Though the Washington Honors Semester strongly emphasizes hands-on experience through full-time internships, students will also continue the academic learning they began in their courses at Hope.
- Public Policy Group Interviews
Public policy group interviews involve students spending one day a week as a group to meet and interact with a broad range of policy actors in Washington, D.C., including:
- U.S. senators and congressmen
- Hill staffers
- Lobbyists and interest group advocates
These meetings allow unparalleled access to high-level policy makers in government, as well as those who work to influence or affect government policy from the outside. Students typically take part in 45–60 interviews over the course of the semester.
- Policy Colloquia
The weekly policy colloquium will consist of the exploration of a wide range of contemporary policy debates and political developments, embedded within the context of broader themes of democratic processes and policy decision making mechanisms. The course is a seminar format, with seminar members also sharing lessons from their specific internship placements.
- Weekly Journals
Students will keep journals in which they record observations and reflections on their intership, current policy topics being addressend in the public arena, and the public policy interviews.
- Credit Information
Students can earn 14–16 credits in the program, which can be applied to satisfy a variety of graduation requirements, both in their major area of study and in the general education curriculum. Participants are encouraged to work closely with the program director and the chair of the department in which they are majoring to determine how those credits will be allotted.
Electives outside of political science are completed with approval from respective departments and through the completion of coursework assigned by professors from these departments. This may be in partnership with oversight from the D.C. program director. A formal learning plan with academic requirements, course number and assessment needs should be created with the credit-granting department and given to the D.C. faculty director to ensure the valid and full completion of these academic credit hours.