Acara Courses and Programs

    Spring 2022

    GCC 5501: Knowledge to Impact: Creating Action with your Grand Challenge Project Idea

    Do you have an idea for how to address a social or environmental problem? Are you interested in taking a course with other motivated students from across the university who care about being changemakers? This two-credit Acara course will help you learn the skills and knowledge you need to design an implementation plan for a solution that could take many forms, depending on your interests and strengths and the nature of the problem (business or nonprofit plans, policy and advocacy plans, media and awareness campaigns and activism plans are all possible). Resources (funding, training and mentors) will be available for students who wish to pursue their project beyond the classroom into implementation, and students will be well prepared to compete for $5000 fellowships and internships through the Acara Challenge in March 2022.

    All undergraduate and graduate students can take GCC 5501. Students must have a project that they want to develop in the course, and the project must have a clear connection to a Grand Challenge. Students who have not taken another Grand Challenge (GCC) course should send a one to two paragraph description of their project to the instruction team before registering for the course.
    “Most classes go from A to B, in this class you go from A to somewhere…and it means more!” – Student, Fall 2016

    Fall 2021

    GCC 3005/5005: Innovation for Changemakers: Design for a Disrupted World

    In this project-based course, students will work in interdisciplinary teams to develop entrepreneurial responses to current social and environmental problems while developing the tools, mindsets, and skills that can help them become leaders in addressing any complex grand challenge. This course will focus on seeking ways to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact in meaningful ways.

    GCC 3003/5003: Seeking Solutions to Global Health Issues

    In this course, students will work in teams to examine the fundamental challenges to addressing complex global health problems in East Africa and East African refugee communities here in the Twin Cities.