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Climate Action Leadership Diploma (CALD)

Since the 2021-2022 academic year, UWC Pearson is offering the Climate Action Leadership Diploma (CALD) for students dedicated to tackling global challenges arising from climate change. This two-year curriculum is undergoing official accreditation as an IB Career-related Programme and is aimed at students between 16 and 19 years of age striving to become climate leaders as entrepreneurs, scientists, activists or innovators in private or public sectors.

Programme structure

The curriculum is composed of the following elements:

  • 3 IB subjects. Students following the Climate Action Leadership Diploma are able to choose 2 or 3 subjects from the standard IB Diploma Programme (IBDP).
    • The subjects can be from any of the six IBDP subject groups and can be taken at any level -- standard level (SL) or higher level (HL).
  • University-level courses. Via UWC Pearson's partnership with Vancouver Island University (VIU) and Royal Roads University (RRU), all students in the cohort will follow university courses lead by an instructor from VIU and a facilitator from UWC Pearson. Learning takes place in a hybrid format and consists of online lectures and in-person activities -- each week, at least one session is conducted face-to-face. At the end of each course, students are assessed by the VIU instructor. Each course lasts for a semester, and the full CALD programme includes the following four:
    • Climate Science, Resilience and Adaptation
    • Indigenous Perspectives on the Environment 1
    • Indigenous Perspectives on the Environment 2
    • Leadership and Impact: Making A Difference That Matters
  • A bespoke UWC curriculum. A series of modules lasting half a semester are conducted concurrently with the university courses and include lectures and talks from invited speakers, experts, indigenous elders from the Sc'ianew First Nation etc. The assessment of these modules is internal and does not include any exams. Instead, the students' performance is demonstrated via project work and the development of a portfolio. Some of the modules are the following:
    • Two-Eyed Seeing, Reciprocity, and Gratitude
    • Global Issues to Local Solutions
    • Complexity
    • Just Transitions Towards Just Futures
    • Engaged Citizenship and Participatory Future
    • Migration, Displacement and Climate Justice
  • Microcredentials. Students choose courses lasting a total of 150 to 200 hours and obtain microcredentials. This aids individual differentiation among students in the cohort, allowing them to take initiative in exploring their fields of interest, such as arboriculture, natural building, blockchain technologies, social impact design, practical futurism etc.

Ideal student profile for CALD

The Climate Action Leadership Diplome covers material far broader than simply ecosystems and environment. For effective climate leadership in the future, wide-ranging skills and interests are a necessity -- the CALD programme has been designed with this in mind. UWC Pearson has thus defined several profiles of students who would thrive in the programme.

In general, the ideal CALD student is passionate for climate leadership and environmental sustainability and is ready to dedicate themself to them via their professional interests -- regardless of whether that's via engineering and entrepreneurship, art and cinematography, economics and history, or human rights and public policy. The student is ready to follow university-level courses which include experiential, practical and field elements at various locations across Vancouver Island.

Additionally, self-motivated students would be successful in the CALD programme due to the high extent of flexibility in executing the academic tasks and projects. Still, being collaborative is key -- most of the work is done in a team with other students in the cohort. Finally, students exhibiting academic excellence, resilience, dedication, compassion and introspection are able to utilise the full transformative potential of the programme.

Applying for CALD

The Macedonian National Committee is able to nominate students for the Climate Action Leadership Programme for the 2023-2025 cohort at UWC Pearson. Candidates in their third year of high school will have an advantage in the process, but students in their second year are able to express their interest as long as they're deeply passionate about climate leadership.

Interested applicants are able to express their interest to be taken into consideration for CALD in the standard application (open until 20 November 2022). Applicants who have expressed interest in CALD and also manage to reach the third round of the selection process will also be ranked according to the CALD-specific criteria defined by the college. The candidate who will qualify as the most appropriate for the CALD student profile defined by UWC Pearson will be nominated for the programme. The final decision is made by the college, who may accept the candidate's nomination for CALD, or otherwise offer the candidate a spot in the standard International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.

More information about the CALD programme can be found on Pearson College UWC's website.