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Undergraduate Student Life

Kenneth Cole Community Action Program @ Columbia University

NOTE: The Kenneth Cole Interns have been selected and placed in their NYC nonprofit. We will begin the selection process again next fall semester. 


The Kenneth Cole Community Action Program @ Columbia University (formerly "Columbia Communities in Action - CCIA") provides CC/SEAS/GS undergrads with a NYC-based internship in the field of civic engagement and nonprofit. 

In partnership with the Center for Career Education (CCE) and Student Engagement, Kenneth Cole interns take part in networking events, training workshops and educational programming designed to help explore career opportunities in civic engagement throughout the Spring semester. 

About the program

Through a competivite application process, Kenneth Cole interns are placed in a paid, 12-week, 10-to-20-hours a week intership in the spring semester with nonprofit that allows them to simultaneously build skills and gain experience while contributing to a cause they feel passionate about. Interns work in a variety of different roles from research to project management to fundraising and development.  

Kenneth Cole interns are intorduced to and encouraged to practice Intentional Civic Engagement. We define civic engagement as any work whose primary goal is to improve a community. This means efforts that strive to make a difference in the civic life of our communities using the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation of all involved to make that difference.

The following are a small sampling of industry areas in which students have interned through the program:

Immigrant Rights Women's Health Urban/Community Improvement  Youth Development  
Legal Advocacy Public policy         Environmental Issues LGBT Rights
Corporate Responsibility Education Faith based/Spiritual organizations Child & Family Services

The 2016 NYC nonprofits hosting Kenneth Cole Interns:

All Stars Project, Inc.

America Needs You

Breakthrough New York

Center for Court Innovation

Goddard Riverside Law Project

Harlem Lacrosse and Leadership

Human Rights Foundation

Institute for Children and Poverty

Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.

National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Picture Motion

Start Small.Think Big., Inc.

Transdiaspora Network, Inc.

Vera Institute of Justice, Inc.

YWCA of the City of New York 

Program Features

The Kenneth Cole Community Action Program @ Columbia University is a combination of internship experience at a nonprofit organization, peer connections with other program interns and career development and support with career counseling professionals. Program features include the following: 

  • Pre-program training that includes program overview, self assessment exercises, and goal setting workshops with the support of a career counseling professional.
  • Twelve-week internship for 10-20 hours per week during the Spring semester. 
  • Mid-semester dinner with other interns to discuss and debrief on internship experiences.
  • One-on-one career counseling appointments throughout the twelve weeks to support and enhance the internship experience.
  • End of Program Reflection Session that includes evaluation of the internship experience, goal attainment analysis, resume workshop and interview coaching. 
  • Networking events, fairs and workshops in the field of nonrofit and civic engagement.

Program Benefits

Kenneth Cole Community Action Program @ Columbia University student interns:

  • gain a richer understanding of civic engagement and the nonprofit industry.
  • learn about the wide variety of roles involved in nonprofit work and had several opportunities to network with individuals currently working in the field.  
  • acquire professional skills such as research, effective communication, problem solving, time management and project management.
  • can to articulate their experience through goal setting exercises, understanding transferable skills they have gained, and reflecting upon their internship experience appropriately.
  • are provided with a $1,000 stipend, paid in two installments throughout the semester for their internship work (funded by Kenneth Cole Foundation).

Interested in learning about other Columbia University students' experiences during their CCE sponsored internships? Read about internship experiences from all of CCE's internship programs!

Application Process 

Eligibility/Application Process

Frequently Asked Questions

Program Staff 

If you have questions about this program, please feel free to contact:

Laura Maltz, Associate Director, Center for Career Education (CCE)

Marnie Whalen, Assistant Director, Student Engagement


Student Engagement


515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-3611

Fax: 212-854-6972

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.