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 who can forge new ways to distinguish themselves in their studies during their high school years. We will continue working to flesh out details as the program evolves to meet student interest, but we are pleased to offer an outline of the first three Fields of Study as we currently envision them. 

Civic Leadership IP

Civic Leadership provides students the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of leadership in both theory and practice and then has students take on an internship and see how these theories play out for real-world leaders and decision makers. Requirements of the Civic Leadership IP:

1. Take two History Department electives in leadership, politics or government.

2. Undertake a major internship over the summer and/or fall.
Identify an organization to volunteer with, shadow the leader, and write a case study (like the ones you will read in the Leadership class) that shows what you have learned

3. It is expected that the student would engage in leadership on campus (via student government, captaining a team, launching a club, or another similar opportunity)

4. Take the IP Capstone Seminar to complete the case study project

Community Engagement and Impact IP

Provides students an opportunity for students to examine the root causes of a societal problem or inequity and become problem solvers who envision possible solutions to community challenges. Students pursuing this IP would be expected to:

1. Take two Community Engagement and Impact certified classes: As we develop the program and our course offerings, students interested in pursuing the CEI IP would submit a proposal.
• AP Spanish Language • Contemporary American Issues • Critical Analysis • Environmental Science • Global Health (Global Online Academy) • Design and Architecture • Prison and Criminal Law (Global Online Academy) • Ethnic/Identity Studies Pollution (Global Online Academy) • Modern Political Rhetoric • Environmental Engineering • Introduction to the Law

2. Participate in one of the following activities:
• Student Council • Knight Vision • Mock Trial
• A major community engagement project
• an internship with a public service-oriented organization

3. Take the IP Capstone Seminar
All students in the IP program execute a capstone project through which they reflect on their experience and develop a compelling way to present what they have learned.  Through the Capstone Seminar, CEI students create their final product, which may include something like making a documentary film or writing a memorandum or could also be launching a nonprofit, building a website, or making a presentation to a government panel or the like. This is a honors level course and is designed to give students the space and support to create a final project that incorporates at least two of the following pathways of community and civic engagement work: Direct Service, Community Organizing and Activism, Education, Research and/or Social Entrepreneurship.

  • Direct Service & Education: A student who is interested in the equities in the public education system could intern with the Boys and Girls Club and then create a Ted Talk about the Opportunity Gap.
  • Community Organizing/Activism and Research: A student who is interested in gender equality could study the history and impact of the feminist movement over time and then organize a group to participate in the 2018 Women’s March.  
  • Education and Research: A student interested in the housing crisis could research the effects of redlining in East Palo Alto and teach a unit in the Community Engagement Freshman Seminar or Sophomore M-Term Program.
  • Social Entrepreneurship & Research: A student interested in social responsibility and making a positive change through the development of a product could examine companies such as Tom’s Shoes. The student would then raise awareness about a problem s/he finds troubling on a local level by developing their own product and educational campaign.

Arts & Letters IP

This field of study prepares students in how 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 work or produce original scholarly criticism. Requirements for the Arts & Letter IP:

1. Take at least three Menlo electives in the areas of Humanities, Arts, Sciences that will support and enhance your artistic or scholarly project interests.

2. Participate in a performance or publication (in or out of school).

3. Take the IP Capstone class in which they 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. 

The Global IP

To acknowledge students who make a serious commitment to the study of global affairs Menlo has created a certificate in Global Scholarship. Scholars complete prerequisite courses in World Languages and Social Science and then enroll in a Global Scholars Research capstone course where they complete an interdisciplinary thesis project. While not a required pre-requisite, participation in a May Term / Menlo Abroad travel program is strongly recommended.

1. Prerequisite Courses:
A. World Languages: students must successfully complete through level 4 in one or more modern world languages. Students of Latin must study a modern language for at least 1 year. The final semester of a World Language prerequisite may be taken concurrently with the capstone course.

B. Global Electives: students must successfully complete at least one of the following:

  • Environmental Science
  • Modern World History / Yearlong
  • Modern Political Thought (Ideology) / 1S
  • U.S. Foreign Policy /2S
  • The World Economy since 1700 / 1S
  • Modern Political Rhetoric / 1S and 2S
  • Swords and Plowshares / 1S and 2S
  • Global Issues for Global Citizens / 1S
  • Global Literature / 1S
  • Storytelling / 2S
  • War and Peace in the Modern Middle East / 1S and 2S
  • Sustainable Earth Engineering (“Water”)

Any of the following GOA courses:

  • Arabic Language through Culture
  • Applying Philosophy to Modern Global Issues
  • Climate Change and Global Inequality
  • Entrepreneurship in a Global Context
  • Global Health
  • 9/11 in a Global Context 

3. Global Scholars Research / 2S
This honors course provides a forum and inspiration for a deep dive on a global issue of choice. Working with faculty advisors and a peer cohort, scholars learn and practice habits of academic research, writing, and effective presentation. As students develop expertise in their area of research they practice presenting and teaching in their area of specialization. The course culminates in each student completing an academic thesis and presenting and defending it before a jury of faculty advisors, peers, and other guests.