Capstone Experiences

Each graduate of Mercersburg Academy is required to complete one of two capstone tracks—MAPS (Mercersburg’s Advanced Program for Global Studies) or Springboard.


A two-year program that begins in 11th grade with a competitive application process, MAPS seeks to encourage and inspire students to redefine their potential and performance, both academically and personally.

MAPS enables students to become creative and discerning thinkers, independent and self-directed learners, and compassionate and engaged global citizens. Students complete a SEARCH project (Study-Engage-Apply-Research-Create-Help), which includes an analytical research paper, a “call to action” community engagement proposal, and a 45-minute presentation of the SEARCH project to a panel of peers, professionals, educators, and experts. Other requirements include a class trip, advanced coursework, and language study through level IV. 

For more information on MAPS, contact MAPS Director Peter Kempe at or 717-328-6380.


Though each Springboard is different in terms of subject material (from commercial arts to storytelling through podcasting), the goals of each Springboard are the same: to delve deeply into a topic, ask questions and generate knowledge, and create a polished presentation that will be evaluated by a panel of experts.

Springboard engages students through field trips, talks with experts, and a wide range of activities and skill development. Based on the principles of Challenge Based Learning, the program encourages students to think critically and identify problems to solve, challenges to face, or projects to develop. 

Interested students should talk to their scheduling adviser, or guru, about how Springboard could augment their senior transcript. Contact Dean of Curricular Innovation John David Bennett ( for more information.