Global Community Citizenship and the Benefits for Students 

The inception of GCC and how teachers/administrators believe it will impact students.

%E2%80%9CThis+%C2%BD+credit+course%2C+now+required+for+graduation%2C+is+designed+to+explore+the+values+and+diversity+of+our+local%2C+national%2C+and+global+communities%E2%80%9D+AACPS+said.+%E2%80%9CThrough+real+world+occurrences+and+issues%2C+students+identify+and+discuss+topics%2C+events%2C+and+essential+questions+relevant+to+their+local+community+which+allow+them+to+understand+their+personal+role+in+demonstrating+civic+virtues.%E2%80%9D+In+2017%2C+when+GCC+was+first+piloted+at+Arundel+High+School%2C+about+750+students+took+the+course+in+the+first+three+semesters.+Since+2019%2C+the+course+has+been+required+during+students%E2%80%99+9th+grade+year+in+order+to+graduate.+The+picture+was+taken+during+presentations+in+front+of+the+Board+of+Education.

Noel Castillo

“This ½ credit course, now required for graduation, is designed to explore the values and diversity of our local, national, and global communities” AACPS said. “Through real world occurrences and issues, students identify and discuss topics, events, and essential questions relevant to their local community which allow them to understand their personal role in demonstrating civic virtues.” In 2017, when GCC was first piloted at Arundel High School, about 750 students took the course in the first three semesters. Since 2019, the course has been required during students’ 9th grade year in order to graduate. The picture was taken during presentations in front of the Board of Education.

Noel Castillo, Staff Writer

Schools throughout the county are teaching Global Citizen Course (GCC), a new, mandatory class for high school freshmen. Arundel High School piloted the class in response to a present division among the students, and Anne Arundel County’s (AACPS) response to combating it.

At SPHS, Mrs. Bernatti, Mr. Brisentine, Mr. Wilson, Mrs. Auchincloss and Mrs. Chang all currently teach GCC. While many teachers throughout the county did not have as much to do with the creation and implementation of the class, a few, like Chang, who also teaches Leadership 3, have made edits to the class to adapt to the ever-changing state of teaching formats this past year.

“In the spring I was asked to condense the class for the county when we first went to virtual teaching. I was also asked later to take the class and develop it into a virtual class with the new hybrid schedule.” Chang said. “Currently I am working on making the class fully virtual for the new virtual school option that will be offered soon.”

The teachers have expressed how they believe the class has already positively impacted the students in many ways and will hopefully continue to do so in the students’ future lives and careers.

“The program was successful at helping the students connect with each other in a much more meaningful way,” Chang said.

Additionally, Mrs. Auchincloss, a GCC, ESOL, French 4 and AP French teacher believes in the mission of the class after meeting with many religious and cultural guest speakers as well as students and teachers who participated in the pilot class at Arundel High School. 

“Our students are tomorrow’s leaders and I believe this class was created to promote inclusiveness, better understanding of others’ perspectives, and to further develop communication and leadership skills,” Auchincloss said. “I look at my students as the recipient of my garden. I am planting seeds in their minds.  Some of these seeds are ready to grow now while others may take time.”

Our students are tomorrow’s leaders and I believe this class was created to promote inclusiveness, better understanding of others’ perspectives, and to further develop communication and leadership skills.”

— Ms. Auchinloss

Many students possess similar attitudes as the teachers, as well as each other. Freshman Christina Ballagh understands why students must take GCC and enjoys the course.

“I think it was created to help freshmen learn important skills for being a good citizen that will be needed later in life,” Ballagh said. “While GCC is not my favorite subject, I’m fine being in it. I enjoy the course and think that others are benefiting too.”

The requirement of taking GCC in order to graduate seems confusing and redundant to many people who have not experienced it firsthand, but the class teaches many social and communication skills that are necessary.

“Students make up the class. The more the students engage, the more they will get out of the class,” Auchincloss said. “It has been a very challenging year with being online and we have had to make a lot of adjustments but I am hopeful for the future.”