Course Details

Hybrid courses combine in-person instruction with an online learning environment.  These “blended” courses offer the flexibility to complete a course while meeting face-to-face for hands-on experiences.

Hybrid courses take many forms.  We have run 36-week, 18-week and 9-week courses.  Weekends have included single weekends as well as multiple weekends, here on Northwestern University's Evanston campus, in addition to other sites.   Some hybrid courses offer high school credit, while others offer service learning hours.  These courses are ideal for motivated and independent learners with busy schedules.

  • Students in Winter 2019 cohort must be available for the residential in-person meet up in Chicago January 19-21, 2019. 
  • Students should anticipate 5-7 hours of online course work each week.


Application Process

The Online Hybrid Program at CTD 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 6 through 12 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, Math or Science) you used to qualify for a CTD course you previously completed. 

New Scores Applicant
You are a new scores applicant if you are grade 6 through 12 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, Math or Science) 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 6 through 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 


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


An Admission Portfolio includes the following documents:


  • Required: one teacher recommendation form indicating that the student is performing 1½ to 2 years above grade level in the subject area of the course to which the student is applying (Home-school students may submit two teacher recommendations from non-family member adults who can speak to their capabilities in lieu of a teacher recommendation. Family members may not submit teacher recommendations for students); 
  • Required: most recent school report card indicating exceptional performance in the subject area of the Online Honors Elective course to which the student is applying; 
  • 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.


To qualify for Emerald Tier Hybrid Courses students must be in grade 6 through 12 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 qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) for the desired course.
  • Successful past completion of a CTD course, with the same qualifying subject area (Verbal, Math or Science) within the past two years.
  • Submission of a portfolio application, consisting of a teacher recommendation and the student’s most recent report card demonstrating that the student is performing exceptionally well in the qualifying subject area.
  • Participation 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 last two years.

Fees, Withdrawals and Financial Aid


Tuition for CivicHybrid: Human Rights & Youth Advocacy is $1,025.

 Tuition includes all program expenses:

  • 9-week online course instruction
  • 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 to student 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 O'Hare Airport to students traveling unaccompanied for an additional fee.



Withdrawal Policy

  • Requests for withdrawals and refunds must be made in writing no later than ten days before the course start date*. E-mail requests should be sent to
  • Withdrawals are subject to a processing fee of $60.
  • Withdrawals that occur within ten days, but before the first day of the course start date are refunded 50% of the tuition, less the processing fee*.
  • There are no refunds made after the course begins.
  • Refunds may take up to eight weeks to appear in the account from which they were paid depending on the type of account and the billing cycle.

 *CivicHybrid courses are an exception, with withdrawal and refund requests needing to be made by the application deadline (for Winter 2019, this is December 15, 2018).  After this date, but before the course begins, 50% of tuiton, less the housing and application fee, may be refunded. 

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.

Civic Hybrid In-Person Weekend Details

January 19 - 21, 2019 in Chicago

To complement their online learning, students will take part in a residential 3-day in-person, service-learning weekend in Chicago. 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.


Make a Difference
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
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. 


Build Community
Further develop a sense of community with online classmates to create an enriching living-learning environment. Build strong and lasting friendships and hone your interpersonal and teamwork skills.


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. 


View a Sample Schedule




Civic Hybrid Credit & Service Hours

CivicHybrid program participants earn 70 hours of service-learning credit (including 10 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) approximately six weeks following the completion of the program.

Civic Hybrid 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:

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.

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.

Copyright 2014 Northwestern University Center for Talent Development