Freedom and Citizenship Provides Paid College Seminar for Local High School Students

Maggie Barrows
May 18, 2021

Started in 2009 as a partnership between Columbia’s Double Discovery Center and the Center for American Studies, Freedom and Citizenship is a free academic enrichment program for New York City high school students intended to introduce them to college-level work in the humanities and prepare them for lives as informed, responsible citizens. Starting in the summer before a student's senior year of high school, Freedom and Citizenship includes an intensive 4-week seminar course, college application guidance in the fall, and a year-long civic leadership project.

The summer program, which is typically residential on Columbia's campus, is modeled on Columbia’s Contemporary Civilization syllabus and mirrors the pace and rigor of a college seminar. Undergraduate teaching assistants guide students in reading, writing, and study skills during afternoon and evening tutorial sessions. 

Over the course of the course of the next year, Freedom and Citizenship students put the theory they learned into action with civic leadership projects building on contemporary political issues. Students work in small groups on independent research, and they learn the history, issues, and strategies of civic engagement. During the fall semester, the students also receive college application guidance from the Double Discovery Center and mentoring from Columbia College undergraduates.

This year, Freedom and Citizenship is offering a $1,000 stipend to help support students who would otherwise have had to work during July.

Apply now to be part of Freedom and Citizenship this summer. Preference is given to applicants from low-income homes, or who would be the first in their family to attend college.