Barbara Gottlieb
Queens-Satellite Academy High School
Course Outline - Fall 1999

(A Course for Graduating Seniors)


In January, 1997, the staff decided that all new students would be enrolled in an orientation class as well as learning to learn classes. The purposes of these classes was to introduce all students to the skills, work habits, attitudes, code of behavior, and study habits necessary for a successful high school career.

The staff then came to realize that our seniors also have special needs that should be addressed. In many ways, they need as much nurturing as our new students. Many of our graduating seniors were leaving Satellite without any concrete plans for the future. Therefore, the staff decided that it would be beneficial to create a course geared to the special needs of our graduating seniors. The Senior Horizons course was developed to help ease the transition from high school to life after Satellite. Students focus on strengthening academic skills of research, writing and presentation, as well as college and career exploration and transitioning from high school to the world of college/work.


All graduating seniors (regular and special education students).


The goals of the Senior Horizons course are:

1. To ease the emotional transition from high school to life after Satellite.

2. To develop skill in presenting, explaining and defending work orally.

3. To strengthen writing and revision skills (organization, paragraphing, grammar, clarity, . . .)

4. To be able to use research tools such as the Internet, the computer program EXPAN and library reference materials,

5. To develop the ability to honestly evaluate their academic strengths and weaknesses and job/college readiness skills.

6. To acquire job readiness skills such as writing a resume and presenting themselves well in a job interview.

7. To research colleges/technical schools for admission, to apply to colleges and to be accepted to at least one school.


1. Career Exploration: Students will research at least three (3) careers.

2. College/Technical School Exploration: Students will research at least three schools or post-high school programs.

3. Research Paper: Students will write a research paper based on the information they obtained during their career/college research.

4. Oral Presentation - Students make several oral presentations about college and career research throughout the semester culminating in the presentation of their final research and post-graduation plans.

5. Job Interview Techniques: Students will participate in exercises to help them prepare for employment interviews.

6. Transitional Issues: Transitional issues (such as, leaving our school, fears about the future, preparing for college/work) will be discussed in class and supplemented with a weekly group meeting with our school social worker.

7. College Research through College Trips and Guest Speakers - The class will go on two trips to colleges during the semester. We will attend one college fair and have speakers from CUNY and SUNY colleges visit our class.


1. Reading to understand and comprehend informational materials and to give oral presentations based on the information learned. This corresponds to the ELA state standard E1c.

2. Writing a research paper and shorter research-based reports based on college and career investigation. This corresponds to the ELA state standard E2a.

3. Writing a reflective essay about personal transitional issues and assessment of personal job and college readiness skills. This corresponds to the ELA state standard E2f.

4. Oral presentations in which students make individual oral informational reports. This corresponds to the ELA state standard E3c.

5. Working as a cooperative group member in both small and large group meeting. This includes listening actively, displaying appropriate turn-taking behaviors and responding appropriately to questions and comments of others. This corresponds to ELA state standard E3b.


The Occupational Outlook Handbook
EXPAN computer program
Internet - web pages of city, state and private colleges/technical schools.
The SAT College Handbook
The Princeton Guide to Colleges
The Kaplan College Handbook
College catalogs
Guest speakers - CUNY and SUNY
Various articles from periodicals and newspapers
Various short pieces of literature (essays, poems, short stories)
College videos
College trips


A variety of assessments will be used, including written reports, oral presentations, a research paper project and a post-graduation plan.