As one of NYCCEP’s primary objectives, Barnard College is committed to incorporating aspects of civic engagement into the curriculum through building partnerships with various faculty, raising the profile of courses already including internships or service opportunities, and looking to support faculty in new ways of designing syllabi.

“Theorizing Civic Engagement” Course: Content and Practice

One of NYCCEP’s first accomplishments was the design and implementation of the “Theorizing Civic Engagement” seminar offered through the American Studies Department in Fall 2003.  This course has been subsequently taught each academic year and was most recently taught by Professor Jonathan Reider in Fall 2010.  As part of the course syllabus, students are placed in not-for-profit or other community-advocacy internships and build upon those experiences through reading and discussion of relevant literature to create a stronger understanding of civic engagement in New York City.

The “Theorizing Civic Engagement” seminar complements existing courses that educate students in the theories of activism, the political economy of the nonprofit sector, and the relationship between philanthropy and other sociopolitical aspects of contemporary American society.  Additional courses through NYCCEP will focus on targeted issues, such as homelessness in New York City, comparing strategies and issues of civil society and social activism in institutional, political and social settings.

All courses developed through NYCCEP include as part of the syllabus student internships and community service opportunities, field trips, attendance at cultural events, or meetings with other citizens of New York throughout the semester.  This experience is integrated into the syllabus through projects that encourage the critical analysis of the experience and its relationship to social issues in New York City that are linked to national and international issues.

Resources and Services for Faculty Members

The program directors of NYCCEP are available to work with faculty members to incorporate civic engagement into their course syllabi and to develop internship or service components in Barnard’s courses.  We are able to work with faculty members to arrange any of the following forms of participation:

  • On-site visits and/or speakers for relevant class sessions
  • As a resource for readings and suggested assignments
  • As a resource for students in their searches for civic engagement-related internships and community service opportunities
  • As a resource for faculty to assist with in-class experiential activities geared toward the development of specific skill sets