Upper School Deep Dive Certificate Program
Westtown puts action at the center of each student’s experience. We empower students to dig deep, think big and make an impact. It’s been this way for a very long time. Woven throughout Westtown’s history is a strong emphasis on cross-disciplinary study in the service of active engagement with the world. And now we have a new expression of this approach.
The Westtown Deep Dive Designations promote an interdisciplinary lens through which students design and experience their education. In 2014-2015 Westtown piloted Deep Dives in three areas: Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainability Leadership, and Global Leadership. In the 2017-2018 academic year, the Deep Dive in Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice was introduced.
The program honors Upper School students who are engaged in an intentional, organized and well-documented arc of action-based learning and focused scholarship. Students create the path from initial interest to successful capstone project. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a certificate celebrating their sustained concentration and thoughtful synthesizing of a broad array of experiences and academic work. The designation will be noted on the student’s transcript, providing our students with yet another way of standing out from the crowd. Students may pursue more than one Deep Dive.
The designation will be noted on the student’s transcript, providing our students with yet another way of standing out from the crowd.
While each program area has a different focus, all three share a common framework.
Each one has a set of academic requirements. All of these may be met as students fulfill course requirements for graduation.
Students must complete four projects over their junior and senior year from within other courses in their individual academic programs. For instance, a student in Latin American History may focus a research assignment on land use and degradation in the Caribbean as a part of the Deep Dive in Leadership for Sustainability.
The Deep Dives include an off-campus immersion experience. Students may satisfy this part of the program through their Senior Project or fulfilling their 40 hours of service. They may also choose another means of immersion. For instance, a student interested in Social Entrepreneurship might participate in the Ashoka’s Catapult Incubator.
Students must participate in one of Westtown’s many on-campus extra-curricular or co-curricular offerings. A student involved in the Global Leadership Deep Dive might serve as the club head for the International Student organization or the Student of Color Association.
- Over their junior and senior years, students will build a portfolio of work. In collaboration with the program director, students will create and complete a Capstone Project that demonstrates authentic action-based learning, ties all of the certificate experiences into a cogent, reflective whole, and connects to Westtown’s Global Competencies.