Global Studies

Program Overview

Bishop 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.

Program Components

Choose a thread of interest

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.

How to Enroll

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.