to the high school years within these disciplines;
- To assess authentically the student’s ability to pursue independent research and literary analysis;
- To have students demonstrate within their learning community a written and oral command of their chosen material;
- To graduate students with a sense of confidence in their accomplishments, ready to use them as a foundation for colleges and beyond.
As the past twenty years have proven, the Senior Symposium experience unites not only members of each senior class as they journey down this road together, but it also provides a connection to past MAHS graduates who have undertaken this unique challenge and all future students who will follow in their footsteps.