The FCHS Senior Project is a requirement for graduation and consists of months of researching and writing an 8-12 page position paper and oral presentation on any topic of interest to the student, on which the student takes a strong position using logic and persuasive argument.
Paul DeMeritt, Senior English instructor and Senior Project Co-coordinator at Faith Christian explains: “I love the Senior Project requirement; and while I know most of the kids wouldn’t say they love it, I know they see its value as part of our curriculum. Our kids invariably come back from their freshman year at college with glowing testimonies of how the Senior Project truly prepared them to excel at the college and university level - and in business, career and ministry as well!”
Required content includes:
- Selecting a topic on which the student can support the traditional Judeo/Christian Worldview regarding the topic.
- A “position” project requires an issue which does or can generate opposing viewpoints. Students must demonstrate awareness of both viewpoints in both written and oral presentations. It is recommended that you select an issue which is both of interest and concern to you and about which you possess strong feelings.
- Addressing the issue's effect upon society in general as well as the local, regional, national, and global impact.
- Biblical/spiritual implications of the topic, its standing in relation to Christian history and in terms of a "Judeo-Christian World-view"(including an overview of the global Christian community)
- Addressing or suggesting potential solutions or recommendations and attempting to provide “the next steps” – organizations to join, laws to support or enact, organizations or individuals to contact, etc.)
- A minimum of 3 references
- Additional and appropriate support materials (visual aids, charts, graphs, illustrations, tables, etc.) are strongly recommended.
Students submit their finished written projects during the months of March or April, and in April or early May begin their oral presentations, which must include an open “question and answer” period. “Students work with FCS Informational Technology Coordinator Michael Childers to create a professional power-point presentation” DeMeritt observes; “Recently, power point has been becoming more and more essential and the students do a great job at it. We’ve had students who master “power point” here at Faith, and then go on to mentor their classmates at colleges and universities on how to professionally prepare such a presentation.”
DeMeritt is in his twenty-fourth year coordinating Senior Projects at Faith Christian with English Department chair and colleague Paula Finlay and IT Coordinator Michael Childers, but he notes that over the last sixteen years something special has been added. “Sixteen years ago we realized the degree of community interest in these projects. Our principal asked if there wasn’t some way that we could recognize our top achievers in the Senior Project process, so we began selecting the top 5 oral presentations and having them presented before a 'community board' comprised of professionals, ministers, educators and parents from within the Yuba-Sutter community, who critique the student’s efforts. For the past nine years top finishers have received cash prizes and special recognition at our graduation ceremonies in June.”
Here is what FCHS alumni said about their senior project:
Josh: “I think it was a good experience to prepare you for college. It was harder than I thought it would be and going into depth on a subject is challenging. It’s also much more than just a term paper; you have to truly understand the topic. I also feel that completing my Senior Project has prepared me to do well professionally…and that’s something that I think should take place during your senior year; the senior year should be a process of getting ready to move on in life!”
Tiffany: “It was stressful…but now I feel so prepared! I feel like I’ve really accomplished something! From attending college classes with friends, I know that this is what many college assignments will be like, and now I can be confident about my ability to succeed in college. I also liked being able to choose a topic that I felt so strongly about, and to be able to share my feelings and beliefs with others.”