College of Social Sciences

About the Community

The Global and Public Affairs Learning Community (GPALC) is designed to help its residents advance their interests in the world around them, complementing the educational mission of FSU with special courses and frequent events and activities. Learning Community residents benefit from the resources of a large university (world-renowned faculty, a variety of course offerings in more than one hundred departments and other academic programs, academic and cultural activities almost every night, and a large and diverse student body), while also enjoying the benefits of a small college (close contact with a small community of students, small class sizes, and regular interaction with university faculty and staff).

The Community is intended for students with plans to major or minor in one of the social sciences, which includes political science, international affairs, sociology, economics and geography. The GPALC draws from the rich resources of the University, the College of Social Sciences & Public Policy, and the city of Tallahassee to create a unique learning environment. The central mission of GPALC is to educate students for citizenship in the community, state, nation, and world. If you're interested in understanding and impacting society at the local, state, national, and global levels, then this is the community for you!

In order to fulfill this mission, the GPALC has three central components: Community, Coursework, and Events & Activities.

1. Community

GPALC residents benefit from living in a close-knit, supportive community of people with similar interests. New students interact with others who are interested in the world around them, including professors in FSU's social science departments (Economics, Geography, Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology, and Urban & Regional Planning) and related disciplines. With this foundation, GPALC residents go on to achieve academic success in the social sciences and become leaders in student and community organizations.

2. Coursework

All Community residents enroll in the one credit-hour Global and Public Affairs colloquium in both the Fall and Spring semesters. Because it is limited to residents in the GPALC, this seminar extends the sense of community within the program by bringing the students together in the classroom as well as in their daily interactions in the residence hall. More details about the Public Affairs Colloquium are available on this web site's Courses page.

Community members also are required to take one of the one-semester, in-house seminars that are offered each Fall by individual departments within the College of Social Sciences & Public Policy. These courses, which are taught in a classroom located within the residence hall, help build a sense of community among participants as well as providing a smaller class size and more personalized learning environment than is found in most first-year classes. Each class is limited to twenty students and is taught by an FSU faculty member. More details are available on this web site's Courses page.

3. Events & Activities

Throughout the year, special events and activities related to global and public affairs are scheduled for GPALC members. These range from presentations by FSU scholars and local or state political figures, to lectures by visiting national and international dignitaries and journalists, to discussions of current events led by local experts. Recent years have also seen presentations on some of the many opportunities available at FSU for students interested in the social sciences. See the Events page for examples of some of the types of activities the Community has hosted.