The signature courses follow the mission of Global and Community Leadership Honors by exposing students to social, economic, cultural, and public policy issues.
Exploring Birmingham is a first-year GCL Signature Course which uses the City as Text pedagogy to engage students in a structured exploration of Birmingham and the social, political, economic and environmental forces which shape it. Through readings, films, discussions, lectures, and personal experiences in the city itself, students learn how to gather and analyze information, think critically about difficult and contentious issues, and integrate learning across disciplines.
The second required GCL Signature Course uses the service-learning pedagogy, providing students with field experiences in partnership with selected community or local government agencies. Through readings, class discussions and written reflections, students will explore the meaning of service and leadership as they work throughout the semester with their community partners. The goal of the course is to bring students to a deeper understanding of their role as leaders in service to those communities where they find themselves living and working, as well as those they wish to affect in positive ways.