GC and R.I.S.E. Represent New Twists on Old Ideas

Ms. Jasmine Leavitt

Hinesburg VT–  Although Grad Challenge has changed from a research process to a reflective one, some students say the stress and anxiety for them has not changed, even though they may see the purpose of Grad Challenge.

CVU senior, Liam Freeman says, “Grad Challenge has being going well. I have met all the deadlines so far, since I am passionate about my topic: Fly Fishing.”   

CVU senior, Clark Schmitt noticed some overlap of having both RISE and Grad Challenge in the same year. “The RISE program allows people the same opportunity as Grad Challenge. It would be cool if they incorporated the two together, so students could work with seniors on their Grad Challenge.”

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Schmitt says, “I am excited about my challenge: Media for Bolton Valley. Grad Challenge is not going well for me though. I have gone through two Community Consultants, still trying to find one. I have had to write two letters of intent and two annotated bibs.” Some students have had a hard time trying to find an adult who is willing to take the time to be a Community Consultant.

Another CVU senior, Boaz Pike, suggests, “I wish the two weeks for RISE should be in the middle of the year, because most people are checked out at the end of the year, especially seniors. This would also allow Seniors more time to focus on Grad Challenge.”

Nick Molander, the person in charge of Grad Challenge said, “Historically, Grad Challenge has been seen as a transitional project for seniors, to show that through their four years they have learned to be independent learners, as well as to know themselves. Now I think that Grad Challenge is changing into more of a Personalized Learning instead of a stand alone thing.” In the past, Grad Challenge used to be a research paper. Now it has started to evolve into a reflection paper which is asking students to explain why they want to do this topic and how it relates to what they will do in the future. It is becoming more about what the students want.

Is Grad Challenge coming to an end?

Molander states, “I have heard Rumors,but it has never been discussed. Grad Challenge is going to change for the better in the future.” Molander and others see the value in both Grad Challenge and RISE, as students are able to find a topic that they want to learn about and have fun while doing it. That is all that matters.