Civic Participation Project Summer Institute | Teachers College Columbia University

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CPP Summer Institute: Participatory Methods: Theory and Practice

August 15, 2016 - August 19, 2016

Monday 1:00pm-5:00pm

Tuesday-Thursday 9:00am-5:00pm

Friday 9:00am-5:00pm; farewell reception begins immediately after the Institute ends

Registration fee: $495, includes some meals and farewell reception

Eligible for 2.7 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). 



This August, discover how an infusion of participatory technique can transform your work.

Join TC’s Civic Participation Project Summer Institute to learn about participatory theory, add new inclusive skills to your professional toolbox, and dialogue with a consortium of scholars and grantmakers who are working to reverse social exclusion and promote wellbeing for all citizens.

The Civic Participation Project (CPP) is an interdisciplinary hub that brings together participatory work from across the Teachers College campus. CPP’s first Summer Institute will enact the Project’s foundational elements in the form of a week-long intensive experience that comprises theoretical foundations, skill development, real-life applications, action-planning, and funding strategies.

The week begins with training in participatory theory and methodology tailored to applications in education, psychology, media, and human services professions. Lectures will alternate with studio time so that participants can begin translating their learning into individual projects.

Toward the end of the week, the Institute wraps around the TC Consortium on Youth and Well-Being, a national gathering of professionals and scholars committed to studying and promoting well-being within the context of social inclusion/exclusion. At this juncture, Institute participants take their learning to the next level as they join Consortium conversations that expand theory into practice and advocacy among professionals currently on the front lines. Finally, representatives of philanthropic and other grant-making organizations will join the group to help brainstorm funding strategies for the topics and projects under discussion in the form of a symposium that will be open to the public and as well as live-streamed.

The 2016 Summer Institute Theme: Youth Wellbeing in the Age of Incarceration

Increased policing affecting communities of color, school-based zero tolerance and disciplinary policies, and disparities in access to resources in large urban school districts make this a timely, crucial topic for the Institute’s focus.

Who should attend?

The Summer Institute will create a diverse co-learning community that is designed to include

  • Teachers, school administrators, and other educational professionals
  • Psychologists, counselors, and other mental health professionals
  • Human services and social science professionals
  • TC students and graduate students from other institutions

Continuing education and specialty credentialing will be available for professional attendees; TC students and other graduate students will enroll in the Institute to receive three course credits.


Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz is an Associate Professor of English Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include racial literacy, culturally responsive pedagogy, literacy and urban school environments. She is founder and faculty sponsor of the Racial Literacy Roundtables Series at Teachers College.

Laura Smith is an associate professor and the Director of Clinical Training in the Counseling Psychology Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Laura was formerly the Training Director of Pace University's APA-accredited predoctoral internship program and later the founding director of the Rosemary Furman Counseling Center at Barnard College. She was subsequently the Director of Psychological Services at the West Farms Center in the Bronx, where she provided services, training, and programming within a multifaceted community-based organization. Laura’s research interests include social inclusion/exclusion and emotional well-being, the influence of classism on psychological theory and practice, the development of inclusive practice models for psychologists at the community level, and participatory action research (PAR) in schools and communities.

Lalitha Vasudevan is Associate Professor and Program Director in the Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has worked as a researcher, educator, and collaborator with adolescents in a variety of settings in pursuit of understandings about how youth craft stories, represent themselves, and enact ways of knowing through their engagement with literacies, technologies, and media. She is co-editor of two volumes that explore the intersections of youth, media, and education: Media, learning, and sites of possibility (2008, Peter Lang) and Arts, Media, and Justice: Multimodal explorations with youth (2013, Peter Lang) and is currently writing a book about education, multimodal play, and belonging in the lives of court-involved youth.

TC students and other graduate students (must take courses as a non-degree student) may earn graduate school credit.

  • To register for the class as a Psychology course, enroll in: IND5199, section 001 (CCPJ)
  • To register as a Mathematics, Science, and Technology course, enroll in: IND5199, section 002 (MSTU)
  • To register as an Arts and Humanities Education course, enroll in: IND5199, section 003 (AD&E)
  • Not in any of these programs? You can sign up for any section!

All other participants may earn 2.7 Continuing Education Units at the completion of the Institute and any other additional requirements.


In an effort to assist you with your search for accommodations, we have listed several hotels (click on "other accommodations") you might consider. A train/cab ride away from Teachers College, all of these hotels are located on the Upper West Side (UWS) of New York City. Attractions in close proximity to these accommodations include: the Planetarium, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Lincoln Center, The Museum of Natural History, and Central Park.

Teachers College and Union Theological Seminary also offer housing during the summer months for a nominal fee. These rooms are within a short walking distance from campus.

To learn more about Guest Housing, visit this webpage:




There are two international airports in the New York City area: (1) JFK international airport; and, (2) Newark International Airport.

TAXI FROM JFK: JFK is located in Queens Borough of NYC. Teachers College, Columbia University is located in the Manhattan Borough of NYC. Taking a taxi would be the most convenient way to reach Manhattan from the JFK airport. It costs about $50 to reach any destination in Manhattan from the JFK, whether it is your hotel or Teachers College, Columbia University.

SUBWAY FROM JFK: Taking the subway from JFK is another option for reaching Manhattan where Teachers College, Columbia University is located. However, this option is much slower (e.g. up to 1 hour and 45 minutes) and rather inconvenient when carrying luggage (up and down several sets of stairs). You can take the airport shuttle to Howard Beach station to board A Train which takes you to 42nd Street/Times Square where you transfer to No. 1 subway train (select the UPTOWN 1 train). You would get off at 116 Street Station, also known as the Columbia University Station.

TAXI FROM NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Newark airport is located in the city of Newark, New Jersey. A taxi from Newark to Manhattan or to the college costs about $50.

TRAIN AND SUBWAY FROM NEWARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: You can also take a train to reach Manhattan from the Newark Airport. The train will take you from Newark to the Penn Station stop in Manhattan; once there, you can transfer to the No. 1 Subway train, heading uptown, allowing you to reach the 116 Street Station, also known as the Columbia University Station).


TAXI FROM LAGUARDIA: The closest domestic airport is the LaGuardia Airport. A taxi costs about $30-$35 or more to reach most hotels in Manhattan, and about $30 to reach Teachers College, Columbia University by taxi.

SUBWAY FROM LAGUARDIA: You can also take bus No. M60 which takes you directly to the West Gate at 116th and Broadway. Teachers College, Columbia University is a short walk, being located at 525 West 120th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.


Amtrak provides train service along the Northeast Corridor. Explore rates at

Amtrak involves an approximately $20 taxi ride from 31st and 8th Avenue to 120th and Broadway (525 West 120th Street—between Broadway and Amsterdam). Or, a 20-30 minutes subway ride on the 1 train from 34th street to 116th street. Then walk North to 120th and Broadway.