Global Perspectives & Citizenship Program
The Global Perspectives and Citizenship (GPAC) program is designed to engage interested students in work on the problems facing our increasingly interconnected world. It offers select students the opportunity to pursue significant social science research on a global issue, while also completing Potomac’s rigorous college-preparatory curriculum.
Recognizing that citizenship involves membership in a common whole – whether community, nation, or world – this program asks students to think beyond their own experiences in order to develop an appreciation of multiple perspectives on a given issue. The GPAC curriculum also helps them develop the skills and mindset necessary to navigate the rapidly changing relationships between communities, cultures, and civilizations worldwide.
A Challenging Curriculum
Each student begins the program in the sophomore year by taking GPAC 10, Introduction to Global Studies. Using a combination of social theory and case studies, this year-long course introduces learners to the economic, political, cultural, and ecological aspects of globalization.
During the fall of junior year, in GPAC 11, Advanced Topics, each student develops a problem-driven research project on a global issue of his or her choosing, working closely with Potomac faculty and, if desired, an outside mentor in the area of interest.
In senior year, students in the program produce a substantial research paper and give a presentation on their findings. Click here to read descriptions of recent GPAC research projects.
During either the junior spring semester or the senior year, students take one additional elective in support of their GPAC concentration, chosen in consultation with the program director.
Exciting Opportunities for Enrichment
Based on individual student initiative and interest, participation in GPAC may also include such experiential elements as summer travel abroad, an internship with an organization dedicated to global issues, or attendance at one of many university-sponsored Global Studies summer programs.
Admission to the GPAC program is selective. The program is appropriate for students with strong reading, writing, and language skills who have an interest in world affairs. Interested students may apply for the program at the end of their freshman year at Potomac.