Mount Mercy Academy moves to a Project-Based Learning Curriculum


A Mount Mercy Academy education has long been synonymous with academic excellence. For generations, our students have developed the skills to work hard and thrive under a rigorous curriculum. While those high standards for achievement remain, our approach to get there is widening.


Head of School Michele Melligan has been the catalyst for the school's shift to Project-Based Learning. With a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, minor in sociology and master’s in school counseling with more than 20 years of experience in the field, Michele feels that Project Based Learning is a concept in which students and teachers will benefit socially and emotionally. 


She explained, "In a time when both students and teachers are stressed from the residual effects of the pandemic, Project Based Learning builds collaboration and teamwork through the relationships that are formed.”   


According to the Buck Institute For Education, “Project-Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.”


In Mount Mercy’s case, this includes students working to solve real community issues that are directly related to the Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy: Earth, Racism, Immigration, Nonviolence, and Women.


At a recent meeting conducted by the New York State Department of Education, it was discussed that the Project-Based Learning model was an up-and-coming trend that needs to be seriously considered by New York State as a whole.


So far, Michele is pleased with the progress Mount Mercy is making several months into the shift in curriculum. “The overall feedback I have received from parents, students, and faculty is positive. Many are excited and thrilled about teaching not ‘to the test’ but being able to tailor their teaching to an exploratory model,” Michele remarked.



Through the development of our programs, Mount Mercy Academy has leaned on our loyal alumnae base and community partners. Our students have been able to collaborate with and learn from local entrepreneurs and experts in their respective fields. The benefits of partnering with professionals are undeniable, whether it be offering feedback on a project, speaking to a class or providing a monetary donation. Support from our Mercy community has allowed our students to gain inside knowledge on different industries and create connections that will carry with them for years to come. 

As we continue to enhance our offerings, we are looking for alumnae and community involvement in our academies. If you are interested in working with our students in any capacity click the button below. 


"Mount Mercy has positively changed my life forever. Through the inviting community, I was able to grow as a woman, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a member of society. Throughout my time here I have gained an education in both academic areas and life in general through the school's ongoing efforts to educate students on gender inequality, racial injustice, and environmental crisis'. Furthermore, Mercy has given me the space to gain confidence that 4 years ago I never would have guessed I would have. Mount Mercy has helped me take that initial step toward becoming the strong woman of color I am today. At Mercy you are more than just a student, you are whoever you wish to be."

Melina Courtney

Class of 2022

"My future, success, and the ability to be an empowered woman in society come from Mount Mercy. My school is a strong foundation for my role in life. From attending Mount Mercy, I can say with confidence, that I will graduate with the mindset that I can accomplish anything. Mercy is my home and my sanctuary to be whoever I want. Mount Mercy has been bringing forth generations of strong intellectual women into the world, and I am more than honored to be one of them. Mercy teaches girls more than academics, but also about the world around us. As a mercy community, we give back to the world because it is our home. From my four years at Mercy, I have been educated on pushing for equality and peace and the understanding that there is no limit to what I can do. I have the confidence to go out in the world and make a difference because being a Mercy girl has given me that opportunity. "

Cassidy Reid

Class of 2022

"Mercy is more than just a school. Mercy is my second home and a shoulder to lean on. Mount Mercy has given me the confidence and resources to pursue my passions and make the world a more inclusive place, propelling me to take strides into male-dominated fields. Mercy blessed me with an environment to grow intellectually and in the community, giving me the foundation to make a tangible impact while making lifelong friendships."

Adrianna Awald

Class of 2022

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