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Strategic Design

A Mercersburg faculty member and students looking at a petri dish.

Our world is learning from us.

Since its founding, Mercersburg Academy has continuously evolved to create the conditions for deeper, more sustainable learning that a changing world requires. The advent of digital technologies has exponentialized that change, compelling Mercersburg to again assess and revise how it prepares students to thrive in increasing complexity and ambiguity. After significant research and careful consideration, Mercersburg has identified meaning and mastery, wellness, and access and affordability as the visionary pillars of the next stage in our school’s long, judicious evolution, equipping our students with the purpose and acumen of those who lead and serve well.

Mission

At Mercersburg Academy we embrace the values of hard work, character, and community while learning to balance independence with interdependence and individual humility with collective pride. Our students commit to a life of learning, seek to understand the spiritual nature of human existence, and develop a determination to lead and serve the world.

FIRST HORIZON (3-5 YEARS)
We are the school that moves students into their journey to profound meaning and mastery.

SECOND HORIZON (5-7 YEARS)
We will become the pioneers for brave learning, exploration, and belonging.

Bold Moves

EMPHASIZE MEANING AND MASTERY

Our first move is to commit to meaning and mastery in most aspects of the student experience. Growing evidence emphasizes how essential a self-determined, meaningful connection is to long-term retention of knowledge and to finding joy in learning. Decades of study support the various elements of mastery learning, including formative, often low-stakes feedback; iterative “desirable difficulty”; and the time and resources each learner needs to absorb and apply new knowledge.

INVEST IN OUR EDUCATOR CAPACITY

Our second move is to maximize the strengths of our teachers and develop skilled, adaptable educators who can guide our students in their pursuit of meaning and mastery. We will expand the scope and reach of our Summer Institute, develop a master teacher program, and provide ongoing access to experts, resources, and training to further ground our educators in the art and science of learning and knowledge. 

SERVE THE WHOLE LEARNER

Our third move is to intentionally teach the whole learner, helping them to find their purpose, feel belonging, and discover meaning. Our commitment to wellness will nurture the head, hand, and heart of our students. This move will involve not only a renovation of the dining hall and fitness center, but also new programming to develop learners with lifelong habits of the mind and the skills for intellectual, emotional, and physical fitness.

PRIORITIZE FINANCIAL AID

Our fourth move is to further prioritize our use of financial aid and to consider a “need blind” approach to admission (the term “need blind” can evoke a range of definitions, so articulating its meaning for Mercersburg is critical). This entire effort will enable us to better identify, recruit, admit, enroll, and re-enroll the absolute best and brightest students from around the world to contribute their strengths at Mercersburg.