WHY PARTICIPATE & WHAT TO EXPECT
There's no amount of classroom learning that can replace getting your hands dirty and seeing how the most pressing environmental issues of our time are actually playing out on the ground. We believe that a true expert is deeply familiar with both theory and practice, and understands the interplay of both in order to act responsibly and be effective. Eco Practicum participants get to collaborate on campaign plans and strategies with partner organizations, and gain practical experience with farming and building projects.
ENCOUNTERS WITH EXPERTS
Where best to investigate the root causes and ideologies that have led us to where we are today than on the ground, with the people that are working to make a change? Have candid conversations with some of the most exciting environmental thinkers, and debate with experts who you may not always agree with. Eco Practicum participants engage influencers from many different backgrounds, including specialists, developers, organizers, lobbyists, politicians, farmers, and activists.
Learning is ideological. We believe that the way we teach is just as important as what we teach. So, our teaching methods reflect our belief that real change comes through creative thinking and profound collaboration. Through text studies, videos, discussions, and peer-led activities, participants share their knowledge and learn from one another. The place-based, learner-centered educational approach honors the different ways that people learn best. Our democratic pedagogy ensures a horizontal structure in which students and educators alike express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
Collaborate on a final project with local artists and activists in an effort to process, synthesize, share, and actualize lessons learned. The final project is designed to positively impact the space in which it is created, and the discourse surrounding the issues that are addressed throughout the program. Intervening in a place that you've come to know throughout your time in the program lets you give back to the communities and landscapes that have hosted you during your time at Eco Practicum. Help make connections, call attention to issues, and propose solutions while showcasing the unique knowledge and skill set that you bring to the table.
I learned how to build a water catchment system, care for livestock, create a political campaign, fund a non-profit, and pickle ... all in one program! This is exactly right for you if you're a bit of a Renaissance wo/man and you're itching to get out into the world and DO something. I've never felt more empowered and capable in my life!
- Sarah W., Eco Practicum Catskills 2013
I met unbelievably talented and inspiring people in business, the arts, the sciences, politics, activism, education, farming .... the list goes on! I argued with a pro-fracking geologist, I foraged for food in a public park, I got a behind-the-scenes tour of a wastewater treatment plant ... visiting these places really opened my eyes to how our world works, and meeting the experts taught me how our world can work better.
- Scott C., Eco Practicum NYC, 2014
A learning experience like no other. Before Eco Practicum, I didn't even know this was a way you could learn. No grades, no points for right answers, and no deductions for wrong ones. I absorbed more in two weeks than I thought possible, and I brought my own knowledge and experience into the mix. The educators were amazing ... they facilitated our intellectual growth but didn't just stop there; they helped us process everything we'd seen emotionally, too.
- Fatima S., Eco Practicum Catskills, 2012
More than anything, Eco Practicum awoke something inside me. Which moments started it ... I’m not 100% sure, but it definitely made my time here worthwhile. This could be a real turning point in my life.
- Anna C., Eco Practicum Catskills, 2014
IS ECO PRACTICUM RIGHT FOR YOU?
Our participants come from all over the world, study a variety of topics, come from varied socioeconomic backgrounds, and have one thing in common: they are invigorated by new connections and ideas. Eco Practicum programs are open to college students, recent graduates, and young professionals between the ages of 18 and 30. They take place over school breaks and students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply. We understand that financing participation is an issue for some families and individuals, so please check our Tuition page or contact us to get more information about our payment plans, scholarships, and how we can help you find funding.