We are currently accepting applications to INVST. To apply for the class of 2022-2024, please access our secure online form using the blue button below. Early Application Deadline is Monday, November 8th, 2021. If you prefer submitting a hard copy, or have any issue with the online application, the PDF application is also available. Thanks for your interest in INVST! Please contact us at 303-492-8045 if you have any questions about the application.

Now Accepting Applications

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We believe in the possibility of a just and sustainable world.  We develop community leaders who engage in compassionate action as a lifetime commitment. INVST is an academic program that admits up to 18 students each year in order to foster a small, interactive environment. INVST challenges CU undergraduate students through the interdisciplinary exploration of social and environmental issues. The program combines practical skills training, meaningful community-based action, and theory in a unique, participatory model. Students who successfully complete the INVST Program in its entirety will earn either a Leadership Certificate or the Leadership Studies Minor from CU Boulder.

Change your life, while learning to change the world, in INVST.

INVST is open to CU Boulder undergraduates from all majors and departments. You may be a freshman, sophomore, or junior when you apply. You may also apply to INVST while you are in the process of applying to enter CU Boulder, either as a Freshman or a transfer student.

Inclusion Commitment:

We actively seek and support the participation of individuals and communities that reflect diversity of ability status, age, color, documentation status, ethnicity, gender, gender variance, life experience, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and veteran status.

Commitment to Anti-oppressive Education:

INVST Community Studies is committed to anti-oppressive education. We acknowledge the importance of examining not only how groups are oppressed but also how groups are privileged and how these two processes maintain social structures. We are dedicated to challenging dominant ideologies and systems, centering traditionally underrepresented voices, questioning the assumption that information is unbiased, and critiquing what is thought of as normal.

First Year Climate Justice Summer (July and August): The first summer experience is focused on energy, power, extraction and environmental sustainability in the US Southwest.

First Year Fall:          

INVS 3302/WGST 3302 Facilitating Peaceful Community Change (theory class) – 3 credits

  • Qualifies as LEAD applications course, toward Leadership Studies Minor (LSM)

INVS 3931 The Community Leadership Internship, Part 1 (skills class, with 6 hours in an internship) – 3 credits

  • Replaces LEAD 1000 requirement, toward Leadership Studies Minor (LSM)

First Year Spring:        

INVS 3932 The Community Leadership Internship, Part 2 (skills class, with 6 hours in an internship) – 3 credits

  • Qualifies as LEAD applications course, toward Leadership Studies Minor (LSM)

Second Year Economic Justice Summer (July and August): The second summer experience gives students the opportunity to learn about immigration, Sanctuary cities, Sanctuary churches, labor justice and economic justice. We will drive to the US Midwest to encounter community partner organizations and innovative leaders.

Second Year Fall:             

INVS/ETHN 3671 People of Color and Social Movements (theory class) – 3 credits

  • Qualifies as LEAD foundations course, toward Leadership Studies Minor (LSM)

INVS 4931 Community Leadership in Action, Part 1 (skills class, with 6 hours implementing a community-based project) – 3-6 variable credits      

  • Qualifies as LEAD context course, toward Leadership Studies Minor (LSM)

Second Year Spring:         

INVS 4932 Community Leadership in Action, Part 2 (skills class, with 6 hours on community-based project) – 1-6 variable credits

  • Qualifies as LEAD context course, toward Leadership Studies Minor (LSM)

To complete the Leadership Studies Minor you must also take a 4-credit course, LEAD 4000, which is offered each semester (including in the summer). Without this course, you may still earn a Leadership Certificate, for successfully completing each of the INVST requirements described above.

We ask you to carefully consider the time commitment required for the 2-Year INVST Program. Participants are required to do six hours of community-based action per week, during each of four semesters.  In addition, students in INVST occasionally attend committee meetings and help with outreach, fundraising, curriculum design and staff hiring. If you would like to evaluate whether or not you have enough time to participate, the INVST staff at 303-492-8045 would be happy to discuss how your current activities might be incorporated with program requirements. It is possible, for those who would be unable to do an unpaid internship, to choose a paid internship during the first year in INVST, as long as such an internship can be identified in the community.

All interested students must submit a completed application. An interview will be granted to all applicants. 

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You can access our secure online form using the big blue "Apply Now" button on this page. If you prefer submitting a hard copy, the PDF application is also available. You may download and e-mail your completed PDF application to invst@colorado.edu or hand-deliver it to the INVST Community Studies office at 1201 17th Street, Suite 11 (next to the Armory on University Avenue, across the street from the back of Macky Auditorium). You may also mail it to INVST Community Studies, 471 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309. Your optional letter(s) of recommendation can be emailed to invst@colorado.edu.

If you have any questions about the application and interview processes, contact invst@colorado.edu.
We are now accepting applications!

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We offer scholarships to those with financial need. Please apply to INVST first, and then seek financial support if you need it.

While there are financial obligations that go along with INVST participation, please do not let them prevent you from applying to INVST! We offer scholarship support to all those who need it. For those who DO have the means (together with their families), we charge a fee. The Summer Program Activity Fee is paid by each student: $1,500 per person is due on June 1 to contribute to the costs of the Climate Justice Summer, and $1,500 per person is due in June to contribute to the costs of the Economic Justice Summer. The money raised through this fee, in addition to money raised by students, staff, and INVST board members, covers all expenses including travel, room and board, instruction, translation, materials, accommodation and home stays. The meals provided during our Justice Summers accomodate a wide variety of dietary preferences. All travel will be by car, not by plane.

Please do not let the financial obligations associated with INVST prevent you from applying!  We endeavor to provide financial assistance to students who do not have the means -- either as individuals or with the support of their families -- to pay the Summer Program Activity Fees. If you are accepted into the program and you qualify for financial assistance (by turning in the FAFSA or our alternative scholarship application), you will receive notification about the scholarship(s) you have been awarded, along with your acceptance letter. In order to ensure inclusive and diverse involvement across socio-economic lines, we provide the following support. Please contact the Program Director (303-492-8045) for more information about any of the following financial aid options:

Summer Program Activity Fee Scholarship:  Scholarships range from partial to full coverage of the Summer Program Activity Fees, based on funding availability and a sliding scale for eligibility. Students must apply for support from the INVST CLP and they will be notified of the scholarship amount in their acceptance letter. *** If they are eligible for federal aid, students MUST submit their most current FAFSA with their application to be considered for a scholarship. If applicants are ineligible for federal aid, they may submit our alternative scholarship application.

Summer Need-Based Work Study:  Students who qualify for need-based work study assistance may be able to work during the summer in the INVST office before the Justice Summer. Submit a FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1, through the Office of Financial Aid to apply for summer and academic year work study awards.

Summer Program Activity Fee Work Exchange:  Some students may work off portions of the Summer Program Activity Fee (SPAF) by assisting in the INVST office at an exchange rate that equates each hour of work to $10.00, discounted off the fee.  The total amount a student is eligible to work is based on the sliding scale.  A contract must be completed for work exchange through INVST, in advance of the SPAF deadline of June 1.

Summer Program Activity Fee Interest-Free Payment Plan:  Some students may delay payment of the Summer Program Activity Fee (SPAF). Repayment amounts and eligibility are decided on a case-by-case basis, in advance of the SPAF deadline of June 1.

The Jim Downton Community Leadership Scholarship of up to $3,000 towards CU Boulder tuition will be awarded to two students in the incoming INVST class. This scholarship will be granted to those who demonstrate need and are residents of the state of Colorado.

The Dreamer Scholarship: Scholarship applicants with active Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow (ASSET) status are particularly encouraged to apply for an award of up to $5,000 to help cover tuition and life expenses. Preference will be given to students who can demonstrate financial need and scholarships are eligible for renewal based on criteria established by INVST. This scholarship will be granted to those who are ineligible for federal aid and demonstrate financial need. If more than one person in the incoming cohort is eligible, funds will be split between them. 

Colorado In-State Financial Aid: The Colorado Application for State Financial Aid (CASFA) awards aid to students who do not have lawful immigration status but have resided in the state for at least three years before graduating from a Colorado high school or passing a high school equivalency exam. Students who do not have lawful immigration status and who do not meet the qualifications listed above are also encouraged to apply for institutional aid using the CASFA. Students who are eligible for Federal Title IV aid by completing the FAFSA should not complete the CAFSA. More info and application here: https://cdhe.colorado.gov/colorado-application-for-state-financial-aid

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Earn the Leadership Studies Minor from CU Boulder! For more information, please see the following web site: Leadership Studies Minor administered by CU Engage

For more information, contact us at 303-492-8045 or invst@colorado.edu.