Global Challenges


Global Challenges: Promise and Peril in the 21st Century is a complete online course and textbook replacement that asks these questions: “what are the key challenges we face now and through the next 25-40 years?” and “what are we going to do to solve complex problems that require interdisciplinary approaches?” This online course is project based, pushing the boundaries of an online high-impact practice (HIP) for students in their first year and beyond. It also relies on open-educational resources (OER) from a variety of disciplines, making it suitable for all majors.


Access a complete student demo including sample student work for the Global Challenges Magazine after you register and login for a free account here


Click on INSTRUCTOR RESOURCES for more information including an Instructor Guide with a sample syllabus and the complete table of contents for this all-in-one digital textbook and course.


Students have said the following about their experience with Global Challenges:

I enjoyed the fact that this course included self-reflection. Not only did I become a less ignorant human being but I also was able to think about my choices and how they will impact the future on a global scale. I also like the emphasis on connection between the global challenges.

I enjoyed most the diversity of educational resources. It was really neat how you pulled together so many different sources to arrive at this comprehensive course. I also enjoyed the theme as a whole of global issues.

I loved being exposed to issues around the world I didn’t know about and tying those issues into those of my own life/town.

What I enjoyed most about the course were the questions that offered a sort of “finding your identity” goal. This included the questions asking to describe your views or personality, or the questions that took you through tests and quizzes about your global knowledge.

I enjoyed learning about what is going on around our world. It expanded my knowledge to not only events occurring in my country but in others as well.

I enjoyed writing the articles, although they took a lot of time. It was a good way to wrap up or summarize the lessons without taking a quiz or test. In fact, the information in the articles stuck with me more than if I had just taken a comprehensive quiz.

My favorite part was getting a better understanding of how other countries deal with global issues. I like learning about all the current issues.


Tina Zappile, Associate Professor of Political Science at Stockton University

Shala Mills, Assistant Vice President of Graduate and Extended Learning at SUNY-New Paltz

Contact the main authors at and

Additional contributing authors: Dennis Falk, Brett Whitaker, Keisha Hoernner, Steven Elliott-Gower, Willie Redmond, Martin Shapiro, and John Hammang


The original framework and groundwork for this course was a collaboration of the American States Colleges and Universities (AASCU) American Democracy Project (ADP) with Eric Peterson and Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). This project was the culmination of the AASCU ADP Global Challenges Initiative. A special thanks to all of those involved in the AASCU Global Challenges Initiative: Amy Jordan, former Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership and Director of the American Democracy Project, University of Arkansas, Fort Smith; Bill Payne, former Dean, School of Fine Arts, University of Minnesota Duluth; Blase Scarnati, founding Director of the First Year Seminar-Action Research Team Program, Northern Arizona University; Brett Whitaker, Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies, Fort Hays State University; Curt Brungardt, Omar C. Voss Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies and Executive Director of the Center for Civic Leadership, Fort Hays State University; Darrell Hamlin, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Senior Fellow at the Center for Civic Leadership, Fort Hays State University; Denny Falk, Former Chair, AASCU Global Engagement Scholars and Professor of Social Work, University of Minnesota Duluth; Karie Hollarbach, Professor of Mass Media, Southeast Missouri State University; Keisha Hoerrner, Former Chair, AASCU Global Engagement Scholars and former Dean, University College and Professor of Communication, Kennesaw State University; Ken Hill, Manager of the President’s Emerging Global Scholars (PEGS) program and Senior Lecturer of Management, Kennesaw State University; Larry Gould, former Provost, Fort Hays State University; Martin Shapiro, Professor of Psychology, University of California Fresno; Matthew Hipps, Associate Professor of Political Science, Dalton State College; Nathan Phelps, former Assistant Professor of Honors and Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Kentucky University; Paul McGurr, Interim Dean, School of Business Administration, Fort Lewis College; Shala Mills, Former National Coordinator, AASCU Global Challenges Project and formerly Chair and Professor of Political Science, Fort Hays State University; Steve Roderick, former Provost, Fort Lewis College; Steven Elliott-Gower, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Honors Program and Scholars, Georgia College and State University; Susan Moss, Chair and Professor of Art, Fort Lewis College; Tina Zappile, Associate Professor of Political Science, Stockton University; Willie Redmond, Professor of Economics and Finance, Southeast Missouri State University; and Yohannes Woldemariam, Associate Professor of Political Science, Fort Lewis College. Particular thanks to Thomas Edison State College’s Provost Bill Seaton, Associate Provost Matt Cooper, former Dean of the Heavin School of Arts and Sciences Susan Davenport, and instructional designers Cindy Mooney and Aaron Appelstein, and Rick Barry.

Special thanks, as well, to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ American Democracy Project’s George Mehaffy, Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, and Cecelia Orphan, for their vision, support and encouragement in developing and implementing this project; to Felice Nudelman formerly of The New York Times Knowledge Network; and to Karen Meacham and, especially, to Scott Aughenbaugh of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) for Seven Revolutions framework support and materials; and finally, enormous thanks to Erik Peterson of CSIS who originally created the Seven Revolutions framework and with whom AASCU started their venture.

Activity 1
Instructor Resources for Global Challenges
The digital textbook/course is centered on this course-long project, where students are tasked to take on the role of a researcher/writer to cover the impact and consequences of global challenges for a specific country in a series of nine (9) articles for a publishable digital magazine. This project is designed to be an authentic experience, and for each issue we provide students with resources to conduct their research including qualitative and quantitative databases, annual reports for various organizations, and more. Students use the citation guide from the Monkey Cage series at the Washington Post, modeling how some researchers present their work in a public venue. Instructors have the flexibility to decide how to distribute country assignments to their students, and are provided rubrics to evaluate students’ articles. Click on the links below to access all the EDUCATOR RESOURCES for this course, and EXPLORE NOW to view a live demo of the course after creating a free account:
Previous course | Next course