1. What is GCAS?
The Global Center for Advanced Studies is an a fully-licensed, non-profit higher education institution authorized by the State of Michigan, USA to provide graduate and undergraduate-level courses in a range of fields and disciplines. The GCAS academic program serves advanced college and university students as well as junior faculty with course and research experience in such interdisciplinary areas as critical philosophy, media studies, gender studies, literary theory, race studies, critical theology, cultural studies, ethnic studies, global studies, science studies, political economy and policy studies, amongst others. The GCAS internship program provides hands-on experience, through which students link thought and action via direct involvement in investigative journalism, radio broadcasting, book publishing, higher education teaching, and higher education management, amongst other fields. The GCAS study abroad program provides students with intellectually-engaged travel experience connected with canons and countercanons of great works of literature, philosophy, politics and economics, to be read beforehand and discussed while traveling abroad, to the countries and locales of relevance.
2. Where is GCAS located?
The central office of the GCAS is located two hours east of Chicago and two hours west of Detroit, at 4417 Broadmoor Ave SE, Kentwood, Michigan 49512 (in the Grand Rapids metro area). At present, additional offices exist in Denver, Colorado, with more slated for locations throughout the world.
4. How is GCAS global?
GCAS is the first critical theory-based higher education institution in the world to bring together the best faculty members in the field, from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Tasmania, the United States and the United Kingdom (at present). It is also the first higher education institution of its kind to draw upon an equally diverse student base, with applicants hailing from each of these countries, as well as Belgium, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Namibia, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Sweden and Turkey. GCAS seminar courses and institutes are slated for selected cities around the world, such as Denver, Grand Rapids, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Krakow, Mexico City, Moscow and Paris.
5. Is GCAS only online, or is it also in-residence?
GCAS is primarily centered around “in-residence” elective requirements, with a few online introductory and summative courses, which are non-elective. The main thing we do differently from other institutions is that we concentrate an entire year’s worth of in-class, physical “clock hours” into a single week, so that the in-class portion of the course, which would normally require an entire semester, can be completed within this time frame. Then, we group at least five such courses together into joint “institutes”, so that within five weeks time, all elective requirements can be completed as a block, if preferred. Students may also pick and choose between several different institutes and seminar courses, creating their own interdisciplinary specialization, with the approval of the Academic Dean. GCAS does require before-class preparation and after-class digestion, like other institutions – but the actual time spent in the classroom is compressed, such that students are in class from early in the morning to well into the evening, every day except Saturday and Sunday (with meal breaks).
Thus, GCAS is not an online institution, but is instead a “hybrid” of online/offline coursework, so as to mobilize time in the most beneficial manner for the students, faculty and administration as a whole.
6. How do I stay up-to-date with developments at GCAS?
All pre-enrollment applicants are automatically added to the GCAS e-newsletter list, from which updates are sent out every other month. For ongoing, realtime updates, like the GCAS Facebook page.
7. I’d like to make a donation to GCAS: what kinds are accepted?
We welcome your support of our global educational vision: we accept both monetary donations and volunteer assistance, while we are getting started. At present, we are in the process of creating our own 501c3 non-profit that will be able to accept tax-deductible donations: we expect this process to be complete by March/April 2014. Meanwhile, we have reached an agreement with a temporary 501c3 non-profit fiscal sponsor who will be able to accept tax-deductible donations on our behalf: please contact us if you would like to donate to our efforts and we will put you in touch with them.
8. How is GCAS funded?
GCAS is funded by a combination of tax-deductible monetary donations, low administrative overhead, volunteer assistance and tuition-driven revenue sources. Since our long-term goal is to eliminate tuition entirely, we are working towards new, more innovative models of funding, including crowdsourcing and other approaches that do not implicate the student into the conventional loan-based apparatus.
9. How can I get a graduate degree via GCAS?
GCAS is fully-licensed by the State of Michigan, USA to provide transferable course credits to our global network of participating colleges and universities, through which GCAS students are wholly eligible for accredited MA and PhD degrees acquired from our sustaining partner and participating college and university credit transfer agreements. These derive either from existing agreements (such as those we already have with the European Graduate School and the Institute for Social Sciences and the Humanties-Skopje), or from those interested in becoming a sustaining partner or participating college or university. At present, GCAS does not offer its own MA or PhD degrees, but we are beginning the multiyear accreditation process: we do, however, offer transferable and standalone diplomas and equivalency certificates, in a range of fields.
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY PROGRAM
1. What kinds of courses does GCAS offer?
GCAS offers coursework and thematically-organized institutes in Critical Philosophy, Policy Studies, Media Studies, Critical Theology, Neuroanalysis, Global Studies, Sports Studies and Science Studies.
2. When can I sign up for GCAS courses?
Registration should be available beginning in December 2013.
3. When are classes held?
Online courses are held during Fall and Spring semesters. In-residence seminar courses and institutes are held primarily during conventional Spring, Summer and Winter Breaks.
4. How do I sign up to take a course at GCAS?
Now that GCAS is fully-licensed by the State of Michigan, USA, students may sign up via our website (begins December 1, 2013).
5. How can my higher education institution partner with GCAS?
GCAS offers five levels of partnership:
a) Full Institutional Partnership (FIP): the partner institution accepts all GCAS program credits in package form, such that a full diploma from GCAS is completely transferable for an MA or PhD Degree from the partner institution (with differing stipulations in each case). At present, such GCAS partnerships include EU-accredited institutions such as the European Graduate School and the Institute for the Social Sciences and Humanities-Skopje.
b) Partial Institutional Partnership (PIP): the partner institution accepts all or some GCAS course credits, but not entire programs, as transferrable towards a graduate degree. In such a partnership, the student must take a combination of GCAS and partner institution courses, in order to acquire a degree from the partner institution. At present, the GCAS is negotiating such a partnership with one university.
c) Departmental Level Partnership (DLP): the partner institution accepts all or some GCAS course credits, but not entire programs, as transferrable towards a graduate degree in one or a few departments, but not across the entire institution. In such a partnership, the student must take a combination of GCAS and partner institution courses in one or a few departments, in order to acquire a degree from the partner institution. At present, the GCAS is beginning to discuss such a partnership with two universities.
d) Venue Level Partnership (VLP): the partner institution works with GCAS primarily as a venue through which we operate our own program independently. accepts all or some GCAS course credits, but not entire programs, as transferrable towards a graduate degree in one or a few departments, but not across the entire institution. In such a partnership, the student must take a combination of GCAS and partner institution courses in one or a few departments, in order to acquire a degree from the partner institution. At present, the GCAS is beginning to discuss such a partnership with one university.
e) Professor Level Partnership (PLP): a professor at an institution is associated with GCAS as an active GCAS professor and/or as a “point person” for interested students to contact in order to learn more about us. Such professors may offer tutorials or independent study courses associated with a specific GCAS seminar or several GCAS seminars, thereby enabling our coursework to be transferred back to the home institution by way of their involvement.
6. Who should I talk to on my campus about GCAS?
At present, you may speak to any of our faculty members, if one of them is already located at your home college or university, or you may send interested faculty our way to discuss how to become affiliated as a campus point person.
7. Where do I live when I’m taking classes?
GCAS students live wherever they want to, while taking online courses (most of the year). In-residence electives require the student to travel to the location of the course, unless an online option is made available.
8. What is the GCAS certificate program and what certificates are available?
GCAS offers a range of certificates to its students upon completion of a one-year program. After students have completed Introduction to Critical Theory I, Introduction to Critical Theory II, Introduction to Policy Studies, five in-residence elective courses (that can be completed in a single five-week Summer Institute), an internship and a thesis or final exam, GCAS students become eligible for certificates that either correspond to our institute thematics directly (Critical Philosophy, Policy Studies, Media Studies, Critical Theology, Neuroanalysis, Global Studies, Sports Studies and Science Studies), or correspond to a student-proposed interdisciplinary thematic, with the agreement of the Academic Dean.
9. Who can attend GCAS?
GCAS is open to beginning college students seeking study abroad opportunities, advanced senior-level undergraduates seeking to transition into graduate-level studies, existing MA and PhD students at institutions that accept GCAS credit and junior level faculty members seeking professional development opportunities.
10. Can I get a scholarship to attend GCAS?
Yes, we offer a range of scholarship opportunities and are working towards full scholarship provision for each and every GCAS student, eventually.
STUDENT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
1. What is the GCAS Student Internship Program?
The GCAS internship program provides hands-on experience, through which students link thought and action via direct participation in a range of broadcast, publishing and higher education institutions.
2. What internship opportunities are available?
The GCAS internship program currently offers internship opportunities at WPRR Public Reality Radio 95.3 FM, The Economic and Social Justice Reality Report, Conatus Publishing, GCAS Press and, of course, at GCAS. Soon, we will offer internship opportunities via additional radio, online, book publishing and higher education institutions, as well as at a range of other venues.
3. When will the first internships begin?
The first internships will begin in Fall 2014, once the first GCAS student cohort completes the first Summer Institute, in Summer 2014. At this point, students will have completed the Introduction to Critical Theory I, Introduction to Critical Theory II and Introduction to Policy Studies prerequisites, as well as all electives. Thus, the only thing left to complete prior to graduation will be the internship and the thesis (or final exams).
STUDY ABROAD PROGRAM
1. What is the GCAS Study Abroad Program?
The GCAS Study Abroad program enables beginning-level college students who are interested in critical theory, cultural studies and related critical interdisciplinary studies to do so from a global perspective. Then, upon nearing senior-level, GCAS Study Abroad graduates who attain sufficiently advanced degrees of learning are pre-approved to enroll in our graduate level college and university program.
2. What is the maximum number of students per trip?
At present, we plan on an enrollment cap of 100 students.
3. When will the first Study Abroad trips begin?
The first GCAS Study Abroad trips will begin in Fall 2015.
4. How do I sign up?
For now, send us an email letting us know that you are interested and we will keep you on file to contact once we are closer to getting started.