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Washington, D.C. as Classroom: Lessons for Civic Engagement and Service Learning
Unformatted Document Text:  7 a field placement based on academic interest and preparation ƒ Contextualizes the work experience with classroom discussion and relevant readings ƒ Supervision of internship performance and accountability for hours, quality and substance ƒ Students make progress toward their degree ƒ Academic component enriches the D.C. experience ƒ Serious study of selected policy topics ƒ Undergraduate research experience University Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Model Single educational focus and limited field placements: These programs have a professional or disciplinary theme that gives the interested student the opportunity to work with like-minded peers and focus on a single subject area such as “how Congress works” or “topics in international relations.” This is an ideal setting for the “politics junkie” or future “policy wonk.” There is good opportunity for depth of discussion and research, though limited opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas from different majors. While serving some students very well, these programs do not serve the diverse interests of the entire undergraduate population nor are they concerned about providing the participants with a well-rounded experience. While Washington is the center of national political life, it is much more than that. Tremendous opportunities exist for museum work, anthropological studies, health policy analysis, experiences in theatre management and cultural programs, and work in the world of non-profits and non-governmental organizations, as well as the private sector. Traveling seminar: These programs expose their participants to a wide range of Washington offices and career options. They place a premium on getting students out of

Authors: Boles, Elizabeth.
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background image
7
a field placement
based on academic
interest and
preparation
ƒ Contextualizes the
work experience
with classroom
discussion and
relevant readings
ƒ Supervision of
internship
performance and
accountability for
hours, quality and
substance
ƒ Students make
progress toward
their degree
ƒ Academic
component enriches
the D.C. experience
ƒ Serious study of
selected policy
topics
ƒ Undergraduate
research experience
University
Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Model

Single educational focus and limited field placements: These programs have a
professional or disciplinary theme that gives the interested student the opportunity to
work with like-minded peers and focus on a single subject area such as “how Congress
works” or “topics in international relations.” This is an ideal setting for the “politics
junkie” or future “policy wonk.” There is good opportunity for depth of discussion and
research, though limited opportunities for cross-pollination of ideas from different
majors. While serving some students very well, these programs do not serve the diverse
interests of the entire undergraduate population nor are they concerned about providing
the participants with a well-rounded experience. While Washington is the center of
national political life, it is much more than that. Tremendous opportunities exist for
museum work, anthropological studies, health policy analysis, experiences in theatre
management and cultural programs, and work in the world of non-profits and non-
governmental organizations, as well as the private sector.

Traveling seminar: These programs expose their participants to a wide range of
Washington offices and career options. They place a premium on getting students out of


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