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While students’ minds are firmly on IB exams, completing their extended essays or TOK essays, finalizing their Home Service Projects or lining up the last few details for upcoming post-secondary or other adventures, many on campus are finalizing plans for other, more experientially-inclined year-end pursuits.

After last year’s pilot program, Capstone Week and associated year-end activities were retooled based on what was learned in 2018 and to take advantage of naturally-aligned activities such as Vancouver’s global Women Deliver conference. In fact, the structure of many year-end activities will bear a closer resemblance to a Project Week – a learning experience with a proven track record here at Pearson College UWC.

“Project Weeks during the academic year are often individually-directed by students,” noted Heather Gross, Deputy Head and Vice-President, Education and Programming. “Year-end programming is more directed and, like last year, is intended to encourage students to reflect on their experience, to solve challenging problems and to further develop skills they can use to as they take on greater leadership and changemaker roles and responsibilities.”

For young leaders finishing their first year at Pearson, these skills will be valuable in their new 2019-20 academic year roles as senior students and leaders on campus. For “graduating” students who will become new alumni of the College and are taking part in opportunities such as the Women Deliver conference (see story elsewhere in this edition of Pearson eNews) and other activities, the poise, knowledge and expertise they acquire will useful in all settings.

Year 45 students will be pursuing activities ranging from hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail over four days, working with the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and local First Nations, working in a design thinking lab in collaboration with Organize BC and the Royal British Columbia Museum and spending a week in Vancouver on a unique initiative to communicate and learn exclusively in French. Also, like last year, other first-years will spend part of the week gaining their Paddle Canada Instructor kayak certification during the Pacific Paddling Symposium hosted at the College.

Also, like last year, Gross expects first-years will also do “some decompressing, some resting, some connecting with each other, reflecting on the year past and some tone-setting for the year ahead.

“There are many things students need to do to be effective leaders the following year. We want to re-invigorate everyone’s values and their ability to act through skills and leadership training.”