Global Studies Certificate

Through direct experience, travel, and study, Highland’s Global Studies Program allows students to acquire a deeper understanding of world cultures and global issues.

The capstone of Highland's Global Studies program is an experiential, service or academic project demonstrating in-depth knowledge of a global issue or problem. The Global Studies Program allows students to earn a certificate in recognition of their achievement.

Highland's Global Studies program requires students to earn points in four key "pillars of enlightenment." Those four pillars are as follows:

  1. Language Requirement (500 points)
  2. Cultural Requirement (300 points)
  3. Experiential/Service/Academic Project Requirement
  4. Project Presentation 
For a complete description of each of the four pillars of enlightenment, please click on any of the expanding boxes below:

1. Language requirements: 500 points

Students are required to have 500 points in foreign language study to complete the Global Studies program certificate. These points may be accumulated in a number of ways: language classes at Highland, immersion experiences, or through alternate exposure. Passing grades, certificates of completion or other appropriate documentation of completion are required.

Language classes

  • Three years of language study in a first language: 300 points (also meets Highland’s foreign language requirement)
  • First year of second language: 200 points
  • Additional years of either language: 100 points
  • Independent study at Highland: 100 points per semester

Immersion experiences

  • Year Abroad: 300 points
  • Semester Abroad:  200 points
  • Immersion Program (3-6 weeks): 150 per level
  • Exchange Program (minimum 2 weeks): 100 points

Alternate exposure

  • Summer Study/Governor’s School: 150 points
  • Internet Classes: 100 points
  • Language CD-ROM (e.g. Rosetta Stone): 50 points per level
  • Private Tutor: 50 points
  • Highland Language Club (active member): 25 points per semester

2. Cultural requirements: 300 points

Cultural study requirements
Students are required to have 300 points in their cultural study to complete the Global Studies Program certificate. These points may be accumulated in a number of ways. Passing grades, certificates of completion, or the appropriate documentation are required.

  • Year Abroad: 250 points
  • Exchange Program (minimum of two weeks): 50 points
  • Family Travel (diary/photos): 25-100 points
  • School Trip outside United States (diary/photos): 25-100* points
  • Participation in a group service activity outside United States: 25-100* points (e.g. with school, church, boy scouts)
  • Internship (museum, art gallery, etc.): 25-100* points
  • Employment (museum, art gallery, etc.): 25-100* points
  • Independent Study (art, art history, etc.): 25-100* points
  • Model United Nations: Participate in local conference: 25 points
  • Model United Nations: Participate in national conference: 50 points
  • Hosting an Exchange Student: 100 points per semester
  • Social Sciences Electives: 100 points per semester (AP World History, AP European History, International Flash Points, etc.)

*total points awarded by committee members based on the nature of experiences

3. Experiential/service/academic project

No later than the beginning of a student's junior year, the Global Studies Program participant, with an advisor’s guidance, will design a project that allows him or her to pursue a particular area of interest while at the same time allowing him to demonstrate language and cultural understanding gained from the first two pillars.

The project may include an experience or service-based project in another country, or a research-based paper. The project is subject to approval by the Global Studies Committee and should be concerned with a global issue or problem which leads the student to a solution or conclusion.

4. Project presentation

The student must present his project to a group of students and teachers upon completion.
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