Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Proposal Process

The ABP is proposal-driven and therefore differs from more traditional community service or spring break service trips. 

Students request ABP support for a civic-engagement project through a proposal process. 

Before you start developing a project for ABP consideration, make sure you are familiar with the proposal process, proposal timeline, and have an solid understanding of the types of civic engagement projects the ABP is looking for.

Proposal Process

  1. Both Preliminary and Final Proposal web forms can be found under the Proposal Process page. They are to be filled out and submitted through our website adhering to the criteria outlined in the Rubric.

  2. Feedback and Decisions: ABP staff (student coordinators and administration) review Preliminary Proposals. Staff then sends feedback and suggestions to potential project leaders who are either invited to submit a Final Proposal or rejected. Outright rejections are rare and most often occur because the idea is dramatically unrealistic or because the idea is not civic-engagement/service based.

  3. Final Proposals may only submitted by those invited to do so, after submitting a Preliminary Proposal. Upon invitation to submit a Final Proposal the application materials, to be uploaded eventually to the web form, will be provided via email. 

  4. Community Partner Letter: By the due date of the Final Proposal, project leaders are also required to upload, to the web form, a letter or email from their community partner (organization or individual(s)) verifying they understand the outcomes and proposed dates for the project.

  5. Project Pitch: When Final Proposals are submitted, students will find a link on the web form to SignUpGenius, to sign up for a time slot  for when they pitch their Final Proposal for 3-5min to the ABP staff as part of the selection process. This will also serve as an opportunity for questions and answers between applicants and ABP staff. 

  6. Afterwards, ABP staff evaluates the entire Final Proposal and determines which ones will receive support. 

  7. Final Decisions: All those who have submitted a Final Proposal are notified of whether or not the ABP will support their project via email. A week later an email notification of award amount will be sent to selected recipients.


"Challenging Service"

Alternative Break Program


515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-1371

9:00 a.m.–5:00p.m.