A Story More Than Numbers
Our students are amazing. Some of them are athletes who remind us of what the body can do. They are artists whose bravery inspires our empathy and reminds us that we each have a compelling point of view. They are critical thinkers who challenge the way it is done and keep us accountable to good reason. They are dreamers who imagine what we cannot yet see.
So when we say about our graduates, that they have a 3.0 GPA or an A- average or a 95%, are we communicating who they are? Are we communicating what is most valuable about them? Are we telling anyone what they can do?
Learning is varied and vast. It is a story that is more than numbers can tell.
The Global Citizen Diploma is designed to help students tell the whole story of their learning, to illustrate the thinking, creativity, problem solving, leadership, and personality that they bring to their essential capacity to be citizens of one world.
Individuality & Inclusivity
Because the Global Citizen Diploma is a descriptive credential, it has the ability to represent the learning of all students, not just those traditionally considered academic high-flyers. Students who work with learning challenges with accommodations or on modified programs can use the GCD to describe their achievement, which might not be recognized by credentials that only value a standard that is not universal to all. Students who excel in one area but struggle in another may have an overall score that does not reflect how exceptional their ability is in the field they most want to pursue. Not all smart students are good at learning in the styles traditionally valued in school. Rather than designating which students are “best” on a universal scale, the GCD allows students to demonstrate their intelligence and achievement in the areas and in the ways that suit them best.
The Structure and Elements of the Global Citizen Diploma
Recognition, Not Addition
The Global Citizen Diploma is not designed as a higher bar to reach, or a more elaborate set of hoops for students to jump through. We believe that the learning our students do in and out of the classroom is preparing them to thrive as global citizens. The Global Citizen Diploma is designed to recognize all that students do to learn, in class, in the wider context of school, and in the world beyond. We don’t want them to do more. We want the world to see more of what they do.
The “Best Fit” Paradigm & Applying to University
To say that we want our students to attend the best universities is a common sentiment, but not an accurate one. The problem is that there are no universities that are universally “best”, just as we cannot point to any one student who is our “best.” What is best is dependent on who the student is and what they want to do. The question is not what is “best” but what is the “best fit”.
The Global Citizen Diploma is designed to illuminate the best fit between students and the programs and universities they aspire to. It illustrates not just how smart students are or whether they will be able to do the work, but who they are and what they will contribute as members of a living community. It shows what they have done, what they have learned, and how they think, and validates it in an official credential.
GCD Graduates generate portfolios that show their process, achievement and reflection, providing a wider range of information that allows universities to see that our students are more than their grades.
Students who have spent their high school years preparing for the GCD know what they want to demonstrate about themselves and have reflected about the experiences and stories that best illustrate them. Whether universities delve into the details that the GCD provides about its graduates or not, the process of reflection required to earn the GCD is excellent preparation for choosing a meaningful course of study and representing oneself authentically and compellingly in university applications and interviews.