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. Springboard takes the principles of Apple’s Challenge Based Learning curriculum and applies them to several different course selections designed around the passions of participating faculty members. The courses have ranged from 3D animation to creating business plans, from issues surrounding food and water to Mercersburg’s forgotten stories. Each spring, participating students give Springtalks (innovative presentations) for the student body.

Interested students should talk to their scheduling adviser, or guru, about how Springboard could augment their senior transcript. Contact John David Bennett (bennettj@mercersburg.edu) for more 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
GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236