Menlo IP Program Overview

The Menlo Interdisciplinary and Personalized Scholars Program (Menlo IP) is designed to allow interested students to shape a deep and personalized approach to their studies.

It’s an important step in providing students with meaningful opportunities to be knowledge creators and autonomous learners and with new ways to distinguish themselves in their studies during their high school years. There are four fields of study students can choose from in the Menlo IP Program. The four fields of study are explained below.

Arts & Letters IP

This field of study prepares students to interpret creative works from multiple artistic disciplines (literary, musical, visual, dramatic) and grounds them in the history, theory, and context of their chosen genre before challenging them to either create their own original works or to produce original scholarly criticism. In the IP Capstone class Arts and Letters IP students work on their final product: an original creation of the student’s design. Students might choose to write a short story, novella, collection of poems, nonfiction piece, or play, or they might perform an original theatrical or musical performance or create an original art installation, exhibit, or invention. Their work would also be accompanied by a developed artist statement of sorts that situates their creation in a context (historical, political, philosophical/personal) and relates it to other works or artists that were either inspiration or something to react against. Suggested coursework to prepare for the Arts & Letters IP includes:

  1. At least three Menlo electives in the areas of Humanities, Arts, Sciences that will support and enhance your artistic or scholarly project interests.
  2. Participation in a performance or publication (in or out of school).

Civic Leadership IP

Civic Leadership students have the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of leadership in both theory and practice. Students identify a leader or an organization to volunteer or shadow with and write a case study that shows what they’ve learned. In this IP students compare and contrast their theoretical studies of leadership with the way leadership manifests in the real world. Suggested coursework and activities to prepare for a Capstone in the Civic Leadership IP field of study include:

  1. History Department electives in leadership, politics or government.
  2. Research and/or internship over the summer and/or fall.
  3. Leadership opportunities on campus (via student government, captaining a team, launching a club, or another similar experience).

Community Engagement IP

This field of study provides students opportunities to examine root causes of societal problems or inequities and become problem solvers who envision possible solutions to community challenges. In the Capstone course, students create their final product, which may include making a documentary film or writing a memorandum, launching a nonprofit, building a website, or making a presentation to a government panel. Students pursuing this IP would be encouraged to:

  1. Take two classes in areas that point you toward the issues and solutions you’re interested in. Some examples include:
    • AP Spanish Language • Contemporary American Issues • Immigration • Environmental Science • Global Health (Global Online Academy) • Design and Architecture • Prison and Criminal Law (Global Online Academy) • Ethnic Studies • Pollution (Global Online Academy) • Modern Political Rhetoric • Environmental Engineering 
  2. Participate in an internship over the summer and/or fall.
  3. Participate in one of the following Menlo School activities:
    • Student Council • Knight Vision • Mock Trial • A major community engagement project • An internship with a public service-oriented organization.

The Global Scholars IP

To acknowledge students who make a serious commitment to the study of global affairs Menlo has created the Global Scholars IP. Working with faculty advisors and a peer cohort, scholars learn and practice habits of academic research and presentation, such as a paper writing, lecture, colloquy, and documentary. As students develop expertise in their area of research they practice presenting and teaching in their area of specialization. Students pursuing this IP are encouraged to take the following coursework and activities to prepare for the Capstone project:

  1. Complete through level 4 in one or more modern world languages. 
  2. Complete courses in Global Issues for Global Citizens, Immigration or World Economic History.
  3. Participation in Menlo Abroad.

Students interested in pursuing Menlo IP may wish to look at some sample materials produced by students in past years. For a look at some past IP Capstone descriptions, take a look here. For a sample final product, please find a Global Scholars paper here.