Over the next two weeks, Proctor's college counseling office
will administer 85 AP exams to more than thirty students. At the same time, thirty-eight seniors are embarking on a three-week culminating project to finish their Proctor experience.
Proctor's AP program offers Proctor's highest achieving students the opportunity to take advanced placement courses in as many as eleven different subjects. In recent years, the number of students demanding the challenge associated with these courses has increased as the intellectual curiosity of the student body continues to span a variety of disciplines. New AP courses are explored every year, with AP Statistics and AP Human Geography entering the academic curriculum this year, all offering students the opportunity to earn college credits.
As four students complete their AP Exams before fully engaging in their senior project, we are once again reminded of unique ability of Proctor's curriculum to inextricably tie academic rigor with experiential learning opportunities for our students. While some believe experiential learning serves as an alternative to advanced placement courses and intense academic rigor, we firmly believe the two work hand in hand to prepare our students for college and life beyond Proctor.
Proctor's three week long Senior Project, begun over 25 years ago, affords graduating seniors the opportunity to explore an area of passion, vocation, or expertise. Students work very closely with both an on-campus mentor (usually a faculty member) as well as an off-campus sponsor who has significant experience in the chosen field of study.
The focus on the experiential component of Senior Project encourages students to end their Proctor career in just the same way they began on Orientation: by stepping out of their comfort zone and pushing intellectual and physical boundaries, while perhaps unearthing new avocations. One faculty member comments of Senior Project, "The transition out of classes into hands-on work offers students an opportunity to gain perspective and insights into their plans for the future, while exploring an area of passion."
This year's projects span a tremendous breadth of vocations, from teaching sign language in a local 2nd
grade classroom, to preparing a flute recital, to building new trails in the Proctor Woodlands
, to recording a album in the music studio
, to working towards patenting an invention, to interning as a financial advisor at the Barn Play House
in New London. Other students are working with vet clinics, teaching at Harlem Academy
, and creating a documentary of the lacrosse season, while still others are working with the ECAC
to organize post-season tournaments.
For each student, challenges will abound as they experience increased independence and accountability as they take their talents to the 'real world'.
As Senior Project coordinator Laurie Zimmerman notes, "Senior Project is the culminating challenge of all of these students' experiential moments during their Proctor years. Unlike their other peak educative experiences during their time here, this is the only one which is completely self-envisioned, self-directed, and self-motivated. This can be frightening for some, but it should also be an exhilarating time of spreading their wings, dipping into a true passion or service, and making their final weeks of Proctor their best weeks."
To see all that came of these senior projects, join the community open house on Wednesday May 30th from 1:00-2:00 pm in the Wise Center. We invite you to stop in and see the work of this impressive group of seniors! In the mean time, please follow these seniors and their culminating academic experiences here