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Culminating Project

1. What is the role of the State Board of Education (SBE) in the Culminating Project?

SBE established the Culminating Project as a graduation requirement in 2000. The requirement was first implemented for students in the graduating Class of 2008. In 2014, the Legislature eliminated the culminating project as a state graduation requirement beginning with students graduating in 2015. As a result, the graduation requirement of the culminating project applies to students who entered 9th grade before July 1, 2004 and who graduate before 2015. New SBE rules amended WAC 180-51-066 and WAC 180-51-067 to eliminate the culminating project as a graduation requirement for all students who graduate in 2015 and beyond, regardless of which year the student entered 9th grade.

Although the culminating project is no longer a state graduation requirement, districts may choose to have a culminating project or a senior project as a local graduation requirement.

2. What is the Culminating Project?

The Culminating project is intended to be an experiential, hands-on project that gives students a formal opportunity to demonstrate in a variety of ways their learning competencies related to Washington's Basic Education learning goals three and four (RCW 28A.150.210):

  • Goal 3: Think analytically, logically and creatively, and integrate experience and knowledge to form reasoned judgments and solve problems.
  • Goal 4: Understand the importance of work and how performance, effort and decisions directly affect future career and educational opportunities.

3. What are the Culminating Project guidelines?

Students have the flexibility to construct Culminating Projects that demonstrate essential skills through reading, writing, speaking, production, and/or performance; skills of analysis, logic and creativity; and the integration of experience and knowledge to form reasoned judgments and solve problems. School districts should clearly identify Culminating Project student outcomes and develop and publish assessment criteria to support those outcomes. Each district should have a Culminating Project management system designed to support the students and staff. Districts should also have policies in place to handle special circumstances, such as district transfers, parental challenges to the project, etc.

Districts may opt to include the community in project planning, support, or feedback. There is no state-level prohibition against doing joint projects of two or more students. School districts shall ensure the safety of each student by complying with legal and risk management guidelines.

Page last updated: September 2014