First Presbyterian Day School is excited to announce the addition of STEM and Fine Arts Diploma Endorsements beginning with students graduating in 2017. Diploma Endorsements are a way to recognize students with strong interests in STEM or the Fine Arts and who have a substantial co-curricular commitment in those areas. They support students as they explore continuing study and involvement and are an indication to colleges and universities that the student is prepared and dedicated to study in their respective area.

“The Diploma Endorsements add another option for developing students’ unique God-given aptitudes and interests as they prepare for college and beyond,” commented FPD Curriculum Director, Dr. Barry Shealy. “FPD has numerous students with advanced talent and time commitment in STEM and Fine Arts programs. The Diploma Endorsements are a way to recognize those students who take their understanding and involvement to the next level.”

To earn the Diploma Endorsement, students must take designated coursework, make a significant extracurricular commitment, participate in integrative practicum activities, and finish a culminating Senior experience. For this culminating experience, students will complete a project under the direction of an industry professional, FPD teacher, or college faculty member. For the STEM Endorsement, it will include a final paper, a juried defense and a public presentation. For the Fine Arts Endorsement, it will include both a juried and public performance or exhibition.

“Not only are the Diploma Endorsements notable recognition,” said Dr. Shealy, “but through the process, they also help prepare students for the rigors of college coursework so they can excel when they make the transition to college.”

Students interested in pursuing a Diploma Endorsement should contact their principal or appropriate department chair. Students graduating in 2017 are eligible for the endorsements through an application documenting relevant past experience and an interview process.