CivicHybrid Pageblock with Video

CivicHybrid students... 

  • Dialogue with peers, staff and community leaders
  • Analyze important social problems and promising solutions
  • Sharpen critical thinking and problem solving skills
  • Engage in hands-on service in communities
  • Explore an exciting city
  • Earn service hours while making a difference
  • Discover ways to create positive change

Explore CivicHybrid

Forms & Downloads:


Application Process

The CivicHybrid Program welcomes applications from returning applicants as well as new score and portfolio applicants. Before beginning the online application, determine which type of applicant you are based on the descriptions below.

Returning Applicant

You are a returning applicant if you are in grade 7 through 10 and you meet both of the following criteria:  

  • You have successfully completed a CTD course through the Weekend Enrichment Program, Summer Program or Online Program at the Emerald Tier, within the previous twenty-four months. 
  • You are now applying for an Online Hybrid course with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal or Reading) you used to qualify for a CTD course you previously completed. 

New Scores Applicant
You are a new scores applicant if you are grade 7 through 10 and you meet any one of the following criteria: 

  • You have never attended any CTD program and you have qualifying grade-level test scores (Verbal, Math or Science) for your desired course that are no more than two years old.
  • You have previously attended a course with the Summer Program, or Online Program, but you are now applying for a course with a different qualifying subject area (Verbal or Reading) and you have qualifying grade-level test scores. 
  • You have participated in above grade-level testing such as the PSAT™8/9 test taken in grades 3, 4, 5, or 6, the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS) within the past two years.

New Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in grade 7 through 10 and the following is applicable to you:

  • You do not have qualifying test scores because you have either:

              1) never taken a nationally normed standardized achievement test, OR 

             2) taken this type of test but not achieved a qualifying score.

An Admission Portfolio includes the following documents: 

  • Required: one teacher recommendation form, from a language arts or humanities instructor, the link to which will be available in your MyCTD account once the application is submitted 
  • Required: most recent school report card indicating exceptional performance in verbal or reading skills; 
  • If available: most recent state testing report (e.g. NWEA/MAP); or any results of a grade-level test such as PSAT™8/9 taken in middle school.

Accepted Students

Accepted students will recieve admissions materials via email 1- 3 weeks after their application is complete.  Enrollment information will include housing and travel details, a packing list, required health information, as well as program rules and policies. Login information for the online course will be sent shortly before the course start date. 

Important Dates 

Application Opens December 20
Early Bird Application Deadline June 5
Financial Aid Deadline May 30
Regular Application Deadline June 15


To qualify for Emerald Tier CivicHybrid Courses students must be in grade 7 through 10 and must also provide one of the following:

  • Achievement of a score of 90thpercentile or higher on a nationally normed grade-level assessment in the required verbal/reading qualifying subject area; OR
  • Successful past completion of a CTD course, with the verbal/reading qualifying subject area within the past two years, OR
  • Submission of a portfolio application, consisting of a teacher recommendation and the student’s most recent report card demonstrating that the student is performing well in language arts or humanities.

Fees, Withdrawals and Financial Aid


Tuition varies depending on specific courses. 

Tuition includes all program expenses:

  • 8-week online course instructions
  • In-person weekend expenses:
    • Lodging and meals 
    • Transportation to and from program activities
    • Service project materials and speaker fees
    • Staff instruction and 24-hour supervision, with a staff ratio of at least 1:6

Note: Students are responsible for their own travel to and from the in-person program site. A shuttle service to the site from DCA Airport to students traveling unaccompanied is available for an additional fee. 

Withdrawal Policy

  • Requests for withdrawals and refunds must be made in writing to
  • Withdrawals that occur more than ten days before the course start date are fully refundable, less a withdrawal processing fee of $60. (Update: With the challenges currently being presented by the spread of COVID-19 CTD is suspending its $60 withdrawal processing fee.)
  • Withdrawals that occur within ten days of, but before the first day of the course start date, are refunded 50% of the tuition, less the $60 processing fee.
  • There are no refunds made after the course begins.
  • Refunds may take up to eight weeks to process.

Financial Aid

CTD offers need-based financial aid awarded as requests are received. Families are encouraged to apply early because the amount of aid available is limited. Please see the Financial Aid page for details. 

  • The deadline to complete a financial aid application for Online Hybrid programs is two-weeks before the program begins.  However, financial aid is limited and financial aid applications should be completed as soon as possible.
  • It is imperative that you complete the financial aid application as soon as possible as it may take FACTS up to ten days to process your information.
  • If you have previously completed a FACTS application for CTD you must still begin with the current link in the application confirmation email for this year’s program.  You will be able to link your FACTS account to this new FACTS information.  You may need to update financial information.
  • If you experience difficulties with the FACTS process please call the FACTS helpline at 866-412-4637.

Online Course Details

The Online Course Environment
Students will be engaged in academically stimulating and engaging activities designed to develop higher-level thinking skills. A student should have a keen interest in the subject, be eager to work through academic challenges, and have a desire to learn using technology. 

While students will have flexibility in terms of when they log in to the online course, the course weekly pacing guides are designed to help students stay on track. The student’s ability to manage their time and adjust their effort are keys to success.
Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week engaged in course activities. Our dedicated instructors will initiate and guide online discussions, but students should possess effective communication skills including proficient reading and writing skills and feel comfortable asking questions to guide their learning.
Instructors make every effort to schedule real-time class sessions around busy schedules. When attendance is not possible, students can access recordings of real-time class sessions anytime after they occur.

Getting Started in the Online Course

  • Prior to the course start date, students receive login information allowing them to gain access to Schoology, the learning management system (LMS), which houses CTD online courses.
  • Course access begins on the official start date.
  • The online experience starts with a virtual online orientation for all new students; returning students are welcome to repeat the orientation.
  • Syllabi, assignments, timelines, discussion boards, links and more are found on the Schoology course site, which is available 24/7.
  • Primary communication with the course instructor and/or classmates occurs within Schoology. Depending on the nature of the subject matter and student preferences, instructors may use additional tools including, but not limited to, discussion boards, the phone, and online class meetings such as Skype, Adobe Connect and/or Google Apps.

Technical Requirements

  • Students need access to a stable internet connection and updated web browser.
  • Participation in “live” online sessions may require a computer microphone or headset.
  • While iPads and tablet computers may be sufficient for most coursework, some web tools and/or websites may require the use of a computer or laptop.

In-Person Weekend Details

To complement their online learning, students will take part in a 4-day, residential, service-learning weekend. All costs associated with the weekend (outside of travel costs to and from the program site) are covered as part of tuition for the course. 

Details about the in-person weekend will be provided via email with student enrollment information after acceptance to the course. Information will include housing and travel details, a packing list, required health information, as well as program rules and policies. 

The in-person experience is meant to complement the online learning community, and provide students an immersive, vibrant learning experience. Key components of the in-person weekend include:

Make a Difference
Students engage in meaningful, eye-opening service each day. Projects range from serving a meal to the hungry, to running activities at a youth center, to conducting outreach for a neighborhood organization. 

Develop Leadership
Throughout the weekend, there are opportuniteis to sharpen communication, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Students will broaden their perspective on the world through learning and dialogue with peers, staff, and community leaders. 

Experience City Life
The group will live retreat-style in a hostel or community center in the heart of the city, prepare and share meals together, and navigate the city on public transit.  

Build Community
Living and learning with online classmates during the weekend will deepen the sense of community amongst the group, and create an enriching living-learning environment. 

View a Sample Schedule for the In-Person Weekend

Safety & Conduct

The safety of program participants is paramount at all times. We take careful steps to ensure the well-being of our students, including:
Requiring a High Standard of Student Conduct 
Students and families are asked to review our Honor Code so that all participants are aware of the program's expectations and their personal responsibility to contribute to a positive living and learning environment, both in the online class environment and during the in-person weekend. The in-person weekend experience is highly structured, and operates with a strict set of rules regarding appropriate boundaries and staff supervision. These rules help to ensure the well-being of our students and staff, and all students who attend must be committed to respecting them. 
Hiring Experienced Staff Members
Our staff is a talented group of educators brought together by their commitment to teaching highly able young people. The lead staff member on each program is typically a high school teacher or other education or youth development professional with expertise in service-learning. The assistant staff members on each program are typically college graduates working in the education or nonprofit fields, graduate students, or exceptional senior-level undergraduates. All staff are selected through a highly competitive process that weighs such factors as academic background, service-learning experience, and experience working with youth in a residential setting. The process also includes a criminal background check. Alumni consistently report that one of the best aspects of the program is the quality of the staff teams.
Working with Established & Well-Respected Host Agencies 
We work closely with host organizations to provide safe volunteer and learning environments. Host agencies orient students to the communities and activities they will be engaged in and outline precautions students can take to minimize risk and help ensure the safety and well-being of all group members.
Providing Careful Supervision 
While students are ultimately responsible for their own conduct, our trained staff teams provide clear guidelines and careful supervision. Our programs maintain small class or group sizes of 12 to 18 students, and offer a high staff to student ratio of at least one staff member for every six students for in-person experiences.
Safeguarding Student Health 
Staff members keep health information about each participant on hand at all times during the in-person weekend, and are available to screen student medical concerns and provide first aid. Students who become ill or injured are taken to walk-in clinics or emergency rooms for treatment. 
Ensuring Emergency Preparedness
We are committed to ensuring the highest level of preparedness for all types of emergencies. Creating and maintaining a safe and secure program environment is a responsibility shared by administrators, staff, and students. For the in-person weekend, administrators organize service experiences and plan travel routes with an eye to safety and supervision. Staff monitor weather conditions and alter outdoor program activities in the event of inclement conditions. Staff are trained on fire, weather emergency, and evacuation plans and protocols and prepared to manage emergency situations. Finally, students are oriented to ways they can help ensure their own and their fellow group members' safety and well-being.
For information about how we manage Internet use and student privacy, as well as discrimination, disabilities, and sexual harassment, please review CTD's Policy Statements.

Credit & Service Hours

CivicHybrid program participants earn 70 hours of service-learning credit (including 12 hours of direct service). CEP is happy to complete any forms required for students to show proof of earned service hours; contact our office for assistance. 

Evaluations & Transcripts
All students receive a narrative evaluation after completion of the program. The evaluation provides feedback on the student’s achievements in the program and outlines areas for further growth. Students also receive certification of service hours. Evaluation materials are sent to families (and schools, if requested) following program completion.

Contact Us

For information regarding CivicHybrid admissions, contact:

For information about CivicHybrid or other CEP programs, contact:

Copyright 2014 Northwestern University Center for Talent Development