The Fellowship period is one academic year which begins with an intensive twelve-day experience involving a weekend retreat before the Fall term begins. The seminars 11.441 Issues in Community Development in the Fall and 11.442 Strategies in Community Development in the Spring, which from the core of the Program, focus on research and proplem-solving strategies and provide a supportive forum for personal and project development where Fellows and other seminar participants from the wider MIT community share ideas, experiences, and perspectives. Fellows are able to register for up to two courses, though they may be listeners in other courses. By the end of the academic year, Fellows will have developed a long-range comprehensive plan specifically geared to meet the needs of youth in their home community.
Coming with experience in community development, organization and mobilization, advocacy, and coalition-building, ten to twelve Fellows participate in the Program each year. In the past, Fellows have tended to cluster in areas such as housing and job development, educational alternatives, media technologies and communication, health and human services, and political development. The dominant theme is community development broadly defined, and for the next several years, the focus of the program will be on youth development issues.