Clayton High School  Graduation Project

Clayton High School Graduation Project:

A graduation requirement since 2000

At Clayton High School, students have been required to complete a Graduation Project for more than ten years.  As  result of Graduation Projects at CHS, students have received job offers, internships and scholarships. Students have volunteered, built, designed, written. The Faculty at Clayton High School believes that Graduation Project allows students to excel in areas necessary for success in their lives after high school. 

Graduation Project Rationale

Graduation Project is a multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary performance assessment completed over time. The NC Graduation Project provides students the opportunity to connect content knowledge, acquired skills, and work habits to real world situations and issues. Through the graduation project process, students will engage various specific skills that include: computer knowledge, employability skills, information-retrieval skills, language skills - reading, language skills - writing, teamwork, and thinking/problem-solving skills. 

Expectations of the Graduation Project

Students are expected to produce a Graduation Project that reflects what they have learned during high school and expands upon that knowledge. 

Students are expected to choose a topic and product that will be a stretch for them while at the same time maintain their interest for an extended period of time.

Students must pass all four components of the Graduation Project in order to graduate.  If they do not pass any one component, they will receive additional help and will redo the component. A student who does not successfully complete the four components of the Graduation Project will not receive a high school diploma. 

Graduation Project Components

  • Research Paper
  • Product
  • Oral Presentation
  • Digital Portfolio

Graduation Project Timeline

Junior Year-  Research Paper will be completed and Portfolio will be started.

Senior Year- Product, Presentation, and Digital Portfolio will all be completed.

Student Responsibilities

  • Identify a viable project.
  • Successfully complete all components on the NC Graduation Project:  research paper, portfolio, product, and oral presentation.
  • Work Individually on the culminating project.
  • Submit all letters, forms, and paperwork by designated deadlines.
  • Seek advice and assistance when needed.
  • Maintain documentation of completed tasks and timelines.
  • Identify and maintain regular contact with academic advisors and project mentors as the graduation project is created and developed.
  • Employ a variety of communication techniques, such as letters, interviews, phone calls, and electronic communications, as project work progresses.
  • Research and write a paper on a topic of interest.
  • Complete and document a minimum of 15 hours of verifiable work outside the regular school day on the product component.
  • Prepare a reflective portfolio documenting work completed.
  • Make a presentation to the review panel that is judged as acceptable by the panel.

How Can Parents Help?

  • Be aware of the requirements for the Graduation Project.
  • Help students recognize interests in order to choose a topic.
  • Help students remember key dates.  Post a Graduation Project Calendar in a prominent place in your home.
  • Contact and work with teachers/advisors as soon as there appears to be an issue.
  • Read your student's research paper and offer feedback.
  • Listen to your child's presentation.  Offer information and/or suggestions that may be helpful.


From:  "North Carolina Graduation Project Implementation Guide."  North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Sept 2007.