The Daily Illini

Grand Challenge Learning adds to curriculum

By Lauren Scafidi

agThe Grand Challenge Learning program is broadening the array of courses available to students.

The Grand Challenge learning program “enables students to connect their general education studies to real world topics of pressing concern,” according to their website. agThe program was initiated in the fall of 2015ag and has been rapidly expanding ever since to provide interdisciplinary general education courses for undergraduate students.

The courses offered are divided into three different educational areas of focus: Sustainability, Energy & Environment, Inequality & Cultural Understanding, and Health & Wellness.ag

The new courses would enable students to partake in classes focused to topics of their interest, as well as learn through a series of interactive experiential opportunities.ag

The Grand Challenge courses are a result of discussions among groups of staff, faculty members and students who selected topics based on what they believed was important and current for students to pursue and learn.ag

Charles Tucker, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Innovation,ag sent out a press release to undergraduate students announcing the introduction of the three new courses being added to the Grand Challenge Learning program.

The new courses include GCL 200, Frameworks for Inequality & Cultural Understanding, GCL 210: Frameworks for Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment, and GCL 220: Frameworks for Building Healthy Communities.ag

All of the courses will be offered this coming fall. Each class will meet twice per week – once in a large lecture setting and another in a small discussion setting.ag

The courses will be able to bring students closer to completing a Grand Challenge pathway, which is when students take four of the innovative course options, the press release said. Each course meets at least two general education requirements.ag

Tucker said he is excited about the new courses being added.

“I’ve been dreaming about this,” he said. “I’m ecstatic.”

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