Capstone Experiences


Mercersburg’s Advanced Program for Global Studies

MAPS is a two-year program that begins in the 11th grade. Students must apply to enroll in MAPS. The capstone experience inside MAPS is a senior research project entitled S-E-A-R-C-H, which stands for Study–Engage–Apply–Research–Create–Help. All MAPS students must complete a S-E-A-R-C-H project using the principles of Challenge Based Learning.

Among the requirements for students participating in MAPS are a minimum of 150 hours of community service, completion of a number of highest-level courses from several different disciplines in the curriculum (including a foreign language to Level 4 or higher), a minimum of four weeks studying abroad with a homestay component, and completion of a yearlong senior project to include a substantial presentation at the end of the year.

For more information on MAPS, contact MAPS Director Peter Kempe (kempep@mercersburg.edu) by email or at 717-328-6380.


Springboard is a capstone senior seminar available for members of the senior class; completion of either MAPS or a Springboard course is required for all students graduating in the Class of 2016 or later. Springboard takes the principles of Apple's Challenge Based Learning curriculum and applies them to six course selections designed around the passions of several faculty members. The courses range from 3D animation to creating business plans, from issues surrounding food and water to Mercersburg's forgotten stories. In each of the past two years, upper middlers (11th graders) attended a series of Springtalks, or innovative presentations by senior Springboard students, in an effort to help students visualize what they will create by the end of the course.
Interested students should talk to their scheduling adviser, or guru, about how Springboard could augment their senior transcript. Contact Springboard Director Emily Howley (howleye@mercersburg.edu) for more specific information.

Click here to read a feature story about MAPS and Springboard from Mercersburg magazine.
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Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 440 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $6 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance to New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg PA 17236