Student Graduation Project » Student Graduation Project

Student Graduation Project

CMS students will continue work on the project as a local graduation requirement. High School Juniors and Seniors are responsible for specific graduation project components and this requirement will count as part of the total grade in their English class, a course required for graduation. Click here for the graduation policy approved by the CMS Board of Education April 28, 2009.

The Graduation Project has four parts: a research paper, product, portfolio, and oral presentation before a review board. These four components are designed to be a culmination of the entire high school experience. To complete the Graduation Project, students will apply skills needed to be successful in post-secondary education and careers. The project requires students to demonstrate what they know and what they can do with the skills acquired in high school. (Students will still be required to achieve proficiency on five End-of-Course tests as well in order to graduate.)

The four components:

  1. A research paper demonstrating research skills and writing skills, to be completed in the Junior year
  2. A Service Learning Experience (SLE)/ product that demonstrates the use of knowledge and skills in a meaningful way to accomplish a goal, to be completed in the Senior year
  3. An oral presentation, during which, students become a source of information communicating their project work before a review panel, to be completed in the Senior year
  4. A portfolio to catalogue/document tasks, record reflective thinking and insights, as well as demonstrate responsibility for learning as work progresses through the entire process, to be kept throughout the process

In addition to the student requirements, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is committed to making this experience meaningful and relevant to students by involving the community in mentoring and serving on review boards for the project. If you are interested in serving as a mentor or review board volunteer, please contact Roxanne Friday at cmsgradproject or 980-343-2790.

Prospective volunteers will also need to complete a CMS Volunteer Application.


Components of the Graduation Project:

  1. Research with formal paper: Usually completed during the 11th
  2. Product: Service Learning Experience: May be completed in 11th or 12th grade year
  3. Portfolio: Collect evidence of effort put forth: Ongoing collection of artifactsPresentation to panel of judges:
  4. Usually completed during the 12th grade year

When you are choosing a topic, it is a smart idea to think about the service project you can do. Your service and topic should be closely related. You may work on both the research and product simultaneously.

Your portfolio is a collection of evidence of your research, effort put into a service learning experience, artifacts from your work, and any documentation you have collected.

In your presentation, focus on these three things:

  • What did you learn from your research and service learning?
  • What impact did you make in your community as a result?
  • How has the Graduation Project changed you?


Download the Graduation Project manual here:


Download the Graduation Project Brochures here: