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Education Abroad Office

  • USC students in New Zealand

GLD: Global Learning Pathway

Make meaningful connections between learning within the classroom and your experiences from studying abroad.

Graduation with Leadership Distinction

Developed by USC Connect, with the goal of advancing leadership and educating future leaders, Graduation with Leadership Distinction (GLD) is for students who have demonstrated extensive and purposeful engagement beyond the classroom; an understanding of course concepts in “real world” settings; and an application of learning to make decisions and solve problems. There are five Pathways through which you may achieve Graduation with Leadership Distinction, each of which determine their own standards of completion. The available pathways are Global Learning, Community Service, Diversity & Social Advocacy, Professional & Civic Engagement, and Research.

GLD is a formal distinction that honors the broader scope of your achievements and sets you apart in ways worthy of recognition by others (e.g., potential employers, graduate schools). When receiving GLD you are recognized with graduation cords and the distinction appears on your transcript and diploma.  


Global Learning Pathway

The Global Learning Pathway was developed by the Education Abroad Office in partnership with USC Connect to help you make meaningful connections between what you have learned within the classroom and your experiences studying abroad. It helps you explore the significance of your study abroad experience through ideas of multiculturalism, diversity, cultural awareness, and globalization by emphasizing the personal, educational, and professional development that occurs from learning in/about another culture. It also pushes you to apply your learning toward interacting and solving problems in the real world. 


In addition to completing GLD Orientation, you are also required to complete:

  • A minimum of one semester (at least 12 weeks) in study abroad experience. Note: You may combine multiple study abroad experiences to meet the minimum 12 week requirement.  
  • Three enhancement experiences, which actively engage you in discussion or learning about a subject related to your global learning interests. Examples include: workshops, lectures, conferences/presentations, and cultural events.
  • Six credit hours with a B or better from the approved course list for the Global Learning pathway.
  • A public publication or professional presentation related to your involvement in the Global Learning pathway. You are strongly encouraged to present your work at Discovery Day.
  • A GLD E-Portfolio demonstrating the significance of your within-and-beyond the classroom experiences. The two ways of completing the e-portfolio are taking a course that supports the creation of the GLD E-Portfolio (such as Univ 401 for GLD) or by attending an E-Portfolio workshop and then working with a GLD advisor. 

Be sure to view the USC Connect website for more extensive information about the Global Learning Pathway requirements.

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