campus partner(s)

Columbia University and Double Discovery Center






College-Community Connections: Partnerships

award date


project director

Casey Blake; Kecia Hayes

Grant Summary

$300,000 over 36 months to the Center for American Studies at Columbia University and the Double Discovery Center to provide rising seniors from New York City high schools with an academically rigorous, college-level program in the humanities on the theme of “Freedom and Citizenship: Explorations in Ancient, Modern and Contemporary Thought.” During this three-week residential program, students read selections from major European and American texts from Plato and Aristotle to John Dewey and Martin Luther King, Jr. Students write daily reflections on their readings and are advised by undergraduate teaching assistants and a graduate student coordinator on how to express complex ideas in clear and compelling ways. Students also enroll in skills workshops led by their teaching assistants and take field trips to local cultural and historical sites. During the academic year, students collaborate on a research project focused on a contemporary public issue related to the seminar themes and learn how to use online research tools and identify local authorities at Columbia and around the city for interviews in their compilation of data. Students also work with undergraduate mentors and staff at the Double Discovery Center who assist with the college application process.