The Global Awareness Program (GAP) was born out of a challenge to provide all KU undergraduates with opportunities and access to international experiences. People from different countries and cultures are now connected in ways that previous generations never experienced. From teachers in Garden City to engineers in Olathe, you need not look outside our state to see the need for cultural competency. Our graduates must possess an understanding of the complex interdependent systems in the age of globalization, as well as the cross-cultural skills to navigate these settings. Greater understanding of political, social, and economic landscapes outside the United States will better prepare our students for the demands of the 21st century.
The GAP certificate recognizes students who demonstrate growth in cultural knowledge, expansion of international perspectives, and development of cross-cultural communications skills. GAP complements the KU Common Core Goal #4.2: "Respect human diversity and expand cultural understanding and global awareness" and Learning Outcome: "Upon reaching this goal, students will be able to: Examine a variety of perspectives in the global community, distinguish one’s own cultural patterns, and respond flexibly to multiple world views."
Combining study abroad, cultural classes, and/or on-campus co-curricular activities, GAP provides students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in our globalized world. Students must complete two-out-of-three components to earn the certificate. The free KU certificate is an easy way to show future employers that you have experience with and respect for other cultures. It sets you apart in a competitive job market, enhances applications for graduate school and fellowships, and supports the development of essential skills needed for participatory citizenship in the 21st century.