Senior Program


I. Senior Exhibition

Each student must complete a successful Senior Exhibition to graduate from The New School. The Senior Exhibition is student-directed and consists of (1) a 10- to 15-page research paper and (2) a one-hour presentation. Each senior decides on the topic of his/her project and works with a faculty content advisor to establish the project's guiding question and exhibition format.

Download the Senior Exhibition Handbook for step-by-step guidance on the Senior Exhibition.

II. Early College Project

The Early College Project allows students to further pursue the work of their Senior Exhibitions. As such, the Early College Project represents an applied extension of the Senior Exhibition. Everything from a performance, demonstration, workshop, seminar, etc. is possible. The student works with his/her Senior Exhibition content advisor to determine an appropriate direction and format for the Early College Project. A student may complete the Early College Project either before or after the Senior Exhibition, as appropriate.

Two examples follow:

  • Student completes Senior Exhibition on the role of women during World War II and an Early College Project developing an audio archive of interviews with women who were alive during WWII.
  • Student completes Early College Project writing and directing a one-act farce and a Senior Exhibition on the use of farce in drama, citing his/her own work as a principal example.

The Early College Project is graded by the student’s Senior Exhibition content advisor and at least one outside-school expert. The student must successfully complete the project to receive an Early College Project Certificate at graduation.

III. Honors Program

The purpose of the New School Honors Program is to encourage the pursuit of excellence in the student body. In particular, the Honors Program allows students to focus on a particular discipline or interest beyond the general school curriculum.

The requirements of the Honors Program are as follows:

  1. To enter the Honors Program, the student must have successfully completed his/her Junior Portfolio.
  2. A student wishing to be in the Honors program must direct his/her Senior Exhibition towards his/her chosen subject area.
  3. The student must successfully (90% or higher) complete a Senior Exhibition and Early College Project in his/her subject area.
  4. The student must successfully (80% or higher) complete a Level III (Honors) course in his/her chosen discipline.
  5. The student must become involved in an experience that is external to the school within his/her subject area. This could include a college class, an internship, a service activity, a long trip, etc. Thirty hours is the minimum requirement.
  6. Students are expected to develop a showcase portfolio that demonstrates their mastery in their subject area. The head of the department will determine the specific requirements for the portfolio.
  7. Students are expected to be student leaders in their subject area. How this is defined will vary by department, but might include being a teaching assistant, putting on a school event, giving a lecture or workshop presentation, or tutoring.

    Upon successful completion of the requirements, the student will be presented with an Honors Diploma at graduation.

Some examples follow:

U.S. History Honors Diploma

  • Student completes Senior Exhibition on the role of women during World War II and an Early College project that consists of developing an audio archive of interviews with women who were alive during WWII.
  • Student earns a B + in the U.S. History Department Honors course "Looking for America," which examines key themes and the development of an American identity.
  • Student enrolls in a George Mason class on 20th Century U.S. History or student goes on school-hosted Lewis and Clark trip.
  • Student creates a portfolio demonstrating his/her historical pursuits, interests and milestone events academically and personally.
  • Student becomes a middle school TA for the U.S. History segment and gives a workshop on the role of women in WWII.

Drama Honors Diploma

  • Student completes Senior Exhibition on the use of farce in drama. Student completes Early College project writing and performing a one-act farce.
  • Student earns an A in the Honors course "Advanced Acting and Directing."
  • Student becomes involved in a local theater group, and plays two minor roles in their Fall and Spring productions.
  • Student creates a video portfolio showcasing their dramatic successes and influences.
  • Student heads up the Drama Activity during Essential Time and he/she participates in all school productions that year.

World Studies Honors Diploma

  • Student completes Senior Exhibition on the genocide in Rwanda. Student completes Early College project creating and putting on an evening discussion and activism event about stopping genocide.
  • Student earns an A in the World Studies Honors course "Global Service: Kenya."
  • Student completes 120 hours of community service working with a non-profit devoted to dealing with issues of war, genocide, and oppression.
  • Student creates a portfolio documenting his/her community service work, global service travels, and work on genocide.
  • Student is a member of the Amnesty International activity at school. Student participates in several community service events at school. Student encourages other students to participate in workshops and other external events, and participates in these events with them.