Frequently Asked Questions 

What is WISE?

WISE Individualized Senior Experience is a program that enables high school seniors to design and experience an individualized, passion-driven project as a bridge to college and work. The topics students can explore in school-based, experiential learning programs are limitless. As a result, students discover in themselves and in one another skills, strengths and talents they had not realized were present.

Who can do WISE?

Any senior on track for graduation.

What kind of WISE projects are possible?

Projects are passion driven. Seniors have considerable flexibility in the projects they design. Projects can include, but are not limited to, internships, independent research, self-improvement, community service or cultural, artistic and performance-based activities.

What is a mentor?

A mentor is a member of the school staff chosen by the WISE student to guide him or her through the WISE experience. The student meets with the mentor during school hours. A mentor can be any adult: teachers, guidance counselors, security officers, custodians, secretaries or administrators.

Why keep a journal?

All WISE students keep a daily journal to document the process and progress of their projects and experiences. The WISE journal is a semi-public document read by the mentor and evaluators.

What can a student write in a journal?

ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! The journal revolves around the WISE project. Research and reflection are at the heart of a journal. Mentors are encouraged to comment regularly in the journal.

Who runs a WISE program?

A task force that includes students, teachers, administrators, other school staff, parents and community members runs the program in each school.

How rigorous is WISE?

VERY. WISE requires fieldwork and research in the subject matter of a project. This process enables a student to gain skills that can lead to lifelong learning. Students are encouraged to read professional journals and newspapers, watch documentaries, interview experts in the field, use the internet, take field trips and attend concerts, theatre, debates, speeches or forums as part of developing an extensive variety of sources for information. As part of their journals, students are required to include an annotated bibliography of sources

What is a presentation?

At the end of the semester, students present their projects in public to parents, friends, community members, and classmates. The presentation represents each student’s journey and is a review of the peaks and valleys—the successes and failures—each encountered in the process of working on the project. The possibilities for a presentation are limited only by the creativity and imagination of students and their mentors. A committee of students, teachers and community members evaluates the project and presentation.

How are students assessed?

Assessment is an ongoing process throughout the project. If the mentor does not think the student has met the basic requirements for weekly meetings, daily journal entries, research and attendance at work sites the student will not receive credit and will not be permitted to make a presentation. Mentors and students meet after the presentation to discuss the committee’s assessment. The mentor also provides a written assessment to be included in the student’s permanent record and transcript.

How many credits can a student receive for completing a WISE project?

Each school determines how credit is given.

How does WISE prepare students for college and work?

Students need to be independent learners and problem solvers to succeed in college and at work. They have to manage time, develop good interpersonal skills, set realistic goals and become self-reliant. WISE students gain these abilities and more in executing their individualized senior experiences, which not only eases their transition to college and work, but also enhances their chances for success.

The WISE experience takes students from the confines of a traditional classroom and invites them into a world full of opportunities to learn from others in stimulating settings. It also fosters students’ independence, as they learn to manage their own time and interact with new people in adult environments.

How can my high school become a WISE School?

Simply contact WISE Services at: office@wiseservices.org, or call 845-592-8311, and we will set up an appointment to meet with you.