senior project information

The Senior Project offers seniors the opportunity to plan and experience a four-week program of their own design in May of the senior year. Senior Projects should enhance the positive development of the individual and be a structured learning experience. The most frequently chosen projects are those such as mini courses, independent study, and work with mentors in laboratories, businesses, or voluntary organizations. 

The Senior Project provides seniors with the opportunity to experience community involvement; to focus considerable time on a particular goal; to plan the use of time; to study a topic not in the school curriculum; and to investigate possible career choices. View the Senior Project Guidelines.

For parents of seniors

Start thinking early about ideas for Senior Project. We encourage you to read through the Senior Project Guidelines so that you are aware of our expectations and the student's responsibilities. Please also note the timeline for completion of the project proposal.

Before you give your written approval, please read your son or daughter's complete proposal and note the daily schedule. You may want to make a copy of the schedule for your own reference. You are also invited to attend your student's Senior Project Review. The schedule will be posted on the website mid-May.

If you have any questions or concerns about the feasibility of any part of the project, please contact:

Steve Heilig and Tom Fones, Senior Project Coordinates; or
Dan O'Loughlin, Senior Class Advisor 

For Senior Project mentors

Thank you for considering being a mentor to an SPA senior during their Senior Project experience. The Senior Project experience is a structured, supervised experience that combines academic learning and career development/exploration in a professional work environment. Students gain hands-on experience, learn new skills, explore a profession and develop a working knowledge of the organization’s structure and operations.  A mentorship is a partnership. This partnership is a three-way relationship between the SPA Senior Project Committee, the site mentor/supervisor and the student.

Students can bring enthusiasm, creativity and a fresh perspective to your organization. We ask that the organization provide a supportive, yet challenging, environment in which the student can grow and learn. Students may not be paid for this experience. For more information, see below.

Dates and Time

The Senior Project begins Monday, May 6, 2019, and ends Friday, May 31, 2019. The student is expected to attend a minimum of 16 hours per week Monday-Friday at the mentor’s organization.


Before the project begins, the mentor meets with the senior to discuss goals, potential projects and responsibilities and assists the student in setting up the project. The senior will ask the mentor to sign The Senior Project Proposal form to confirm the agreed upon goals and daily schedule for the project.  The Senior Project Proposal is an outline of the student’s goals and objectives for the project and a copy of his/her daily schedule. It functions as a learning agreement and is signed by the senior, his/her parents, and the site mentor/supervisor. It is approved by the Senior Project Committee. You may access a copy of the Senior Project Proposal Form (available early spring 2017) on the SPA website.

During the project, the mentor acts as a guide and supervisor. This involves holding regularly scheduled meetings (at least once per week) and being available for questions or direction.


At the end of the four weeks, the mentor evaluates the senior’s work in terms of the agreed upon goals and tasks. The mentor will provide a written evaluation to the Senior Project Committee that includes a short statement evaluating the senior on attitude, responsibility, work ethic, attendance, projects on which they worked, and any other pertinent information.

The Senior Project also requires the student to do reflection and analysis in a number of ways. This must include a written log of hours at the project site and may include either a two-page reflection paper or regular journal entries. At the end of the project month, the student does a 20-minute presentation of the project before a committee of classmates and faculty. The senior is graded pass/fail for the project.


If you are interested in proposing a Senior Project opportunity, please contact us with a brief description of the proposed experience. Key points to include are:

  • Name of the contact and contact information, including e-mail, telephone, and snail mail
  • A brief description of your organization
  • A brief description of the project responsibilities
  • Hours per week
  • The Community Response Form, which you should email as an attachment to

The school distributes a list of all project proposals to the seniors in late January. Seniors are responsible for following up on any proposal that interests them. Mentors/Supervisors may use any selection process they wish if they receive requests from more than one student.  The Senior Project is an opportunity for a student to become a part of the organization. Students need an on-site mentor who serves as a supervisor and guide. We ask that you not accept more than two seniors from St. Paul Academy and Summit School at the same time.

Senior Project Coordinators

The Senior Project Coordinators serve as a liaison between the student, the school, and the organization providing the project experience. This involves monitoring the student’s progress and receiving feedback from the organizations — both positive and negative.

If you have questions, please contact one of the Senior Project Coordinators: Steve Heilig and Tom Fones, Senior Project Coordinators; or the Senior Class Advisor Dan O'Loughlin.

1150 Goodrich Avenue, St. Paul MN 55105
Main school line: 651-698-2451
Goodrich front desk: 651-696-1560 
Goodrich attendance line: 651-696-1414
1712 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul MN 55105
Main school line: 651-698-2451
Randolph attendance line: 651-696-1410
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