Hope College    

whs 2017
an educational experience
a professional experience
a personal experience
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An Educational Experience:
Courses and Credit

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 College.

Public Policy Group Interviews

key aspect of the semester is the group public policy interviews. These involve students spending one day a week as a group meeting and interacting with a broad range of policy actors in Washington D.C. – U.S. senators and congressmen, Hill staffers, lobbyists and interest group advocates, journalists, and many more.

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 will take part in approximately 45 such interviews over the course of the semester.

Capstone and Senior Seminar Course Offerings

Another benefit of the Washington Honors Semester is the opportunity for students to fulfill their political science capstone and/or their IDS senior seminar requirements while in D.C.

Most political science majors - juniors and seniors alike - will choose to work on their capstone research paper while in D.C. and complete the portfolio process upon returning to Hope.

Students of all majors who are seniors may also choose to complete their IDS senior seminar requirement, which is usually offered as a course entitled Values in Washington and includes the completion of a life view paper.

Credit Information

Student can earn up to 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 student’s departmental chair to determine how those credits will be allotted.

Examples of credits that students can and have earned in DC include:
POL 496 - Washington Semester Experiential/Internship (up to 8 credits)
IDS - Senior Seminar (4 credits)
POL 494 - Political Science Capstone (fulfills Political Science Major requirement) (4 credits)

Courses from disciplines other than Political Science for which students have pursued credit while in DC:
ECON 390 - Internships in Vocation
Environmental Studies
English Elective
Management Elective
History Elective
General Education Art Requirement ("ways of knowing")

The non-Political Science electives 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 DC 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 DC faculty director to ensure the valid and full completion of these academic credit hours.