SA Global Studies Program

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  • Vision Statement

Sewickley Academy’s Global Studies program enables students to cultivate a globally-competent personal identity and equips them to be innovative and constructive citizens who act for collective well-being.
Through a combination of content knowledge and 21st century skills (critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, entrepreneurialism, written or oral expression, intercultural competency, creativity, adaptability, resilience), the program introduces its youngest students to diverse cultures and traditions, provides opportunities for international travel and service learning in the Middle and Senior Schools, and offers the Global Studies Certificate Program to those students who choose a concentration in the Global Studies, which is modeled after college majors.

A Pre-K-12 Program

International mindedness is learned and practiced by the youngest students through beginning study of Spanish and after-school program options in French and Chinese for students in Grades 1 through 5, as well as intercultural experiences provided in world language, fine arts and music, and social studies classes in Early Childhood and the Lower School.

In Middle School, students choose to study French, Spanish, or Mandarin and are immersed in the history and culture of the United States as well as the cultures of other countries, combined with modern global issues including human rights, migration, globalization, etc. All Middle School students engage in the Global Environment Summit and World Language Extravaganza at the end of the school year. 

In the Senior School, multiple school exchanges and international trips are offered each year, as well as a full schedule of world language courses in French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, and Mandarin. Global Issues courses introduce students to current issues in world affairs as a means to develop their global literacy and global competency. Students explore topics such as world health, migration, human trafficking, women's rights, global economy, and international relations in the offerings representing the Global Studies Certificate curriculum, which are also open to all interested SA students. 

Students in Grades 8, 9, and 10 who are looking for ways to deepen their understanding of diverse peoples and cultures from around the globe, and challenge themselves to step beyond their comfort zone may enroll in the Global Studies Certificate program.

Meet the Team

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Nataliya Di Domenico

    Nataliya Di Domenico 

    Global Studies Certificate Program Coordinator, Director of Summer Programs
    412-741-2230 x 4411

List of 4 items.

  • Why Global Education

    Providing an over-arching framework for global education is critical to the future of young people. Therefore, the Global Studies program was developed using resources such as strategic elements of forecast models focusing on innovation and retooling academic programs, reports and surveys on career and workplace trends, and NAIS' independent school global education survey.
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  • About the Certificate Program

    The points-based framework of Sewickley Academy's Global Studies Certificate Program emphasizes four learning domains and creates flexible pathways for students to meet the requirements of each domain while charting a path that will allow them to pursue their unique interests.
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  • Domains of Study

    Through the framework of a points-based system, the Global Studies Certificate Program for Senior School students centers measurable student learning within four domains. Meaningful work in each of these domains, coupled with reflective practice that speaks to the way students are holistically integrating their work in each of these domains, is at the heart of the Global Studies experience. The domains are Global Issues Study, Cultural Engagement, Language Study, and Global Action.
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  • International Trips & Exchanges

    International experience is an important component in the education of all students. Thus, we offer a variety of age-appropriate opportunities for students to engage with students and people from other countries.

    In particular, exchanges provide an intensive immersion experience, which includes living with a host family, attending school with the host student, and experiencing cultural attractions in the city or environments of the host school. Students who participate in a reciprocal exchange are guests of a family abroad and, in return, host a student when they visit Sewickley Academy.
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Certificate Program Frequently Asked Questions

List of 16 frequently asked questions.

  • Who is eligible to apply for the Global Studies Certificate program?

    Grade 8, 9, and 10 students who are looking for ways to challenge themselves to step beyond their comfort zone and engage with people of another culture may enroll in the Global Studies Certificate program.
  • Does a Global Studies student receive a different diploma?

    No. Students receive a Global Studies Certificate at graduation if they fulfill the program requirements. Global Studies Certificate students accumulate points in four domains. The requirement is to earn 1,000 points (200 points minimum in each domain, plus 200 floating points that can be accumulated in any of the four domains and linked to a student’s specific interest or passion).
  • Who will guide me through the Global Studies program?

    A Global Studies Certificate Program Coordinator will guide each Global Studies student through the program. The Global Studies coordinator will collaborate with the student’s academic advisor to encourage exploration and make suggestions for ways to earn points in the various domains. 
  • Is parental approval required in order to apply?

    Yes, a parent signature is required on the enrollment form.
  • When and how do I enroll?

    Students may enroll in the program as early as the third trimester of Grade 8; Grade 9 and 10 students may enroll at any time.

    An enrollment form is available in the Global Studies office, or can be downloaded from the Global Studies resource board in MySewickley. Complete the form and return it to the GS Office, located in the Senior School.
  • What Sewickley Academy travel experiences are planned for the next two years?

    Travel experiences vary each year. The details are updated on the GS Resource page and on the SA website.
  • How can I find a travel experience that will help me meet the requirements?

    Students may join one of the existing SA-sponsored trips led by faculty, or design a travel experience of their own. Students planning their own travel should consult with the Global Studies Office to determine whether or not a proposed trip will meet the requirements, and how many points and in which domains could be awarded.
  • Is funding available for travel as part of the GS program?

    Travel grants are available through the Global Studies Office. Students who would like to apply for a grant should contact the Global Studies Department for a link to the online application.
  • Is there a GPA requirement associated with the Global Studies Certificate program?

    There is no GPA requirement, but students should be in good academic standing and be able to manage the increased demands that will come as a result of participation in the program.
  • I'm a junior now. Can I enroll in the program?

    Unfortunately, the window for enrollment in the program closes at the end of the sophomore year after classes have been scheduled for the junior year. Rising seniors do not have enough time to accumulate 1,000 points.
  • I love languages! Is there a way to earn points by taking more language courses?

    Yes! The Global Studies Office believes that language study is central to becoming a global citizen and as such, has created an entire Language Study domain. You will receive 60 points for each of the first three years you study a language in the Senior School (regardless of level), and 90 points for the fourth year of ANY language, since that goes above and beyond the graduation requirement of three years. Additionally, 90 points will be awarded for each year of a second world language.
  • My family has planned a trip abroad this summer. Will this count for Global Studies points?

    With appropriate documentation (i.e., artifacts, Cultural Dispatch Form), a maximum of 50 Cultural Engagement points may be awarded for one family trip over the course of the SA Senior School career, starting with the summer following Grade 8. Global Action points will be counted at 3 points/service hour.
  • What is an example of a Global Action project?

    A student who is studying Spanish and takes a literature class in Spanish and a history course about Latin America might be moved to engage in a service learning project in a nation in Latin America. Perhaps the student has made a connection through an Academy teacher to a student at a school in Costa Rica. The SA student, building a relationship with students at that school, might learn that the school has a particular need. The SA student might then formulate a response to that need with the partnership of the Costa Rican student and propose that response as a Global Action project. Global Studies advisors are available to students to help them formulate their Global Action projects.
  • What if I do not have the opportunity to travel abroad to perform Global Action?

    International travel is not required in order to complete the GS Certificate program.

    Global Action projects can be initiated and completed locally in partnership with local non-profit global service organizations that offer volunteer opportunities. Creative thinking and initiative on the part of the student, as well as demonstrating a passion for being part of the solution to a global problem are central to understanding the spirit of global action.

    Local organizations such as World Vision, Global Links, etc. offer great volunteer opportunities for globally focused work.
  • How are my points awarded/recorded in the course of the program?

    In order to be awarded points, it is insufficient just to have experiences like travel, hosting, or global service work. Every experience needs to be documented on special forms, supported by photographs and other materials that show the details of these events, and submitted to the Global Studies Office for review and evaluation. Points are recorded in the student’s personal portfolio and updated at the end of each trimester.
  • How can I share my Global Studies work with colleges?

    All submitted materials and forms will be stored in students’ personal electronic portfolios, currently in the form of a Google Site. Students are encouraged to personalize and expand their portfolios so that it becomes a cloud-based story of their development and artifacts of accomplishment, easily shareable as a showcase during the college application process.