Global Citizenship Cohort (GCC)

Think responsibly. Become a global citizen.

Do you dream of making the world a better place to live? Are you interested in the environment and social justice issues?

  • Study with a small cohort group of like-minded students.
  • Enjoy a first-year experience that will introduce you to a variety of disciplines and build your study skills.
  • Participate in courses connected by a common theme.

The Faculty of Arts and Science Global Citizenship Cohort (GCC) offers a unique opportunity to connect some of your first-year courses around a common theme while interacting with a group of like-minded students. The themes for 2019/2020 (Fall 2019 start) are Identity & Politics AND Challenging Worldviews (FULL FOR 2019). You will have the opportunity to select your first theme of choice in the application.

The GCC application deadline for Fall 2019 is June 30, 2019. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. If you have not already applied to the University of Lethbridge, APPLY TODAY. Once you complete your U of L application, apply to the GCC for a seat in this unique opportunity offered by the Faculty of Arts & Science. Entry into the cohort program is competitive, and space is limited.

What is proving to be equally important as the cohort themes, is the transformative impact that students who participate in the GCC experience. Many students speak of how “different” they are now, then when they started. Students who never knew each other prior to joining the GCC now live together and/or continue to work together on initiatives that they started when they were part of the GCC.

For example, a group of students from the GCC worked with the Oldman Watershed Council (OWC) to do clean-up and conduct water testing on the Old Man River. One of these students is now on the Board and continues to be active in promoting their efforts. A second example is five students from the GCC who raised funds for the uLethbridge Refugee Action Committee (RAC), a volunteer group formed to help resettle a Syrian family in Lethbridge. Students from this cohort are still involved with the RAC. Check out Jamie and Antoine's stories below to learn more!

In addition, students are telling us that this program feels like “home” and gives them a sense of belonging right from day one!

Kahsha Fancy Shingoose

As a first-year student, I was a bit overwhelmed when I arrived on campus. Luckily, my last activity at NSO was a meet and greet with the coordinators and students in the GCC. I quickly realized that I had found my people. I’m only a couple weeks into the school year and I’ve already built many friendships. It’s so nice to walk around campus and recognize faces. And most importantly, I have found a group of people who I identify with and that I know will be long-time friends.

Kahsha Fancy Shingoose, 1st year General Major, Social Science

Benjamin Jansen

“Being part of the Global Citizenship Cohort has fast-tracked my social and academic life at the University of Lethbridge. I have the opportunity to be part of a great group, participate in great discussions, and to feel a part of the university.”

Benjamin Jansen, 1st year Political Science (Co-op)

Three years in and we are constantly reminded of the lifelong friendships that have been formed. The GCC family is continuing to grow and “graduates” of the cohort are our ambassadors and champions.

If working with others to improve the world as global citizens appeal to you, join this small group of curious and motivated students and enjoy an enhanced first-year university experience.

Jamie Lewis

Jamie Lewis | 4th Year BA Anthropology (Co-op)

While Jamie was in the GCC, Jamie Lewis, a fourth year anthropology student, was part of a group of five students who raised funds for the uLethbridge Refugee Action Committee (RAC), a volunteer group formed to help resettle a Syrian family in Lethbridge.

“I had an overwhelming feeling of helplessness,” says Lewis. “It was at the height of media coverage regarding the Syrian refugee crisis. For so many of us, I think it put a human face onto this abstract political concept that we hadn’t been able to previously understand to its full extent. Having this visual was a spur for a lot of us.”

She spoke to Dr. Shelly Wismath, her professor in the Global Citizenship Cohort, who in turn referred her to Dr. Anne Dymond, a professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts. Dymond and Chaplain Erin Phillips were instrumental in establishing the U of L Refugee Action Committee, which was focusing its efforts on bringing a Syrian family to Lethbridge. In August 2016, Jamie was part of a group who met Abdullah Mouslli, a student refugee who was sponsored as a result of their efforts, at the airport and welcomed him to Canada.

Students from the GCC continue to be involved locally with the WUSC’s Student Refugee Program which has recently received a significant boost from a generous donor.

Antoine Gendron

Antoine Gendron | 3rd year BSc General Major Science (Co-op)

While Antoine Gendron, a 3rd year general major in science, was in the GCC, he was part of a group of six students who worked with the Oldman Watershed Council (OWC) to do clean-up and conduct water testing on the Old Man River.

Adopt a River saw the students work for eight hours on their designated section of the Oldman River near Taber, collecting garbage, conducting soil and water tests, documenting plants and taking note of any vandalism.

“We’re doing what we can to clean it up and help in whatever way possible,” says 20-year-old student Antoine Gendron. “We’re hoping our project will help bring awareness of local watershed issues to people in the region so they might become more careful in their use of water at home, at work and in their recreational activities.” Antoine is now on the Board and continues to be active in promoting their efforts.

Mission Statement

The Global Citizenship Cohort program will provide students with an enhanced first-year experience that is unparalleled in the province and which offers connections:

  • between a carefully chosen set of courses which relate to a Global Citizenship theme;
  • to a group of like-minded students who support each other’s ideas and efforts, academic and otherwise; and
  • to professors, mentors, job opportunities and volunteer opportunities that will complement the students’ academic experiences.

This combination will provide students with a unique and engaging undergraduate experience, and a headstart in whatever career they choose to pursue.

A Day in the Life of a Cohort Student

Students in the GC Cohort will take five of their first ten courses together in their first year. You will take these five courses as a group, build friendships with students with similar interests, be taught and mentored by a core group of inspiring professors, develop leadership skills, and learn how you can have a positive impact on the world around you.

In the fall semester, you will take three courses alongside all of the other cohort students for your theme. One of these courses is a half course that meets once per week, giving you the chance to talk about what you are learning in your other cohort courses, and hear from guest speakers on topics related to the theme. You’ll also be able to raise concerns and ask questions, as this course will ONLY be cohort students. At the same time, you’ll be taking other courses to fulfill the requirements for your major. Students usually take 5 (3 credit) courses per semester so that you could take two full cohort courses, the half course, and two or three other courses outside of the cohort.

In the Spring semester, you’ll again be taking two full courses with your cohort, plus the half course that meets once per week. In this semester you’ll start using this half course to work on a cohort project of your choosing, something that you bring some passion to, or that you want to learn more about. Some students work individually, and some work in groups. The key is to find connections between your courses and what’s going on in the world around you. You’ll also be taking other courses for your major.

Learn more about the cohort courses for 2019/2020.

If you already have a major in mind, the cohort will help you fulfil electives and Liberal Education requirements. If you haven’t chosen a major yet, these courses can give you a taste of the variety of disciplines available, and help you to find your pathway. Students who complete the five courses as part of the cohort will receive a CERTIFICATE of GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP.

Additional Opportunities

As part of the half courses that meet once per week, students from the GC Cohort will have guided access to further opportunities such as Applied Studies, Independent Studies, and Co-operative Education positions. Select students may be encouraged to apply for Teaching Assistant (TA) positions in subsequent years.