Year 4: Integration
The fourth year is all about integration: the goal is to make sense of the work you have done in the community, on campus, and in the classroom. If you haven’t completed your capstone project before the start of the senior year, it should be completed no later than December of the senior year.
Having completed your capstone, you should begin to focus on how the work will be continued after you leave. This could include developing a plan with your community partner, recruiting additional students to help at your site, holding info sessions about the work of the site at CC and engaging in other public awareness campaigns. The key is to engage actively with your community partner in your senior year to begin the process of transitioning out of your role in a way that creates minimal disruption to the ongoing work of your community partner site.
During the first four blocks of your senior year, we encourage you to actively apply for postgraduate opportunities - some of which are available to you simply because you are a Colorado College student. Please review this list for more information on these opportunities. While not required, completing post-graduate applications are an excellent way to synthesize your experiences on campus and in the community for the purpose of finding the next step to gain experience and build skills. Post-graduate fellowships like the Watson Fellowship, the Fulbright, or the Peace Corps are often great ways to continue personal discernment and skill development.
We also encourage you to pursue employment applications or graduate school applications, as these are also an excellent way to articulate how you have integrated your academic work and community engagement.
This process of integrating your academic work is important for applications to graduate school, but we also strongly encourage you to review the host of postgraduate opportunities and fellowships available to you outside of traditional graduate programs. As noted above, in the fall of the senior year, you should also focus on leadership transition from the many roles you have come to occupy on campus and in the community. The process of effectively transitioning leadership is very important. CCE staff will help you by assisting you in developing the tools needed to succeed in this process, including developing transition documents and creating an onboarding or orientation for the students who will follow in your footsteps. This process, sometimes called succession planning, is a critical skill to develop as an undergraduate as you will likely utilize throughout your career.
In the second semester of the senior year, you should focus on preparing and delivering the Senior Presentation of Learning. Particular attention should be given to explaining how your academic work influenced your community work, and how your community work influenced your academic work. This process of ‘integrating’ often distinct aspects of your college experience is explained in detail in this worksheet from the American Association of Colleges and Universities. A draft of the senior presentation of learning should be submitted to CCE Staff no later than December of the student’s senior year.
Senior Year Primary Experiential Learning Goals
- Integrating Academic and Community Work
- Competing for postgraduate opportunities
- Succession Planning
- Articulating your story
Major Themes: integrated learning, preparing for post-graduate life, leadership transition, telling your story