Central to VIA values is the need to educate students in understanding the great gift and opportunity bestowed upon them once they are accepted to college or university. Our students are fortunate, and we believe a way to demonstrate appreciation for what we have is to give back or pay forward into the lives of other people who are just as deserving, but less fortunate than we are. For this reason, throughout their high school experience, our students seek creative and unique ways to help others in need. The Culminating Experiential Learning Project (CELP; "Senior Project" is a synonym) for social practice occurs in the 12th grade when students engage in tasks designed to apply classroom knowledge to world issues and problems as a co-curricular topic—all the while relying on elements of creativity, action and service. Students are encouraged to solve a problem and evidence how the problem demonstrates their understanding of social responsibility.
The Senior Project is a legacy and/or capstone project that serves as an opportunity for students to study a topic of interest that we might not be able to offer them during the school year throughout their regular academic courses. This graduation requirement gives students the ability to explore future career aspirations or other subjects that inspire them. The topics can be artistic, academic, social, philosophical, or STEM-STEAM based, as long as they align with VIA's core values.
There are five major stages to the Senior Project: Proposal, Paper, Product, Portfolio & Display, and Presentation. These five stages are designed to mirror steps and procedures for independent research and honor projects in the U.S. education system.