In partnership with school districts from across the region, the Columbus Council on World Affairs delivers an experiential approach to global education via the Global Scholars Diploma program. Throughout the course of the three-year program, high school students communicate and collaborate face-to-face with global community partners, businesses, civic leaders, and people of varying cultural backgrounds.
The Global Scholars Diploma is a three-year program that develops globally competent High School students by building the awareness and skills needed to take action on a global issue and to become responsible citizens of the world. The first two years are spent at face-to-face events where local experts share their personal experiences with culture, jobs with global components, and issues around the world. Students engage in various collaborative activities within the theme of the event, learning and exercising their cultural fluency and competency.
Year 1 specifically focuses on building students’ awareness of several global components. Students at this level are exposed to a wide range of global cultures, issues, and careers in order to make them aware of the diverse traditions, experiences, skills, problems, and solutions that exist around the world. Year 1 students have the opportunity to hear informative presentations and to interact with experts in each of these areas, building their overall knowledge of a broad range of topics.
In Year 2, the program builds upon the awareness that students gain in Year 1. Students in Year 2 attend similar events that focus on global issues, cultures, and careers, while also taking an eCourse that supports and enhances the topics covered at the face-to-face events. Year 2 is about developing the skills needed to communicate across cultures, to be successful in a global career, and to find solutions to complex issues. The Year 2 events are frequently led by our community partners, such as Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, who guide the students through interactive group simulations and tasks.
The program culminates with a Take Action project in the students’ third and final year that is meant to demonstrate the abilities that they have cultivated over the course of the first two years. Students choose a globally-oriented issue about which they are passionate, and they pursue a leadership role in solving it at a local level. Throughout the project, students are in contact with advisors who guide them through the development and execution of their project, and they ultimately present their experiences to their younger peers and the community at the Year End Showcase events held in April or May.
While the overall objectives of the program evolve as students progress through each year of the program, the framework through which those objectives are met remains the same across all years of the Global Scholars Diploma. Students build global competency by exploring three key themes: Global Issues, Global Cultures, and Global Careers.
The Global Scholars Diploma program introduces students to a wide range of global issues, such as climate change, immigration, human trafficking, and food security. With the help of our numerous community partners, which include the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, we are able to provide students with the opportunity to delve deeper into issues of global importance. Through collaborative activities paired with the personal experiences shared by our expert volunteer speakers, students broaden their perspectives and learn how they too can play a significant role in finding solutions to complex global issues.
Our close partnerships with organizations, such as Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), delivers hands-on experience that empowers our students to broaden their perspectives about other cultures. Through simulation activities, students focus on building cross-cultural communication skills and on gaining a better understanding of cultural barriers. Additionally, throughout the course of the Global Scholars Diploma program, students have the opportunity to hear from and interact with a wealth of volunteers who come from various cultural backgrounds. The personal experiences shared by our volunteers allow students to expand their conceptions of cultural differences.
Through our global career partners, such as Honda, Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG), and The Ohio State University, students are exposed to careers that involve numerous global components. They are not only made aware of the types of global careers that exist, but they also have the opportunity to learn about and practice the skills needed to succeed in such positions. Furthermore, with the help of our global career partners, we provide our students with an essential opportunity to communicate and network with several Columbus area professionals, an experience that prepares them for college and beyond.
While the program caters specifically to high school students, the Global Scholars Diploma could not exist without the support of parents school districts, teachers, community partners, organization members, and sponsors. Each one plays a unique role in the success of both the program and our students.
At the CCWA, we believe in the strength of collaborative efforts between educators, students, and parents to nurture well-rounded, internationally-minded individuals. Parent involvement is at the heart of our educational approach, as we recognize that the active participation of families plays a crucial role in shaping the success of our students. We encourage parents to be active partners in their child's journey to global citizenship, fostering a strong sense of community and support for each aspiring global scholar.
As parents play a pivotal role in shaping a child's values and beliefs, their involvement in the Global Scholars Diploma program goes beyond academic support. We believe that a shared commitment to fostering empathy, curiosity, and critical thinking at home greatly complements our efforts in the program. We encourage parents to embrace and celebrate cultural diversity, as this enriches the educational experience of our students and strengthens their appreciation for different global perspectives. We understand that parental involvement is not only about supporting academic excellence but also about nurturing the overall growth and character development of our students, ultimately empowering them to become active contributors to a more interconnected and compassionate world.
The Columbus Council on World Affairs currently works with 19 school districts in the area through the Global Scholars Diploma Program. Through close partnerships with school educators, CCWA integrates GSD curriculum into each school culture, developing the program to best meet individual school needs. CCWA brings school districts from across the region together to further promote cross-cultural experiential learning amongst the student communities. With the support and guidance of the Global Scholars Diploma program, schools better prepare their students to be successful and thoughtful global leaders.
Each quarter, CCWA facilitates Global Scholars Advisory meetings in order to bring staff from each school district together. At these meetings, school educators collaborate with their peers to learn best practices for the GSD program, provide feedback to CCWA, hear updates on a student’s success in the program, and learn about global opportunities in the community.
If you are an educator and would like to discuss bringing the Global Scholars Diploma program to your school, please reach out to Jessica Flowers, Director of Education.
In order to connect students with the experts in each thematic topic and get hands-on learning experience, Global Scholars Diploma partners with community organizations. Community partnerships provide students access to global organizations with local impact.
Community partners can contribute to the Global Scholars program in several ways: leading students through an experiential activity providing students insights and skills in a specific global topic; hosting an event to allow students to explore potential global work environments; supporting the Global Scholars Diploma program monetarily.
In the third and final year of the Global Scholars Diploma program, students develop a Take Action project that is meant to demonstrate the abilities and knowledge that they have cultivated over the course of the first two years. With help from their teachers and advisors, students choose a globally-oriented issue about which they are passionate, and they pursue a leadership role in solving it at a local level. Throughout the project, students are in contact with advisors who guide them through the development and execution of their project, and they ultimately present their experiences to their peers at the Take Action Project fair held in April.
The Global Scholars Program is a not-for-profit service that the Columbus Council on World Affairs provides to central Ohio school communities. In today’s world, being globally competent is imperative to becoming a successful citizen and professional, therefore CCWA’s mission is to provide a global education to as many students as possible. In order to do this, Global Scholars needs the support of the community. Every donation sponsors a Global Scholar and prepares them to be successful leaders, lifting up the central Ohio community in the process.
For other ways that you can become involved with the Global Scholars Diploma program and our organization please visit our Join Us page or you can contact us directly.
– Abigayle G., Global Scholars Alumni - Marysville Schools
Out of 76 total responses, 100% of teachers said that they would recommend the Global Scholars Diploma program to other school districts!
- Jeremy Hollon, Community Refugee and Immigration Services
Alexandra J., Global Scholars Alumni - Reynoldsburg Local Schools
8 out of 10 students have stated that the Global Scholars Diploma programs has changed the way they think about culture, global issues, and global careers.
Bexley City Schools
Big Walnut Local Schools
Buckeye Valley Local School District
Columbus City Schools
Delaware Hayes High School
Dublin City Schools
Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools
Global Impact STEM Academy
Granville Exempted Village Schools
Horizon Science Academy
Johnstown-Monroe High School
Licking Heights Local School District
Mount Vernon High School
New Albany-Plain Local Schools
Pickerington Local School District
Reynoldsburg City Schools
Teays Valley Local Schools
Westerville City Schools
Worthington City Schools
EF Education First
Director, K-12 Education, Catalyst for Equity in Education
Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
The Brookings Institute
Council on Foreign Relations
Council on Foreign Relations
Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education