A Community College That Allows You To Choose Your Learning Experience

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    Aug 12, 2014
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A Community College That Allows You To Choose Your Learning Experience Photo by Jason White

When you choose a college program you want to ensure that it meets your expectations in terms of the knowledge with which you will graduate, but you also want to make sure that the college you attend offers you a learning experience that is unique.

One community college that strives to do just that is Centennial College. One way in which the school is offering unique learning experience is through its Signature Learning Experience — Global Citizenship & Equity (GCE) Education — which was launched in 2009. In essence, this distinctive educational experience integrates the principles of global citizenship, social justice and equity. It encourages students, staff and faculty to think critically about their commitments and actions to bring about personal change that can work to advance their career goals.

Global Citizenship & Equity Learning Experiences are service-learning projects that prepare students to be leaders of positive social change in an interrelated world. The experiences not only diverse in their destinations, but also in their design, strategy and intended goals. However, the common elements for each experience are the integration of GCE Learning Outcomes and reflective practice activities in order to ensure the experience is one of learning — not charity.

GCE contains four core components:

  • GNED 500: Students are required to partake in this General Education course Know as Global Citizenship: From Social Analysis to Social Action, it examines the nature of diversity and discrimination in our society and builds global citizenship and equity competencies in every student.
  • Embedding/Integrating GCE into Curriculum: GCE learning is integrated into in all Schools of Study within the college at both program and course levels. These Schools of Study include: School of Business, School of Communications, Media and Design; School of Community and Health Studies; School of Engineering Technology and Applied Science; School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culture; and School of Transportation. Students have an opportunity to learn about concepts, develop their critical thinking and analysis skills, and participate in meaningful projects.
  • GCE Student Portfolio: The portfolio is a collection of artifacts that demonstrate learners' growth with GCE concepts and ideas over the course of their program.
  • Faculty and Staff Training: Professional development opportunities exist for members of the college community related to GCE.

In 2014, Centennial College funded 17 projects that continue to create positive social change by working collaboratively on social justice issues with diverse communities around the globe. In total 46 staff and 138 students participated in GCE projects. The first five Projects travelled to Ottawa, Honduras, Costa Rica, Arizona/Mexico and Nicaragua; and the second cohort of GCE Projects travelled to: New York City, Ghana, Cuba, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Walpole Island, China, Ecuador and Arizona. These GCE Projects include an advocating for LGBT Human Rights Project, the Social Enterprise Project in the Dominican Republic and an Empowerment Camp for Minority Girls travelling to China.

Author's Profile

Emma's piece about Centennial College explains the community college's Global Citizenship & Equity Learning Experiences, which sees students become involved in a range of causes.

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