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Global Education Achievement Certificate


"We need students who are knowledgeable about the world and who have an understanding of how other cultures work and how other people think."

-Tony Evers, PhD, Wisconsin State Superintendent

The  Wisconsin Global Education Achievement Certificate is awarded to graduating high school students who have demonstrated a strong interest in global citizenship by successfully completing a global education curriculum and engaging in co-curricular activities and experiences that foster the development of global competencies.

Wisconsin's Global Youth Summits have clearly demonstrated the excitement among many students, our First Globals, about their thirst for exploring a world beyond their immediate homes and communities. That world is well within their reach through travel, web-based inquiry and exploration. The Global Education Achievement Certificate adds a much needed global dimension to our students' coursework and extra-curricular engagement. Employers are looking for these skills and interests in their employees, and colleges and universities seek students with the learning experiences validated by the Certificate. Watch the short video below and read the article by Tony Evers and Gilles Bousquet for the Wisconsin Media Council, Wisconsin Sectors Must Unite for a Global Marketplace.

Tim Sullivan, Caterpillar/Bucyrus:  “We are a very domestic-centric country. That model has to change for us to compete on the international stage… In our grade schools, in our junior high schools, we have to start exposing our kids to international languages, which is a hook that gets them interested in the culture, and teaching them about other cultures beside our own… If we are the types of companies that are saying ‘we need your help’ from an education standpoint, then we have to walk the walk and show them there’s a door at the end of the academic corridor that gets them a good paying job in a pretty exciting international landscape.”

Kimberly Bors, Johnson Controls:  “Johnson Controls currently has about 137,000 people who are operating in 150 countries. What we look for specifically is the [ability to deal with] cultural diversity, not just language skills.”

Tom Guerin, Kerry Ingredients & Flavours:  “When I interview candidates for positions as scientists at Kerry,” Guerin says, “I look for the ability to see different sides of a problem, and I look for people who are still grounded in their culture of origin. I am not that interested in assimilation to an Anglo-Saxon lifestyle or point of view.” He feels strongly that diversity of viewpoints strengthens the work in R&D, especially when a global corporation like Kerry places products in markets worldwide. “If you insist on assimilation among your employees, you are bound for failure. If, on the other hand, you encourage diversity of  opinion and approaches to solutions, you will succeed,” Guerin says. “When I started out in this line of work 13 years ago, I thought it was all about the science. I found out that it’s not. Much of my work has to do with being able to communicate effectively with people from very diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.”



Students graduating from high school may be awarded the distinction of Wisconsin Global Scholar if they have completed the following requirements:

  • ​Four (4) credits in one world language, OR pass the ACTFL (AAPPL) proficiency exam at the intermediate high level.
  • Four (4) credits in courses with global content. One of those credits may be one year of a second world language.
  • Reflections on eight books (fiction or non-fiction) with global content. Alternately, up to four reflections may be on art, music, or film. 
  • Participation in school wide global activities.
  • A minimum of twenty (20) hours of global service learning.

Note a policy update for world language course requirements: Students may either accumulate 4 credits in a world language OR pass the ACTFL (AAPPL) performance assessment at the intermediate high level.  Refer to section 3.2.1 in the policy document.

The Global Education Achievement Certificate

The certificate is administered locally with prior program approval by the Department of Public Instruction. Approval is generally granted once schools demonstrate the availability of courses and extra-curricular opportunities required under the policy. The approval form itself is a fillable document and should be submitted to DPI electronically or by mail.


Performance Outcomes, Rubrics, I Can Statements

Globally competent students are able to:

  • Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment.
  • Recognize their own and others' perspectives.
  • Communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences in more than one language.
  • Translate their ideas into appropriate actions to improve conditions, i.e. they have taken action.
  • (Boix Mansilla and Jackson (CCSSO 2011)

Find guidance and examples as developed by the Asia Society here:

The Graduation Performance System (GPS) is a set of frameworks and tools designed to help schools integrate global competence in the curriculum.  Frameworks for different content areas can be accessed here or through the links on this page. 

For questions about this information, contact Pamela Delfosse (608) 267-9265