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Educating an engaged generation: the Civic Learning Programme

The Civic Learning Programme was born out of the Bachelor degree reform. It gives students an opportunity to learn about citizenship and social responsibility by connecting social sciences and humanities coursework with concrete civic actions on the ground.

The Civic Learning Programme reflects Sciences Po’s commitment to social responsibility. By bringing students face to face with social reality, our aim is to educate citizens who are guided by the values of solidarity, ethics and justice, and are capable of giving of themselves for others.

Bénédicte Durand, Dean of Academic Affairs

Serving others through civic engagement

A vast range of activities

Whether conducted locally or internationally, all civic engagement activities take place off-campus in direct contact with the community. They may cover a wide range of issues: education, employment, the environment, justice, health, or peace.

Learning to think and act responsibly

Faced with the reality on the ground, students gain autonomy, a sense of public service and an ability to work collectively. This personal project also helps them identify options for their career path as they discover a variety of professions and organisations.  

Establishing a Civic Learning Programme that has students set foot in places they wouldn’t otherwise have been is perhaps the biggest favour you could have done them. The ability to work with the primary beneficiaries of public and social policy seems crucial to me. It gives students a concrete understanding of what solidarity means.

Martin Hirsch, Managing Director - APHP, Civic Learning Programme partner organisation

Three years of active learning

The Civic Learning Programme is compulsory for all students and lasts three years.

Two individual written assignments

In the first year, students write a letter of commitment which is the starting point for their implementation of the Civic Learning Programme. Students need to draw on their personal readings, the content of their courses and the collection of texts on citizenship issues distributed to all students to develop a strong project. In the third year, they review and reinforce their practical experience by writing a report, in which they bring to bear the theoretical learning from their Bachelor’s programme. This assignment is an essential component of the final Bachelor’s assessment, called the “Grand Ecrit”.

Two field experiences

The civic engagement internship in the first year is completed within a single organisation, full time for four consecutive weeks between May and August. The assignment must be a personal initiative with a clear focus on contact with and service to a specific group or community: reception, social assistance, facilitation, support, etc.

The open project in the second year can be a group project or an individual initiative. The project is conducted within a single organisation over the whole year, outside class time. It involves setting up or participating in off-campus civic activities that contribute to the community. A second open project is optional during the third year abroad.

Funding requirement : €75,000 per year via an endowment (invested funds)

Strengthen your image and your employer brand:

Take action on issues of civic engagement

Benefit from the sharing of students’ written productions and field experiences

Meet the programme’s academic advisors

Offer internships in the fields of education, employment, the environment, justice, health, or peace, etc.

Your name on all presentation materials for the Civic Learning Programme

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Recognition program

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Addressing tomorrow’s challenges

Our programmes must make students aware of the challenges of a world undergoing profound change and equip them with new skills suited to the jobs of the future: creativity, collaboration, and the ability to put ideas into practice.

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