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Global Studies Certificate Program

Thinking globally, preparing to lead and serve.

students study global affairs, global studiesBishop O’Connell High School established the Global Studies Certificate Program to prepare students to be well-informed, self-motivated adults with the skills, confidence and moral perspective needed to succeed as leaders in the 21st century. This optional program is centered on student-selected, beyond-the-classroom learning experiences focused on themes of world importance in our time.

The Bishop O’Connell curriculum requires completion of 26 credits in specific subjects studied over a period of eight semesters. Students who choose to participate in the Global Studies Program receive a certificate upon graduation which indicates the completion of a set of non-GPA credit units in global studies, the equivalent of a ninth semester of academic work.


Conor Powell '95 Discusses Career as a Foreign Correspondent
Posted Jan. 6, 2016

Gary Andres Discusses Congress Today
Posted Nov. 11, 2015

Jennifer Ketchum Shares Mercy Ships Experiences
Posted Oct. 1, 2015

Mary Kate Cary '81, Former Presidential Speechwriter, Speaks on Leadership
Posted June 9, 2015

Kevin Kelly Discusses Technology Programs and Congress
Posted Apr. 30, 2015

Sharon Greenhalgh Watts '82 and Donna Christensen Rhoads on Technology Management
Posted Mar. 4, 2015

Rob Prazmark '71 Discusses Sports Marketing
Posted Oct. 21, 2014

Paul Singh '99 Speaks to a Full House
Posted Sep. 27, 2014

Global Studies Hosts Former CIA Official
Posted May 27, 2014

Coast Guard Social Media Officer Discusses Public Outreach
Posted Mar. 28, 2014

Admiral McKnight Discusses U.S. Efforts Against Somali Piracy
Posted Feb. 26, 2014

Students Hear About Infectious Disease Issues
Posted Feb. 4, 2014

William Arendt Engages Students on Success in Business
Posted Oct. 18, 2013

Coast Guard Commandant Visits O'Connell
Posted Dec. 6, 2012

Bill Carpenter '76 Shares Experiences from Fiji Trip
Posted Nov. 2, 2012

Student Ponder the Future of Museums
Posted Oct. 25, 2012

Day Trip to New York Financial District
Posted Oct. 24, 2012

Jake McGuire '68 Discusses His Work in Photojournalism.
Posted Oct. 9, 2012

Students Engage in National Security Discussion with Randy Beardsworth
Posted May 10, 2012

Henry Wooster Visits With Global Studies Students
Posted Apr. 27, 2012

A Trip to the State Department
Posted Mar. 30, 2012

Students Give Presentation at Global Issues Conference
Posted Mar. 22, 2012

Peter Allgeier Discusses Global Trade
Posted Feb. 23, 2012

Students Attend Local Screening of the Documentary "We Are Egypt"
Posted Feb. 23, 2012


Choose a Thread
Each student selects an area of concentration from the list below. This is called his/her program thread.

  • Faith and Humanitarian Issues
  • Global Business and Finance
  • Language and Culture
  • Global Health and Environmental Issues
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Global Politics

In order to keep a truly “global” perspective for this program, each student accumulates learning experiences in the other five threads.

Attend Core Sessions
The mandatory core sessions listed below provide global studies students with an essential foundation that supports their pursuits in any of their chosen threads. These three-hour sessions are offered periodically throughout the year.

  • Understanding Politics in a Globalized World
  • Foundations of Global Business and Finance
  • Morals and Ethics for a Globalized World

Include a Bishop O’Connell Course
Each student must also include in his/her class schedule one course at O’Connell that relates to his/her particular focus area, such as:

  • World Geography
  • AP Art History
  • Ecology/Environmental Science
  • World Religions
  • Survey of World Music

Participate in Supplemental Seminars and Learning Experiences
Students plan a specific set of personal field experiences, each of which is approved by the global studies advisor. In addition, the global studies program arranges events with special guest speakers who share their work experiences and provide insights into future trends and career opportunities. Field trips to local organizations or events are also coordinated. During the course of this program, students seek out and participate in a wide range of experiences that are related to their interest areas.

Complete a Capstone Project
Working from the portfolio they have developed during the time in the program, participants prepare a capstone presentation, activity or project that demonstrates how they have synthesized the knowledge gathered during their global studies experience.


The Global Studies Certificate Program is open to students in grades 10 through 12. In order to enroll in the program, a student must complete the registration form and schedule an individual meeting with the global studies advisor.

Participants incur no additional tuition fees.



Ms. Whitney Webb
Global Studies Advisor
703-237-1400 ext. 587

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