The four learning domains are Language Study, Global Issues Study, Cultural Engagement, and Global Action. Each provides a focus for a student’s path to the Global Studies Certificate. In order to receive the Global Studies Certificate students need to earn a total of 1,000 points, 200 in each of the four Certificate domains, and 200 additional floating points to be earned in their domains of interest.
Students may choose from several year-long or trimester-long Global Studies courses published by the Global Studies Department in the Senior School Catalog.
Students are encouraged to chart their own paths and be creative in imagining for themselves a meaningful and personally enriching pathway.
Candidates may enroll in the spring of their Grade 8 year or in Grades 9 or 10.
Students are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible to allow for more flexibility to design a program that will meet his or her needs.
Successful candidates will possess a desire to learn about people, cultures, and places that are very different from their own.
While there is no GPA minimum required for participation, Global Studies Certificate candidates will be successful students who have demonstrated an ability to handle a range of academic and extra-curricular demands.
Candidates should see themselves as the architects of their experiences rather than as passive consumers of experiences that have been designed by others.
Curiosity, imagination, and a willingness to take personal risks to stretch oneself even to the point of discomfort are qualities that will best suit a candidate.
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.
Global Issues Study
Global Issues Study includes all of those relevant academic experiences students undertake as part of a regular academic curriculum at Sewickley Academy, at one of our exchange partner schools, or at any other Global Studies-approved academic course that is not a world language course. The Global Studies department publishes a current list of these courses in the Senior School Course Catalog every year. (Not all courses at Sewickley Academy or another academic institution meet the criteria for the Global Issues Study domain.) The minimum requirement for the Global Issues Study domain is 200 points.
Cultural Engagement includes experiences that have a bearing on one’s ability to formulate a globally-informed personal identity. These activities range from ones as complex as a semester-long homestay in another country to ones as simple as attending and reflecting on a concert by a South African band (classroom experiences do not qualify). The intention of this domain is for the student to engage in mutually enriching cultural interactions that will ultimately lead to building positive cross-cultural partnerships. The minimum requirement for the Cultural Engagement domain is 200 points.
Language Study includes any relevant academic experience students undertake as part of the modern world language academic curriculum at Sewickley Academy or at one of our exchange partner schools. The intention of this domain is to impart to the student full-spectrum fluency in a language other than English that they can use to help formulate a globally-informed personal identity. The minimum requirement for the Language Studies domain is 200 points.
Global Action calls on students to exercise their ingenuity and commitment to the betterment of humanity by creating a self-directed service-learning project. This work should directly engage a question/concept/theme/problem that is global in nature or that is occurring in another country or culture. The Global Action domain is unique among the four insofar as it expects the student to integrate not only the other three certificate domains but also the three core principles of the Academy's mission. Global Action is "hands" in action, inspired by "hearts," and informed by "minds." Students aspiring to build rich, nuanced global identities are encouraged in this domain to determine ways in which their engagement with other cultures can inspire them to give back in ways that they couldn't even imagine if they were not a Global Studies student. In the spirit of the new Global Studies certificate program, how students engage the Global Action domain is up to them and their creativity.
Visit the FAQs for an example of a Global Action project.
The minimum requirement in each domain (200) will bring a student to 800 points. The total required points is 1,000, and the balance of points needed (200) may be earned in any of the four domains.