Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D- Westchester) sponsored legislation that will award qualifying high school students with a State Global Scholar Certificate upon graduation.
Students will be able to complete the Global Scholar Certification Program by taking globally focused classes, engaging in global collaboration and dialogue, learning unique ways to give back to the community and the entire world, and completing a capstone project demonstrating global competency.
“Our state and our country are in need of young people ready to take on the world and make it a better place. This certificate works toward this goal by confirming that our students are sharpening skills for 21st century success in STEM, health and business,” said Lightford.
The certification also encourages foreign language proficiency, deepens cultural empathy and creates opportunities for globally collaborative classrooms that can focus on, among many other things, anticipating international trends and how they will impact sectors like agri-business and manufacturing.
“The complex international politics and economic policy-making of our globalized world stand as a testament to how important a developed global worldview really is and how important a program like this has become for the next generation,” Lightford said.
The Illinois State Board of Education will take up the task of establishing specific criteria for becoming a global scholar (no changes to existing curriculum will be necessary), and while school district participation is optional, I would encourage everyone to participate because without an eye on the bigger picture, we may not find a solution to the problems right in front of us.