Global & Community Leadership
Students in the Global and Community Leadership (GCL) Honors Program know that they’re members of a community — not just a local one, but a global one. Social justice issues like educational disparities, poverty, food insecurity, environmental degradation, and health care access touch lives in every country, in every big city and small village, at every socioeconomic level. GCL prepares honors students to explore, understand, and take a leadership role in addressing those issues and making lives better.
Through the GCL Honors Program, students combine their academic interests and personal passion to be transformational leaders for the 21st century.
The GCL Honors Program challenges students to think critically about how they can be good citizens of communities. GCL students gain appreciation of diverse perspectives and practice applying knowledge to community development.
GCL students are a tight knit community of students wanting to make the world a better place. Our elected student Leadership Council for GCL plans monthly global and community education and outreach events, service projects, and social activities that are open to all UAB Honors College students.
For more information on applying to the Honors College or its programs, visit http://www.uab.edu/honors. GCL is intentionally flexible and is available for students to enter as late as the third year.
GCL students must complete a minimum of 18 hours of designated honors coursework to graduate with Distinguished Honors in Global and Community Leadership; students may complete 30 hours of honors coursework to graduate with High Distinguished Honors in Global and Community Leadership.
Required GCL coursework
12 hours of designated GCL honors coursework:
Honors Seminar HC 110-120 (3 credit hours) – Seminar on a topic related to GCL's mission, topics vary annually
Burning Issues: GCLH 150 (3 credit hours) – Overview of various issues facing society (e.g., human rights, sustainability, healthcare access, educational reform). Course includes guest speakers, topical readings, and significant reflective writing. Ultimately, students will identify an issue that ignites their passion – their “burning issue.”
Fanning the Flame: Variable courses (3 credit hours) – Student will select a course that provides further exploration of the student’s “burning issue.”
Stoking the Fire - Leadership in Action: GCLH 350 (3 credit hours) – Students will learn, develop, and put into practice a pragmatic skill set for management and operations in social change leadership.
Six additional hours of honors coursework:
Students should take the remaining hours from approved honors courses relevant to GCL’s mission. GCL administration will designate appropriate honors courses for GCL students each semester, and students will choose the courses that are most applicable to their own passions and goals.
For students who choose to earn 30 hours of honors credit, the additional 12 hours of honors coursework can be earned through non-GCL specific honors seminars, honors sections of core courses, honors by contract, and/or school/departmental honors programs.
GCL students are required to complete a minimum of one experiential learning course at UAB. These courses may include service learning, study abroad, research, or internships. If taken for honors credit, the experiential learning course may help fulfill the honors requirement. If not taken for honors credit, the course will not be applied to the total number of honors credit hours but can still satisfy the experiential learning requirement.
GCLH 105. Exploring Birmingham: Change and Power. 3 Hours.
Exploring Birmingham is a first-year GCL field experience which uses the City as Text pedagogy to engage students in a structured exploration of Birmingham and the social, political, economic and environmental forces which shape it. Through readings, films, discussions, lectures, and personal experiences in the city itself, students learn how to gather and analyze information, think critically about difficult and contentious issues, and integrate learning across disciplines.
GCLH 150. Burning Issues. 3 Hours.
Introductory course for students in the Global and Community Leadership Honors Program. Students will learn about various issues impacting the world today. Course will include guest speakers, topical readings, and significant reflective writing. Ultimately, students will select the issue that ignites their passion – their “burning issue”.
GCLH 200. Thinking Like a Leader. 1-3 Hour.
This course will examine social change leadership models and explore the characteristics, values, and beliefs of such leaders past and present. It is a required course for all Global and Community Leadership Honors Program students.
GCLH 205. Leadership and Community/SL. 1-3 Hour.
The second required GCL field experience uses the service-learning pedagogy, providing students partnerships with selected community or local government agencies. Through readings, discussions and written reflections, students will explore the meaning of service and leadership as they work throughout the semester with their community partners. The goal of the course is to bring students to a deeper understanding of their role as leaders in service to those communities where they find themselves living and working, as well as those they wish to affect in positive ways.
Prerequisites: GCLH 105 [Min Grade: C]
GCLH 210. Thinking Locally and Globally. 1-3 Hour.
This course engages students in moderator development techniques needed to conduct community forums and exposes them to cross-cultural participatory decision-making through an immersion experience.
Prerequisites: GCLH 105 [Min Grade: C] and GCLH 205 [Min Grade: C]
GCLH 301. Leadership and Community Engagement. 1-3 Hour.
This course provides students with field experiences in partnership with community or local government agencies. Through readings, discussions and written reflections, students will explore the meaning of leadership and community engagement. Student placements are based on an issue of interest, thus allowing them to apply knowledge gained in both their major field and leadership courses. The goal of the course is to bring students to a deeper understanding of their role as leaders in service to the community and in applying knowledge for the benefit of Birmingham and beyond.
Prerequisites: GCLH 105 [Min Grade: C] and GCLH 205 [Min Grade: C] and GCLH 210 [Min Grade: C] and HAC 301 [Min Grade: C]
GCLH 350. Stoking the Fire: Leadership in Action. 3 Hours.
Practical application of leadership skills for students in the Global and Community Leadership Honors Program. Students will learn, develop, and put into practice a pragmatic skill set for management and operations in social change leadership.