CivicWeek Page Block with Video

CivicWeek students...

  • Engage in hands-on service in communities
  • Gain valuable exposure to career fields
  • Learn about important social problems and inspiring solutions
  • Develop and practice leadership skills
  • Explore an exciting city
  • Build lasting friendships with bright, motivated peers
  • Earn service hours while making a difference
  • Discover ways to create positive change

Explore CivicWeek

Forms & Downloads:



CivicWeek 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 grade 12 and you meet the following criteria: 

  • You have successfully completed a verbal/reading qualifying area CTD course through the Weekend Enrichment Program, Summer Program, Civic Education Project or Online Program at the Emerald Tier, or a tier with a higher score requirement, within the previous twenty-four months. 

New Scores Applicant
You are a new scores applicant if you are in grade 7 through grade 12 and you meet either one of the following criteria:

  • You have not attended any CTD program for the past two years and you have qualifying grade-level test scores (Verbal or Reading) that are no more than two years old.
  • You have participated in above grade-level testing such as the PSAT™8/9 test taken in grades 5 or 6, or the ACT® or SAT® test taken in grades 6, 7 or 8 (NUMATS);

New Portfolio Applicant
You are a portfolio applicant if you are in grade 7 through grade 12 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.


Important Dates 

  Spring CivicWeek Summer CivicWeek
Application Opens November 15 December 10
Early Bird Application Deadline January 15 May 14
Financial Aid Deadline February 14 April 9
Regular Application Deadline March 1 June 15






To qualify for Emerald tier Civic Education Project (CEP) courses, students must be in grade 7 through grade 12 and must also provide one of the following:

  • Achievement of  a score of 90th percentile or higher on a nationally normed grade-level assessment in the required verbal/reading qualifying subject area; OR
  • Successful completion of a CTD course, with a 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.

School Break Dates & Availability

While CivicWeek program often coincide with students' school breaks, some school schedules may not coincide, or student may simply have an interest in a topic or location not offered during the school break.  Because CivicWeek is an educational program, many schools will excuse students from class in order to participate.  This is a decision families should make in partnership with teachers and school administrators.


Tuition & Fees

 Tuition includes all program expenses:

  • Lodging and meals throughout the program
  • Transportation to and from program activities
  • Service project materials and speaker fees
  • Staff instruction and 24-hour supervision, with a staff to student ratio of at least 1:6
  • Recreational expenses
Note: Students are responsible for their own travel to and from the program site. CivicWeek offers a shuttle service to the site from the nearest major airport to students traveling unaccompanied for a small fee.

Early Application Tuition

Regular Application Tuition

Weeklong Program $1,495 $1,545
4-day Program $995 $1,045


Payment Policies

  • Applications received by January 15 (for spring programs) and May 14 (for summer programs) are subject to the early bird tuition rate; applications received after these dates are subject to the regular tuition rate.
  • All applications must be accompanied by a tuition deposit of $260. Financial aid applicants may pay a reduced tuition deposit of $60.
  • The tuition balance is due within 30 days of admission to the program, and no later than the regular application deadline of March 1 (for spring programs) & June 15 (for summer programs). Students with an outstanding balance at these deadlines may lose their place in the program.
  • Applications received after (March 1 for spring programs and June 8 for summer programs) must be accompanied by payment in full.
  • Payments may be made by credit card via the student's MyCTD account or by check or money order made payable to Center for Talent Development.

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 apply for financial aid for Spring CivicWeek is February 14, 2020. The deadline to apply for financial aid for Summer CivicWeek is April 9, 2020. However, funds are limited and historically our financial aid has been fully dispersed before the deadline date.
  • Financial aid applications are not reviewed until a student has completed their course application and has been placed into the program.  Acceptance emails for students who have indicated they are applying for financial aid are not sent until a financial aid decision has been rendered.
  • 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.

Payment Plan

A four-month payment plan option is available to all families. The payment plan application is available upon enrollment and acceptance to the program.

Families who do not apply or qualify for financial aid are assessed a service charge of $50 for the payment plan. The first payment is due upon acceptance to the program, and subsequent payments are due on the 15th of each month following. Payments must be up to date on opening day in order for students to check in to the program.

Other Sources of Support

We strongly suggest that families with financial need also seek outside support. Accepted students should start soliciting additional funds right away. Schools, local religious or community organizations, businesses, local government offices, friends, and relatives are all potential sources of support. Some students have successfully raised their entire tuition this way!




Make a Difference
Engage in meaningful, eye-opening service-learning each day. Projects range from serving a meal to community members, to running activities at a youth center, to conducting outreach for a neighborhood organization. 

Explore Careers (9-12 programs)
Gain hands-on experience with community issues. Meet with government, business, and nonprofit leaders at the top of their fields and get behind-the-scenes access to career fields of interest. Gain rich material for college admissions essays, job and internship interviews, and future academic endeavors.

Develop Leadership
Sharpen communication, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Broaden your perspective on the world through learning and dialogue with peers, staff, and community leaders.

Experience City Life
Live retreat-style in a hostel or community center in the heart of the city. Prepare and share meals as a group, and navigate the city like a local on public transit. Learn more about CivicWeek Housing Sites

Build Community
Connect with diverse, like-minded peers from across the country in an enriching living-learning community. Build strong and lasting friendships and hone your interpersonal and teamwork skills. 

Experience CivicWeek Here!

View Topic Specific Itineraries  

Curriculum Overview & Sample Schedules

Curriculum Overview 

Introduction & Inequalities 
Define the focus topic and explore key concepts by examining disparities, and ways those disparities affect individuals and communities. 

Root Causes 
Examine root causes of the focus topic and consider multiple perspectives of those root causes.

Approaches to Change 
Examine multiple approaches to change and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each. 

Leadership (Weeklong Programs Only) 
Examine multiple models of leadership, assess your personal leadership strengths and style, and explore opportunities for leadership.

Taking Action 
Articulate lessons learned and outstanding questions, and identify concrete ways to become civically engaged in your own community.

Typical Schedule (weeklong)

Introductions & Inequalities Root Causes Approaches to Change Leadership Taking Action Student Departure
7-9 AM        Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
9-12 PM         Opening Workshop Career Exploration Career Exploration Service Service Closing Activities
12-1 PM      Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Departure
1-5 PM Arrival & Orientation Service Service Service Career Exploration Closing Workshop  
5-7 PM Dinner & 
Dinner &
Dinner & Downtime Dinner & 
Dinner & 
Dinner & Downtime  
7-9 PM Team Building & Reflection Team Building & Reflection Speaker Panel Team Building & Reflection Team Building & Reflection Recreation  
9-10 PM         Free Time Free Time Free Time Free Time Free Time Free Time  


Typical Schedule (4-day) 

  Introductions & 
Root Causes Approaches to 
Taking Action
7-9 AM           Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
9-12 PM   Service Community Meeting Closing Speaker & Workshop
12-1 PM Student Arrival Lunch Lunch Lunch
1-5 PM Orientation & Teambuilding Service Service Wrap Up & Student Departure
5-7 PM Dinner Dinner Dinner  
7-9 PM Opening Workshop & Panel Team Building & Reflection Team Building & Reflection  
9-10 PM Free Time Free Time Free Time  


View Topic Specific Itineraries 

Credit & Service Hours

Students in weeklong programs earn 40 hours of service-learning credit (including 25 hours of direct service); four-day students earn 24 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.


Student safety is paramount at all times during the program. We take careful steps to ensure the well-being of our students, including:

Hiring Experienced Staff Members
Our staff is a talented group of educators brought together by their commitment to teaching highly able young people about civic engagement and social responsibility. 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.

Requiring a High Standard of Student Conduct 
Our programs are highly structured and operate 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. 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. 

Safeguarding Student Health 
Staff members keep health information about each participant on hand at all times 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. Families are responsible for all health care costs incurred by their children during the program.

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. 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.



For information regarding CivicWeek admissions, contact:

For information about CivicWeek or other CEP programs, contact:

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