Internship & Curriculum
Washington Semester Program students work full-time in congressional, executive, judicial or private sector offices. The South Carolina Congressional Delegation, with seven representatives and two senators, provides the core of fellowship placements. However, other recent placements have included The Institute of Peace, CNN’s The Situation Room, The Center for American Progress, The Heritage Foundation, The Aspen Institute, The Department of Education, The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, The National Endowment for the Arts, The National Organization for Women, The House Subcommittee for Africa and Global Health, The House Committee on Financial Services, The Children's Defense Fund, The Department of Justice, The Smithsonian, and The State Department.
Office work varies widely, from copying and faxing, to giving tours of the Capitol, to answering constituent mail. Much of the job is routine office work, but it can also include taking notes for the Congressional office at a committee meeting, attending meetings and hearings, or providing public policy research. The job can range from preparing information for news conferences to representing an office at a reception to writing public blogs.
All students enroll in three courses for a total of 15 honors credits. Each course is designed specifically for Washington Semester Program and stresses experiential, hands-on learning. Students are responsible for checking with their academic and honors advisors to ensure the applicability of these courses to their degree programs.
- SCHC 498: Honors Internship (9 credits). Students work full-time -- usually 40 hours per week. Students also are expected to participate in a range of activities designed to help them experience DC. Activities may include a Nationals baseball game, a live taping of a CNN program, performing arts events, museum visits, and meetings with important political and media leaders. Students are asked to reflect on these experiences through a series of seminars and blog entries.
- SCHC 458: Experiencing Theatre in Washington, DC- Honors (3 credits). Washington, DC is second only to New York as a theatre market in the United States. For this course, students attend professional theatre productions in DC and meet working theatre professionals to learn what happens “behind the scenes.” Students respond to the productions with short reviews and seminar discussions.
- SCHC 433: Contemporary Washington Issues- Honors (3 credits). Students attend seminars designed to deepen their knowledge of politics and current events. Students also use the resources available to them in Washington to execute a research project of their design.