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Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning

  • GLD Cording Ceremony

Graduation with Leadership Distinction

Advancing leadership is an important component of our role as South Carolina's flagship university and its dedication to educating the future leaders of the state, the nation and the world.

Students who earn Graduation with Leadership Distinction demonstrate extensive, purposeful engagement beyond the classroom, understanding of course concepts in “real world” settings, and application of learning to make decisions and solve problems.


This formal distinction honors the broader scope of achievements for students engaged within and beyond the classroom and sets them apart in ways worthy of recognition by others (e.g., potential employers, graduate schools). Students are recognized with graduation cords and the distinction appears on graduates’ transcripts and diplomas as “With Leadership Distinction in (Pathway Name)” or “With Leadership Distinction” on the diploma if multiple pathways are completed (with the complete list of pathways appearing on the transcript).  


Students can earn Graduation with Leadership Distinction if they meet the requirements, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater, and graduate with an associate or baccalaureate degree in any major from USC Columbia, Lancaster, Salkehatchie, Sumter or Union. Failure to complete requirements (including submitting appropriate documentation for verification), forgery, or misrepresentation of experiences or documentation will result in the student being ineligible for GLD.

GLD Orientation

The first step in pursuing Graduation with Leadership Distinction is completing the GLD Orientation



Students are encouraged to meet with a GLD Advisor as soon as they consider pursuing GLD. Students will be encouraged to think about and discuss numerous possibilities to engage in purposeful activities year to year and make meaning of those experiences along the way. You can sign up under Involvement and Engagement.

GLD Introductory Meeting:
To gain awareness of the GLD process in anticipation of pursuing GLD during your academic career.  Intro meetings cover topics like identification of resources, questions about the program, or the application process.

Palmetto College GLD Support

Students at a Palmetto College campus can enroll in UNIV 401 GLD or contact a GLD advisor on their campus:


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