|The find and explore your true interests school|
What is “Experiential Learning?”
David A. Kolb developed this model for Experiential Learning
. This depicts the idea that Experiential Learning involves real experiences for the learner in addition to deliberate cognitive processing.
The Seven Hills Experiential Learning program grew out of the desire to provide an education that nurtures individual strengths and interests, and the recognition that a student’s educational experience should extend beyond our campus. In addition, we wanted to create pathways within a coherent structure that would allow students to pursue an area of interest to a deep and meaningful level.
The program is best summarized by the mission statement:
By the time every student leaves Seven Hills we will help him/her to develop
self-awareness of where his/her interests lie, facilitate exploration of those
interests, and provide him/her with pertinent real world experiences, so that
he/she has the confidence to explore and embrace life beyond high school.
This program will help students to better understand who they really
are, what they are good at, what comes most naturally to them, and what motivates them intrinsically
. With this knowledge, they will be equipped to pursue genuine
interests. When students discover something that has real meaning to them, they will want to explore it in various ways. The Experiential Learning program will then help them pursue their interest within the traditional school setting and in the real world. It will open their eyes to how their interest has a place in a broader context and where that interest might take them.
Specific objectives of the Experiential Learning program
- In a very deliberate fashion, help students increase their self-awareness around areas of strength, interests, and intrinsic motivators.
- Guide students towards real world experiences that allow them to pursue interests and develop strengths.
- For those interested students, facilitate pursuit of a “Concentration” in one of the following areas or some other area of interest: Community Engagement, Environmental Stewardship, Global Citizenship, Political Engagement, The Arts, Technology and Innovation, Engineering and Design, Integrated Wellness, or Written Expression.
Components of the Experiential Learning program (diagram)
In ninth grade, students will complete inventories on personal strengths, learning styles, multiple intelligences, and interest areas. The data from these inventories will be available on an ongoing basis to students, parents, advisors, and counselors. This information may be helpful as students make decisions about course selections, extracurricular and community service
activities, their personal challenge projec
t, and even college options.
At various stages during their high school career, students will do reflection activities to facilitate learning from experiences such as community service activities, their personal challenge project, core courses, and extracurricular activities. These reflection activities may occur during advisory, regular classes, or grade level meetings.
Throughout their high school experience, students will be exposed to a variety of guest speakers through the assembly program. These assemblies may include political debates, speakers focused on a particular career or professional area, alumni sharing their past and recent experiences, current students sharing personal challenge projects, community service activities, summer programs, or internship experiences.
At the end of 12th grade, students will participate in a culminating experience that will allow them to reflect on their high school years and to plan for the next stage of life.
As students move through the experiential learning program, they will be encouraged to pursue their interests when they choose community service activities, their personal challenge project, and summer programs. (Click Here
to access the summer programs data base). In addition, opportunities will be provided for job shadow experiences and internships. Students also have the opportunity to explore areas of interest through elective courses, flex credits, and our travel and exchange programs.
For those students who wish to pursue an area of interest in more depth, there is the option of graduating with a “Concentration.” Possible concentrations and the faculty adviser for each are listed below. Students may also request a concentration in a different area.
- Community Engagement - Anne Ramsay
- Engineering and Design - Lenore Horner
- Environmental Stewardship - Jen Torline
- Global Citizenship - Phil Thornberry
- Political Engagement - Dan Polifka
- Technology and Innovation - Brian Arnold
- The Arts - Tina Kuhlman
- Wellness - Erin Wierzba
- Written Expression - Marielle Newton
How to earn a Concentration
The basic requirements are below, but please click here
for more specific details.
To earn a Concentration, students need to satisfy one requirement in each of the following areas:
- core course requirements plus an elective, an online course, a summer course, a college course, or some other educational experience/training.
#2: Real World Connection
- a combination of job shadows, internship, interviews with professionals, public lectures, conferences, and/or workshops.
#3: Hands-on activity
- Personal Challenge, community service, a job, an internship, a student project, or a student competition.
In addition, students will need to:
- Write a reflection paper
- Do an oral defense
- Keep a log or journal of their activities
Students will be permitted to earn only one concentration.
|Click here to access the Summer Programs Database.|
|A small group of students identified a flat roof on our campus that could be painted white. The special paint will help to cool the building and thus reduce energy consumption; it will also prolong the life of the roof and thus keep waste materials out of landfills.|
|Our seniors came together for three days in May to reflect on their high school experience and to look ahead to the next chapter in their lives. They completed a service project, wrote notes to each other, thanked people who had helped them, and listened to advice on college campus safety.|
|At various times throughout the school year, the Upper School assemblies involve special guest speakers. During the 2016/17 school year, these have included: upperclassmen talking about their summer internships/job shadows/camps, etc.; Vince Scott, a retired Commander from the U.S. Navy who worked in cyber security including Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan; Cincinnati Council members P.G. Sittenfeld and Amy Murray; and Jazz singer Carla Cook.|
|The whole Upper School - students, faculty, and administrators - participated in an afternoon of service on Friday, October 28. Nearly 400 of us helped with projects on our own campuses and various organizations in our local community: Crayons to Computers, Matthew 25 Ministries, The Children's Home, and Taking Root.|