GAC Newsletter

The Quarterly Newsletter of the ACT Global Assessment Certificate Program

Sign Up to Receive the
GAC Newsletter

Introducing the GAC Academic Committee

The ACT Learning Division is putting an emphasis on innovation, ushering in a new era of the Global Assessment Certificate (GAC) to think globally and deliver locally. Under new Learning Division leadership, the ACT GAC will continue to play a crucial role in the international education community, providing a practical, holistic, skills- and competencies-based college readiness program. 

This is why the ACT GAC Academic Committee has been established. The committee will guide the ACT GAC program to achieve its mission and priorities, ensure the continuing quality of the ACT GAC Curriculum and global GAC academic program policy implementation, build and strengthen partnerships within GAC regional and local teaching centers, and communicate ACT GAC curriculum quality improvement to schools, parents, and educational institutions. 

The committee’s primary goal is to guide the renewal of the GAC curriculum and assessment content to ensure GAC academic quality of competency-based education. 

The committee’s first task was to develop and conduct a GAC teacher and school manager survey to listen to our stakeholders. The purpose was to bring teachers and GAC school managers’ voices into decision-making in prioritization of the GAC curriculum improvement planning. Scroll down to learn more about this survey. 

In May 2020, ACT GAC Academic Committee was established with current members: 

  • Dr. Changhua Rich 
  • Anne Zheng 
  • Dr. Heather Wilmot 
  • Marimin Lopez (Moebian) 

Changhua Rich,
Principal Research Scientist, ACT, Inc.

Anne Zheng,
GAC Global Academic Director, ACT, Inc.

Heather Wilmot,
Director, Curriculum & Digital Learning, ACT, Inc.

Changhua Rich,
Principal Research Scientist, ACT, Inc.

Introducing the GAC Academic Committee


Jin Yuxuan
Yichang Yiling Tianwen International High School

University College London
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Kyungdeok Park  
Edu Asia GAC Center (Korea)

The University at Buffalo (GAC Pathway University)   
Admitted to UB Honors College

Li Ge
Nanjing Foreign Language School XianLin Campus (China)

University of Toronto—St. George
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Liu Yucheng
Taiyuan ACT-GAC Center Vantage Academy

University College London
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China


Meng Lingchen
Zhengzhou Cornerstone High School (China)

McGill University
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Pang Xiyu
Hebei Normal University GAC Center (China)

The University of Queensland
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Ren Yufei
Qingdao ACT GAC Center (China)

University of California, Irvine
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Shen Xiyue
Zhengzhou Middle School PGA Teaching Center (China)

Bryn Mawr College
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China


Song Yifei
Xi'an Tieyi High School PGA Teaching Center (China)

Brown University
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Wu Haotian
High School Affiliated to Harbin Normal University (China)

Ohio State University
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Wu Xiuyuan
Nanjing Foreign Language School XianLin Campus (China)

New York University
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Yao Han
Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal 
University PGA Teaching Center (China)

University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China


Zhang Xinwan
Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal
 University PGA Teaching Center (China)

Smith College
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Zhao Langyue
Harbin No. 3 High School GAC Approved Teaching Center (China)

New York University
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Zhao Jiahui
The First High School of Changsha, Hunan (China)

The University of Edinburgh
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China

Zhou Yanjun
Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal 
University PGA Teaching Center (China)

University of Pennsylvania
ACT GAC Student Merit Award—China


GAC is Now in Brazil! 

ACT is pleased to announce that, as a result of our partnership with Edify Education, the GAC program is now available to schools in Brazil under the brand name Edify College Prep by ACT. Edify has a long history of delivering quality bilingual education products and services in Brazil, and that tradition continues with Edify College Prep by ACT. Under Edify’s direction, six schools in Rio De Janeiro (listed below) have become GAC Centers in the first year of the ACT/Edify partnership!

GAC Center Update 

ACT is proud to announce the following new GAC Centers, where students will pursue the GAC, GAC FE, or EPP program. ACT’s GAC Foundation English (GAC FE) and English Proficiency Program (EPP) are programs that prepare students for entry into the GAC.

  School   Location   Program
  Beijing Foreign Studies University International Business School   Beijing, China   GAC
  Beijing Qinghua Zhiqing High School   Beijing, China   GAC
  China-UK College Shenzhen   Guangdong, China   GAC
  Deyuan High School of Tianjin   Tianjin, China   GAC
  Guanghua Cambridge International School   Shanghai, China   GAC
  Hailiang Foreign Language School   Zhejiang, China   GAC
  International Business School, Beijing Foreign Studies University   Beijing, China   GAC
  Junhwa International School, Jinhua City   Zhejiang, China   GAC
  Living Word Shanghai   Shanghai, China   GAC
  Shanghai United International School Pudong Academy   Shanghai, China   GAC
  Peking University Experimental School (Nanning)   Guangxi, China   GAC
  Shanghai High Tech Creative School   Shanghai, China   GAC
  Shanghai Hongrun Boyuan School   Shanghai, China   GAC
  Shanghai International Studies University Hongkou Campus   Shanghai, China   GAC
  Shanghai United International School Pudong Academy   Shanghai, China   GAC
  Shenyang Zhongshan Private Senior High School   Liaoning, China   GAC
  Shenzhen Vanke Meisha Academy   Shenzhen, China   GAC
  The Barstow School Ningbo Campus   Zhejiang, China   GAC
  Westlake International Academy   Fuzhou, China   GAC
  Xining Macrolink International Academy, BFSU   Qinghai, China   GAC
  Zhuozhou Senior High School Affiliated to BFSU   Hebei, China   GAC
  KinderStation School   Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia   GAC
  SMA Muhammadiyah 1 Gresik   Gresik, East Java, Indonesia   GAC FE
  SMP Kristen Petra 2   Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia   EPP
  SMP Kristen Petra 4   Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia   EPP
  Escola Dinâmica   Rio De Janeiro, Brazil    GAC
  Fórum Cultural   Rio De Janeiro, Brazil    GAC
  Colégio Guilherme Dumont Villares    Rio De Janeiro, Brazil    GAC
  Colégio Iavne   Rio De Janeiro, Brazil    GAC
  Escola Parque Barra   Rio De Janeiro, Brazil    GAC
  Escola Parque Gávea   Rio De Janeiro, Brazil    GAC

Pathway University News

The GAC Pathway University Network is Growing

ACT is pleased to welcome the following schools into the GAC Pathway University network:

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, located in Winona, Minnesota, USA. Ranked among the first tier of Best Regional Universities Midwest 2020 and #13 Best Value Schools 2020 by US News & World Report. 

At SMUMN, students find in every classroom a relationship-driven, person-centered education. We have a long tradition of serving students from many different backgrounds. International students from Asia, Africa, Europe, and South and North America are part of our student body today. We value the rich diversity in culture and experiences that international students bring to our campus. Professors and staff know students and challenge and support them as they grow to meet and exceed their expectations. We offer over 50 different academic majors, and the opportunities for undergraduate, residential students are endless—from participating in a vibrant campus life to real-world experiences through internships, study abroad, labs, service trips, field research and conference presentations. 

Inside and outside of classrooms, students discover the truths in the world around them and the character within themselves. As a Lasallian Catholic university welcoming all students, Saint Mary's mission is to awaken, nurture, and empower students to ethical lives of leadership and service. Saint Mary’s enrolls 1,100 undergraduate students at the residential college in Winona.  

GAC Mexico’s Pathway Elites

ACT works hard to facilitate connections between our GAC centers and students and the Pathway Universities that recognize the GAC for admissions purposes.  GAC Mexico’s Pathway Elites program is a prime example.  Working closely with ACT staff and ACT’s in-country partner Moebian, representatives of Mexican GAC centers have identified a group of Pathway Universities that offer exceptional value in terms of reputation, availability of scholarships, potential for transfer credits based on GAC coursework, and affordability. Mexican GAC centers will engage with Pathway Elite schools through a range of activities, including webinars for GAC schools/students, group tours of GAC centers by university personnel, university visits by GAC students and center staff, and university participation in Mexico’s annual GAC Summit and Professional Development Conference. 

  GAC Mexico’s Pathway Elites
  Abilene Christian University
  California State University—Monterey Bay
  Gannon University
  Iowa State University
  Lewis-Clark State College
  Miami University of Ohio
  Oklahoma State University
  Rowan University
  Saint Leo University
  Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
  State University of New York—New Paltz
  State University of New York—Plattsburgh
  State University of New York—Polytechnic Institute
  The University at Buffalo, SUNY
  University of Cincinnati
  University of Delaware
  University of Idaho
  University of Iowa
  University of Missouri
  University of South Florida
  University of Wisconsin-Superior

Pathway Universities in Focus

University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, USA

Driven to Discover—Students Help Build Delaware Ground Station for NASA Mission

Note: This article is reprinted with permission from the University of Delaware.

Ahmad Tamimi is involved in the NASA CURIE mission, which is being led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Delaware (UD). CURIE—which stands for Cubesat Radio Interferometry Experiment—will use small satellites, about the size of a toaster oven, to gather data about the super-charged plasma that radiates from the sun, especially during solar flares. These violent eruptions of high-energy radiation can kill astronauts in space and damage electrical systems here on Earth.

Ahmad Tamimi (right), who is from Palestine and resides in Ramallah, is a rising junior. He is majoring in computer engineering with minors in computer science and cybersecurity.

Tamimi:  I am from Palestine and reside in Ramallah. I lived there for my entire life up until I came to the US to study at UD. I still visit home almost every summer/winter break.

Tamimi: My major is computer engineering with minors in computer science and cybersecurity. I am a rising junior.

Tamimi: The mission of our group revolves around studying plasma that the sun radiates. Our team here at UD focuses on building the ground station that will help pick up data transmitted from two satellites in orbit. Most of the work is done in our professor’s lab in the Sharp Lab building. However, the team occasionally visits Mount Cuba Observatory, as it is going to be the base for the ground station. I am working with one other undergraduate student and a recent graduate under the supervision of Professor Ben Maruca.

Tamimi: The inspiration for this project came from a lack of understanding of plasma—99.9% of the universe is made up of plasma, yet we know so little about it. The closest source of plasma to us is our sun. Thus, studying plasma will help us make more sense of the universe!

Tamimi: A typical day of work would be laying out and building the communication systems between the computer at the ground station and the dish pointing to the satellites. Working/communicating with rotors, UPS systems, etc. Testing out the systems and making sure they are working the way they are supposed to, is essential. What’s even more important is that these systems work in unison and are reliable as they would be running continuously for five years. On some occasions, we visit Mount Cuba to lay out the conduit, and we plan on assembling a 3-meter-wide dish there in August.

Tamimi: I had to learn how to take on a big project and dissect it down into smaller projects and daily goals. I had found that setting daily goals helps tremendously and keeps things on track. You suddenly don’t feel as overwhelmed by a big project anymore and you just take things step by step. I have also learned to ask my team members questions if I am feeling confused about a certain topic or if I want their opinion on a certain matter. A different set of eyes definitely helps.

Tamimi: Plasma is actually being used in many high-tech industries. It is helping us make better microelectronic components such as semiconductors. It is also used to make transmitters for microwaves and even high-temperature films. Plasma TVs, as the name suggests, use plasma. Fluorescent lamps, neon signs also use plasma. However, in nature, you can find it in lightning strikes, and the polar auroras.

Tamimi: I play soccer twice a week with a close group of friends at UD. I play pool at the Hen Zone and enjoy some FIFA, ping-pong, etc., with my UD friends. I also enjoy learning new things, like a programming language, or an encryption method, and learning how to 3D print and make intricate designs using solid works. I am always ready to expand my knowledge in my field of study!

University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA

The University of Iowa is a Tier-1 public research university, ranked among the top 1% of universities worldwide. Expert faculty from all over the world gather at Iowa to pursue groundbreaking research and create powerful works of art. With Iowa’s small class sizes and low student-to-faculty ratio, you can form close connections with our esteemed instructors. We’re here to help you succeed.

The University of Iowa strives to provide international students with resources they need. Students can experience a supportive transition to the Hawkeye community. Specifically, the University of Iowa International Student & Scholar Services leads efforts to welcome, support, and retain the students and scholars who call Iowa home. The University of Iowa was one of the first to be an accepted GAC school in 2005.


Iowa offers over 200 majors, minors, and certificates. Students are encouraged to work across disciplines to find their passion. For a full list, visit

As a student, having a home away from home and an inviting space to make your own is important. Living on campus provides students with a safe, friendly living environment, convenient dining options, and access to community events. Every residence hall is just blocks away from the heart of campus.

Every Hawkeye is part of a family that spans the globe, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get lost in the crowd. With hundreds of communities and clubs to explore, along with world-class resources to help you navigate your college experience, you’ll quickly find your place at Iowa.


Iowa has the resources to help you succeed in the classroom and beyond. We lead the world in teaching graduates to write and communicate effectively, an essential skill in any career. Dedicated career advising, thousands of on-campus job interviews, and countless opportunities for hands-on learning make Iowa students stand out in the working world.

Learn more about how you can become a Hawkeye at the University of Iowa!

University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA

A major research university with global reach.

The University of Kansas (KU) is home to more than 2,100 international students from over 100 countries. KU is a part of the Association of American Universities, providing students across all majors with research grants and opportunities as early as their freshman year. Lawrence, Kansas, is a welcoming and diverse city of approximately 100,000 people that is also ranked as one of the top ten college towns in the USA. 

Opportunities & Graduate Success   

KU students choose from more than 400 degrees and certificates. Students also enjoy research, internship, study abroad, and career-building opportunities. Students have access to more than 650 student organizations to build their network and leadership skills.

KU’s honors program is also ranked #1 in the United States.KU offers a range of scholarships for international freshmen and transfer students. All scholarships are renewable each year and range from $12,000 ($3,000/year) to a full tuition waiver valued at $100,000+ ($25,000+/year).

KU alumni include world leaders, CEOs, inventors, astronauts, Nobel Prize winners, professional athletes and entertainment celebrities. Graduates also go on to work at many successful corporations such as Amazon, Google, ExxonMobil, Garmin, Black & Veatch, Microsoft, and Sprint.

Online Class Options   

KU offers hundreds of high-quality online course options that include both academic and English language courses starting at all English proficiency levels. This allows students to progress through language coursework, despite restrictions related to COVID-19. Classes are AAU-accredited and are offered by faculty and support staff trained in teaching online course content. Students can enjoy a variety of course formats, including video lectures, virtual office hours and online class discussions.

KU’s virtual support services allow students to access tutoring and writing resources as well as meet with academic advisors to ensure online success. KU’s expert immigration advisors will provide each student the support needed to transition to on-campus study when the time is right.  

English Study In-person or Online   

KU's Applied English Center is one of the oldest intensive English programs in the US, with a variety of programs including virtual courses through AEC Online and advanced level courses designed to help high-proficiency students perfect specific English skills. Students have access to a variety of supports, including online advising and conversation groups. AEC professors have more than 700 years of combined experience in international education.

International Student Support & Resources  

The University of Kansas strives to provide students with all the resources they need to be successful. Students have resources and advising to support them in academic success, cultural learning, career development, mental health, financial planning, and more. International Support Services (ISS) provides students with direction and support to flourish in their new home at KU.