Top Bar

Lower Merion School District

Off-Canvas

Community Based Learning

Community Based Learning is a form of instruction that takes place in the “real world” and where a student learns by doing. This means that students can earn credit exploring careers and interests, working in a paid position, or doing community service. The student’s individual experience serves as the primary content for Educational Field Experience, Cooperative Work Program, and Community Service Learning. All of the Community Based Learning programs are excellent preparation and assistance for the senior project, as well as for future college and work opportunities. Students secure a service placement, internship, or a work position at a site with a supervisor. The program coordinator must approve any summer hours that the student might have an opportunity to complete, and that approval must be made in the spring prior to beginning the course.

Work Experience

  • Length: 1 year
    • 1 credit (requires 120 hours of work)
    • 0.5 credit (requires 60 hours of work)
  • Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
  • Course Number: 15110200

This course is designed for students who want to use their jobs as a learning experience for academic credit. Major topics include forming healthy work relationships, personal integrity, ethics in the workplace, networking, interviewing, understanding your work environment, and career exploration. Students must also attend scheduled seminar meetings. The work program helps with college and career direction as well as contacts for your senior project. No summer hours are offered.

Important Facts:

  • Work hours can be done during or after school time.
  • Students must be actively on the job for most of each quarter in order to receive credit for that quarter.
  • Course can be taken for multiple credits.

Legal Provisions

Students in the Cooperative Work Program are required to comply with the regulations established by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding employment. The rules are shown on the Application for Work Permit (PDE-4565).

Educational Field Experience

  • Length: 1 semester - 0.5 credit (requires 60 hours of EFE)
  • Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
  • Course Number: 12020110

This program offers an internship in the “real world” for academic credit. An internship (non-paid) is an opportunity to explore a career interest and have a unique and individualized high school experience. Non-paid internships are attractive to many professional settings, and they benefit the student by allowing the possibility of securing “hard to get” experiences. Completing an internship makes you more competitive in the college and job market. Students must also attend scheduled seminar meetings. This program often leads to contacts for your senior project.

Important Facts:

  • Students may complete up to half of the required hours for the coming school year during the summer.
  • Placements must be pre-approved in the spring for summer hours to count.
  • During the school year hours can be done during or after school and/on weekends.

Educational Field Experience

  • Length/credit: 1 year - 1.0 credit (120 hours)
  • Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
  • Course Number: 12020100

This program offers an internship in the “real world” for academic credit. An internship is an opportunity for a student to explore a career interest and have a unique and individualized high school experience. Doing an internship makes a student more competitive in the college and job market. Students are required to participate in online academic activities as part of this course and must also attend scheduled seminar meetings. Seminar dates will be posted on the student’s academic schedule. This program often leads to contacts for the senior project.

Important Facts:

  • Students may complete up to half of the required hours for the coming school year during the summer.
  • Placements must be pre-approved in the spring for summer hours to count.
  • During the school year hours can be done during or after school time and on weekends.
  • Students must meet with the coordinator either in seminars or individually.
  • Attendance at seminars or individually scheduled meetings is mandatory.
  • Job shadowing days are offered for hours.

Community Service Learning

  • Length/credit:
    • 1 year - 1.0 credit (120 hours)
    • 1 semester - 0.5 credit (60 hours)
  • Grade(s): 10, 11, 12
  • Course Number: 12010110, 12010100

How can one person make a difference in the world? How can a person learn more about the world outside of school? How can a student get involved in a service project? By signing up for the Community Service course, students will have the opportunity to answer these and many other important questions while participating in a service project of choice. Students are required to participate in online academic activities as part of this course and must also attend scheduled seminar meetings. Seminar dates will be posted on the student’s academic schedule. Students use reflection, individual conferencing, and group discussions to facilitate learning. The program coordinator must approve all sites. This course may be taken twice for a total of one credit. It is offered Pass/Fail only.

Components of programs:

  1. hours accumulated
  2. seminar attendance
  3. individual conferences
  4. completion of assignments
  5. evaluation of site supervisor
  6. guest speaker opportunities

Senior Project

  • Length/credit: 1 semester - 0.5 credit
  • Grade: 12
  • Course Number: 12040100

A Lower Merion School District Senior Project is completed by every graduate. The project is a self-directed, investigative exploration of a topic of interest to the individual student. Each senior meets with a faculty advisor from January through April. During these meetings, students develop a research proposal, plan the experimental learning phase (ELP), and complete a reflective paper to be submitted the first week of May. An extended period of independent time is used by each student for intense focus on the ELP and preparation of a presentation. Seniors earn 0.5 of credit for the Senior Project. Each senior earns a grade of “P” or “F” for each of the following: third quarter, fourth quarter, and the final presentation. The student must pass at least two of these grading periods to earn an overall passing grade of “P” for the Senior Project.