Grand Challenge Scholars Program Curriculum

Grand Challenge Scholars Program Curriculum

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Contact
Jen Skidmore
Director of Student Development
jenskidmore@unl.edu



The Grand Challenge Scholars Program elements are very customizable to your major and interests. You must complete requirements for each of the Components, but how you complete each component is mostly up to you.

Curriculum Overview

The UNL GCSP curriculum is designed to be completed in as quickly as 1 year but many students may choose a 2 or 3 year path and receive the same benefits. We encourage students to apply early and complete as many activities as early as possible.

Component 1 - All scholars must complete both required activities.
Components 2-5 - You must choose one of these components to do at the Expertise Level for more in-depth learning. The rest must be completed at the Experience Level.

 

Component #1 – Talent

Required Activity 1

Required Activity 2

Mentored Undergraduate Research Project, 100 hours minimum, topic relevant to Grand Challenge.

Preferred Experience: UNL UCARE project, UNO FUSE project, or a National Science Foundation-sponsored Engineering-related Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU).

Presentation at the Grand Challenge Showcase (held annually in Spring term). All Scholars are required to present their research and culminating knowledge from all activities from components 1-5 during the spring term in which they complete the program.

Component #2 – Multidisciplinary

_ Expertise Level

_ Experience Level

Choose 1 from the following:
  • 6 Credit Hours of Non-Engineering Coursework in an area relevant to the Grand Challenges. Each course will need to be approved. See list.4
  • Choose 2 “Experience Level” options to complete
  • Propose your own option
  • Professional Conference relevant to the Grand Challenge 2, 3
  • 3 Credit Hours of Non-Engineering Coursework in an area relevant to the Grand Challenge. 1, 2, 4
  • Propose your own option
Choose 1 from the following:
  • Professional Conference relevant to the Grand Challenge 2, 3
  • 3 Credit Hours of Non-Engineering Coursework in an area relevant to the Grand Challenge. 1, 2, 4
  • Propose your own option

Component #3 – Viable Business/Entrepreneurship

_ Expertise Level

_ Experience Level

Choose 1 from the following:
  • Entrepreneurship, Management, or Finance course (3 credit hours) 2
  • Substantial contribution to a Maker Club or related student group (minimum 1 year of active membership)
  • Choose 2 “Experience Level” options to complete
  • Propose your own option
    • Business Plan or Pitch Competition, must pitch solution to Grand Challenge
    • Hackathon participation
    • UNL Engler Entrepreneurship Program “Gear Up” course completion
    • Professional Conference or Training relevant to Entrepreneurship
    • Propose your own option
Choose 1 from the following:
  • Business Plan or Pitch Competition, must pitch solution to Grand Challenge
  • Hackathon participation
  • UNL Engler Entrepreneurship Program “Gear Up” course completion
  • Professional Conference or Training relevant to Entrepreneurship
  • Propose your own option

Component #4 – Multicultural

_ Expertise Level

_ Experience Level

Choose 1 from the following:
  • Study Abroad or Study Tour (minimum of 10 days abroad in a university approved program)
  • International Internship
  • Global Services Student Organization active member for 1 year and at least one in-depth service trip/project
    • Non-Engineering Course relevant to Multiculturalism and the Grand Challenge (3 credit hours) 1, 2
    • UNO Sustained Dialogue Moderator (minimum of 1 year active participation and required facilitations)
  • Propose your own option
    • Multicultural or Global Service Student Organization (minimum 1 year of active membership or service)
    • Professional Conference relevant to the Grand Challenge or Multicultural component 2, 3
    • UNL Cultural Ambassadors Program (one semester commitment minimum)
    • English Conversation Partner Program (minimum of 1 year active participation)
    • Propose your own option
Choose 1 from the following:
  • Multicultural or Global Service Student Organization (minimum 1 year of active membership or service)
  • Professional Conference relevant to the Grand Challenge or Multicultural component 2, 3
  • UNL Cultural Ambassadors Program (one semester commitment minimum)
  • English Conversation Partner Program (minimum of 1 year active participation)
  • Propose your own option

Component #5 – Social Consciousness

_ Expertise Level

_ Experience Level

Choose 1 from the following:
  • Engineering Ambassadors Network (1 year of service minimum)
  • Service Learning course, including a significant service project (3 credit hours) 2
  • Propose your own option
    • Volunteer or Service experience (40 hrs.) relevant to the Grand Challenge
    • Service-Study Alternative Spring Break (ASB) (1 ASB minimum)
    • Service-related Student Organization (1 year minimum active commitment)
    • Propose your own option
Choose 1 from the following:
  • Volunteer or Service experience (40 hrs.) relevant to the Grand Challenge
  • Service-Study Alternative Spring Break (ASB) (1 ASB minimum)
  • Service-related Student Organization (1 year minimum active commitment)
  • Propose your own option

Footnotes from Curriculum

  1. Previous experiences or coursework completed before starting the program may count toward GCSP components if they were completed while the student was enrolled in the College of Engineering. Pre-college activities will not be counted. Approval is case-by-case and is up to the discretion of the GCSP Committee.
  2. GC Scholars cannot choose the same activities to satisfy multiple components (e.g., you may not use the same course to satisfy Component 2 and Component 4)
  3. Scholars attending Professional Conferences and/or Meetings will be required to present on this activity as part of the completion requirements. Presentation opportunities will be determined each semester. Exception: Scholars who are presenting on their research at a Professional Conference and/or Meeting will not need to present again.
  4. Relevant courses for Component 2’s Expertise level includes: Honors Seminars (topic must be approved and related); biotechnology; biomechanics; communication (JGEN 200 may not fulfill this); agricultural leadership education & communications; ethics or philosophy; health or sociology of health; cybersecurity; environmental studies or sustainability; public policy; law; ethics; human behavior; risk; medicine. Courses in other areas may also satisfy, at the discretion of the GCSP Committee.

 

Program Requirements & Important Notes

  • Scholars must complete both required activities for Component 1.
  • For Components 2-5, Scholars must complete 1 component at the Expertise Level. The remaining components must be completed at the Experience Level.
  • Each option has requirements that must be completed in order for the component to be fulfilled. In most cases, a presentation or a portfolio submission will be required. Creative submissions are encouraged.
  • Previous experiences or coursework completed before starting the program may count toward GCSP components if they were completed while the student was enrolled in the College of Engineering. Pre-college activities will not be counted. Approval is case-by-case and is up to the discretion of the GCSP Committee.
  • Students must be in the program for a minimum of 2 semesters, but must complete the program in full before graduating with their bachelor’s degree.
  • The GSCP Scholarship Award will be disbursed as an Award once the GCSP Committee determines the student has completed the program. The award is non-renewable.
  • Scholars must attend Grand Challenge Scholars Meetings (2 out of 3 meetings must be attended per semester. Only one absence excused or unexcused per semester is allowed.), and must attend one individual meeting per semester with the Program Director or GCSP Committee representative.

*NOTE: The curriculum displayed above is the most recent GCSP curriculum for scholars beginning their program in 2019.

Program Structure

Scholars who are focused, motivated, and plan ahead should be able to complete all requirements for their degree program and the GCSP without extending their time to graduation. The benefits of the program recognize outstanding work the Scholars conduct, as well as support your effort along the way (like access to apply for funds for conferences or education abroad).

The program elements are outlined below in order:

  1. Current students may apply for the program in spring term. See eligibility requirements above.
  2. Students are notified of acceptance generally within 1 month of application deadline.
  3. Accepted Scholars begin the program right away in spring term. You will meet the other Scholars and begin to receive guidance on building a plan to complete the program components. You should begin starting GCSP activities right away the spring you join the program.
  4. Each term you're in the program, Scholars will have event and meeting requirements:
    • Attend Grand Challenge Scholars Meetings (out of 3 offered per semester, you must attend at least 2. Only one absence excused or unexcused per semester is allowed.). Meetings will be focused on either component topics or specific Grand Challenges. You'll build skills or learn about cutting edge solutions.
    • Scholars will also attend one individual meeting per semester with the Program Director or GCSP Committee representative. These meetings will serve as check-ins to make sure you're on track to complete program requirements, as well as help you decide on your activities.
  5. As you complete each activity, there are requirements that must be met in order for the component to be "complete." In most cases, a presentation or portfolio submission will be required via Canvas. Creative submissions are encouraged. There will be one deadline each semester that all submissions will be due for activities you complete during that semester (For example: if you are studying abroad in Fall 2020, you will need to submit your portfolio submission for Component 4 in Canvas by the deadline we provide you, which will be prior to the end of the Fall 2020 semester.).
  6. All Scholars will be in the program at least 2 semesters (this is the reason only students with 1 year remaining may apply), but many more will spend 2+ years in the program. You will need to fulfill all components before graduating to receive all benefits, and you can also finish the GCSP a year or two before graduating if you plan carefully. Regardless, at the end of your final Spring Term in the GCSP:
    • Scholars will present their research and culminating knowledge from all activities from components 1-5 at the Grand Challenge Showcase in spring. The GCSP Committee will score and provide feedback on your presentation to determine if you demonstrate a mastery of the components.
    • Scholars must submit a finished portfolio early in this final term in the program. The GCSP Committee will review your portfolio to determine if you have mastered the components and completed the activities in full. You may receive feedback that requires edits to a portfolio submission, so turning in your portfolio by the deadline is imperative.
    • When the portfolio and presentation are deemed complete, the Scholar will receive: $2,000 Grand Challenge Scholars Achievement Award, medal to wear at commencement, certificate from the College of Engineering, designation on your transcript, and letter of contgratulations from the National Academy of Engineering