This is a multi-year sequence of courses that promotes self-awareness, leadership, service, and personal success.
At the George Washington University Online High School we work diligently to develop students’ character as well as their minds. The Journeys Symposium is a college—and life—planning curriculum with an emphasis on writing, designed to help students develop the self-awareness and skills necessary to set fulfilling goals for high school, college, and beyond.
Every Journey Starts with a First Step
The Journeys Symposium is a unique, multi-year course sequence that takes students through a process of self-discovery, leading to a fulfilling high school experience and a successful college placement. This flexibly structured voyage—interactive, introspective, and inspiring in equal measure—also provides students with a framework for living life well. The Journeys Symposium comprises consecutive year-long seminars:
Jumping into Journeys
Jumping into Journeys alludes to the 8th grade transition into High School. This course challenges 8th graders to become leaders of their school community and actively map out their plan for academic success, including course scheduling and progression, career exploration, self-reflection and preparing for the rigor of high school.
The Writer Within: Reflect, Respond, Reaffirm
Students explore and evaluate their personal interests, habits, and preferences through writing exercises and guided experiences that give them greater insight into themselves and each other. Part of this “immersion in self-awareness” is an assessment of their learning styles and needs. Each student emerges with a concrete set of goals, as well as an initial college search plan.
Service to a Cause: Community, Compassion, Commitment
Incorporating their developing self-awareness into the realm of team and community, students engage in a direct, hands-on service experience of their choice. Critical to this endeavor is in-depth analysis and reflection on the dynamics that lead to effective team action and community involvement. The result is a blueprint that students can use for skillful and responsible stewardship in the future.
Insights into Leadership: Valor, Vision, Voices
Students continue to apply their sense of self and community by building—and telling—their own unique stories. This fifth year in the Symposium stresses the conviction that every individual adds a distinctive, vital chapter to the whole human story. Through an iterative series of writing challenges, presentations, and discussions, each student crafts a powerful personal narrative that can be used as his or her college essay.
The Capstone Project: Achievement into Action
This final “journey” includes a practical focus on the college application process, as well as a study of different leadership styles and theories as they apply to real-life situations. Students research, examine, and report on various examples of courage, motivation, influence, triumph, and legacy fulfillment—current and historical—made more immediate and relevant through their pursuit of a self-selected, hands-on leadership opportunity.
The Journeys Symposium is where GWUOHS helps students navigate their passage from the classroom to the real world. It’s where we give students the tools to wrestle more confidently with personal experience—which is key to successful outcomes in college, and in life.