Upper School

Integrated Studies

The Integrated Studies program at Ellis gives Upper School students the opportunity to have rewarding and challenging experiences working and learning alongside entrepreneurs, scientists, teachers, and medical professionals. Girls discover who they are, what they love, and how they can give back to their communities.

All Upper School students are required to take four years of Integrated Studies Courses at Ellis.

Integrated Studies Courses

List of 7 items.

  • Foundations of Integrated Studies: Digital Studio

    Required Courses | Grade 9
    In this course, students build habits of good digital citizenship, develop understandings of visual literacy, and become proficient in using digital imaging software programs. Regular practice and skill building in Adobe Creative Cloud programs broaden digital skill sets––including the creation of digital portfolios––and enable students to use design principles and elements to create powerful visual and audio projects. Students are expected to demonstrate their knowledge of a variety of digital tools and programs and to be reflective and innovative in their choices for appropriate ways to communicate a message.
  • Voice & Vision

    Required Course | Grade 9

    In Voice & Vision, students develop habits of advocacy and citizenship for the 21st century. Making use of a diverse range of digital media and creative tools, students are encouraged to construct project-based initiatives addressing water-related issues on both local and global scales. Partnerships such as Powdermill Nature Reserve in the Laurel Highlands, and The Bajaj Foundation in Wardha, India provide interdisciplinary opportunities for students to explore and investigate real-world questions and problems, and pose solutions to them. Within this process, students will inform themselves and others about these issues’ relevance as they develop skills and tools of research, self-expression, design, collaboration, and persistence.
  • Culture in Context

    Required Course | Grade 10

    This course explores the role of visual culture in our world. With a strong grounding in the history of Western art, students explore interdisciplinary relationships between a variety of art forms and the ideas that shape them across history and place.  Working in a collaborative setting, students interact with faculty from throughout the school and wider community to understand the connections between expression, power, religion, philosophy and technology. Varied forms of assessment allow students to discover commonalities with other disciplines and explore aesthetics in a broad context.
  • Global Leadership by Design

    Required Course | Grade 11

    In this interdisciplinary course, students enhance their global knowledge, essential skills, and innovative strategies to become effective, principled, and innovative change makers in the 21st century. Drawing on historical and present-day case studies of leaders from diverse occupations, students will not only study and identify essential leadership characteristics, but also develop their own models and skillsets to effect positive change. With a combination of theory and experiential learning, students deepen their knowledge of globalization and international relations as well as develop their skills in cross cultural awareness, communication, diverse team building, activism, and conflict resolution. Working in teams using human-centered design techniques, students ultimately develop and present a social-action project in response to a contemporary global challenge. Throughout the year, students complete site visits at global organizations and hear from professionals and entrepreneurs working in both businesses and nonprofits tackling emerging global challenges. This course combines lectures, case studies, small-team work, and simulation activities that focus on leadership development and emphasize an exploratory and collaborative approach to learning.
  • Junior Seminar

    Required Course | Grade 11 

    Standardized test taking skills and techniques are reviewed in this course. Students are made familiar with the content areas of the PSAT, the SAT, and the ACT, test taking strategies are examined, sample essays are written and evaluated, and practice is provided in taking tests under timed conditions. In the second half of the year, the focus of this course turns to the college application process. Students spend several weeks exploring their interests and researching colleges. Students also utilize interdisciplinary skills to create a resume, draft a college essay, and explore the components of a college application. This is a pass/fail course.
  • Senior Seminar

    Required Course | Grade 12

    This course is designed to prepare seniors for their post-graduation lives. The first half of the course focuses on the college application process and is taught by the College Counseling Office. Once college applications are complete in the middle of the year, the course shifts into preparation for the transition to college and beyond. This course addresses interdisciplinary, real-world topics and stresses the importance of making informed choices that can have a lasting effect on an individual. This is a pass/fail course.
  • Introduction to Engineering Design

    Elective Course | Grades 11-12

    This course will expose students to major concepts encountered in university engineering courses. Students develop problem-solving skills and apply their knowledge of research and design to create solutions to various real-world challenges, as well as document their work and communicate solutions. Students focus on producing ideas, crafting and testing models, and communicating results, all while fulfilling a real client’s objectives and requirements. This course emphasises group work as engineering is inherently a collaborative process. Students apply concepts and practices from math, lab science, and computer science courses and experience to their projects. This course is project-based, with community-oriented projects planned for the second and third trimesters.