✓Available for rising 10-12th grade students.
✓2-week program in which students choose an aspect of civic life – for example, school, transportation, housing, environmentalism, nutrition – that they believe deserves attention and develop their own position on the importance of the issue and design potential solutions or service projects to foster a community that creates lasting change.
✓Students participate as active, creative, and ethical researchers who acquire and produce knowledge for themselves and for their academic, local, national, and global community.
✓Instruction from professionally distinguished teachers and graduate-level instructors from Columbia University and other top-tier American universities.
✓Students are eligible to receive a certificate of distinguished participation from Columbia University, Teachers College.
Tuition & Scholarships
In a recent article reflecting on the world’s response to the current pandemic, Jia Tolentino writes, “A decade ago, the writer Rebecca Solnit published the book A Paradise Built in Hell, which argues that during collective disasters the ‘suspension of the usual order and the failure of most systems’ spur widespread acts of altruism — and these improvisations, Solnit suggests, can lead to lasting civic change.”
Solnit’s book considers communities that have arisen out of disasters; she writes, for example, about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While it’s too soon to know fully the kinds of communities that might arise in response to COVID-19, the pandemic has exposed a great deal of vulnerability, inequality, and systemic failure.
In this 2-week program, students choose an aspect of civic life – for example, school, transportation, housing, environmentalism, nutrition – that they believe deserves attention and develop their own position on the importance of the issue and design potential solutions or service projects to foster a community that creates lasting change.
Students utilize individual expertise and shared interests as they respond to:
The current pandemic and the communities that arise in response
Change in their own lives (e.g., moving to online space, school, quarantine)
Our local, national, and global awareness of the trauma, anxiety, and inequity made clear by the pandemic
Students consider existing shared spaces and the kinds of space that might be possible during the current pandemic and post-pandemic. Questions the course would consider include:
Who are stakeholders in our communities? How might these people be better served?
What might it mean to become more responsible for shared space? (online and physical)
How might a more permanent move to an online space affect people?