The American Studies Program (ASP) utilizes Washington, D.C. as its primary classroom. ASP brings together students from around the globe, spanning a vast array of majors, lived experiences, and perspectives to deepen their intellectual curiosity, identity consciousness, and intercultural competence. Students put belief into action through practicing faithful presence, suspending judgement, and engaging in mindful and civil dialogue with those who think, believe, look, and vote different from them.
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Rooted in the theory and practice of experiential learning, the American Studies Program (ASP) utilizes the city of Washington, D.C. as its primary classroom. Through this prism, ASP’s interdisciplinary and rigorous curriculum invites renowned scholars, academics, policymakers, elected officials, nongovernmental agencies, and local citizens to inform, inspire, and equip students in their academic, professional, and spiritual journeys.
ASP students will enroll in three courses: Christian Civility, Public Policy, and an exclusive Internship opportunity in Washington, D.C.
Students will examine pressing public policy issues debated on Capitol Hill. They will explore firsthand the difficulties policymakers face when economic, humanitarian, and national security priorities come into conflict with one another. Together students will discuss biblical teachings on shalom and justice, and how these foundational values inform leaders. Students will learn from policy advocates and political actors on all sides of any given issue, actively listening to their rationale, the points of disagreement with policy opponents, and impressions of what is required for agendas to succeed.
Students’ research culminates in a final capstone project that encompasses personal observations, fieldwork, and experiences gained throughout their semester in D.C., a comprehensive literature review that highlights scholars’ work in the field of their interest, and interviews conducted with local professionals. This transformative semester distinguishes ASP students from others in their post-graduate programs and professional employment endeavors.
The cornerstone of your D.C. semester will be an internship, where you will learn the best practices and further develop the skills necessary to enter the workforce after graduation. No city has a stronger collection of internship opportunities with leading national and international organizations than Washington, D.C.
An internship with ASP will place you in the offices of Congressional leaders, among federal agencies, and inside law firms, think tanks or global relief-and-development organizations. For over 40 years, ASP has made internships a core component of the program, allowing each student to experience career development while on the job.
Your internship will provide you with an opportunity to gain work experience in a professional setting related to your academic studies and career interests. You will learn more about how professional organizations actually operate, including how ideas and theories learned on campus are applied in real time. Reflective journaling requirements are designed to help you make connections between what you are learning in the classroom and on the job, identify the specific analytical and interpersonal skill sets you are developing, and seek a clearer understanding of how your identity and callings in Christ shape your work. Over 12 weeks, you will work Monday through Thursday for an average of 28 hours a week (over 300 hours total for the semester!).
The testimony of our alumni, many of whom received job offers directly from their internship site or because of a connection made during their internship, speaks to the high-quality work ASP students produce at their places of work and their respected reputation in the city.
Past Internship Sites
With 40 years of sending interns to locations all over D.C., ASP’s list of past internship sites is diverse and extensive! The list grows every semester, as each student works with the internship coordinator to secure an internship that reflects his or her unique interests and professional development goals. Past internship sites include:
- Congressional Offices
- Judicial Offices
- U.S. Cabinet Departments
- Immigration Advocacy Organizations
- Think Tanks
- Local & International Businesses
- Advocacy & Education Organizations
- Smithsonian Museums
- Relief & Development Organizations
- Human Rights Organizations
- Professional Sports Teams
- PR Firms
ASP is blessed with over 3,000 alumni. This loyal and active alumni base is over 40 years in the making, stretching back to our inaugural semester in Fall 1976. Presently, we have ASP alumni working in Washington, D.C. at:
- The White House and other Executive Department Offices
- The U.S. Supreme Court
- Congressional leadership and personal offices of Democratic and Republican members
- Research and advocacy organizations as communications and policy experts
And many of our alumni make careers outside of Washington, D.C., as policy professionals at the state or local level; as professors of history, law, or political science; as law enforcement officials and intelligence agents; as advocates for international relief-and-development organizations; and in leadership at countless for-profit, non-profit, and church-affiliated organizations.
Your semester in Washington, D.C., will be an experience that not only prepares you for your career, but also one that helps you create long-lasting friendships and memories.
Designed to help bridge your student and professional life, the community you become part of at ASP will support you along the way. As you spend the semester building a professional network by working and interning in our nation’s capital, you’ll also live with your peers in our Capitol Hill apartment building, the Dellenback Center.
You’ll enjoy exploring the endless activities the city has to offer, whether it’s a sporting event, venturing through the many museums, strolling through farmers markets, experiencing the different neighborhoods around the District, or enjoying the many activities outside of work and class we plan throughout the semester.
During the semester you will live in our four-story apartment building called the Dellenback Center. In the Dellenback you will live with roommates in a two-bedroom apartment, fully equipped with a full kitchen (supplied with basic kitchen items), living room, full bathroom, and in-apartment laundry. Additionally, there are a number of common spaces for student use during your time. We have two student lounges, a classroom, a conference room, a workout room, and a rooftop deck with a gorgeous view of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
We are located on Capitol Hill, one of the most iconic neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. Situated less than a mile from the Capitol building, we are in an ideal location for exploring the city. We are a 10-15 minute walk from Union Station, a 10-15 minute walk from Eastern Market Metro Station, and a 15-20 minute walk from the Capitol building and the National Mall. Capitol Hill is home to historic row homes, brick sidewalks, and rich history. We are halfway between the H Street Corridor and Eastern Market, both home to variety of restaurants, coffee shops, and small businesses. One of the highlights to check out is the Eastern Market Farmers Market, which takes place every weekend.
D.C. has a very robust public transportation system and we are centrally located near several transit stops.
We are a 10-15 minutes’ walk from both Eastern Market Metro stop and Union Station, and between the two you can access four of the six Metro lines. There are also several buses that pick up close by, including the D6 bus, which picks up virtually outside of the Dellenback and will take you downtown.
Uber, Lyft, and taxis are other great ways to get around the city, and are relatively inexpensive. Additionally, there is a widely used bike share program in the city with monthly passes and many drop-off/pick-up points throughout the city.
**Please note, students are not permitted to bring cars to ASP as there is no parking available.
Although it can be a busy semester with so much to fit in, we try and have some fun along the way too! During the semester two community event planners (a student worker position) work with the residence director to plan events and community-building activities. With so many opportunities in the city, we try to balance a mix of on- and off-campus activities. Activities from past semesters include:
- Trivia night
- Political debate watch party and tailgate
- Watch parties for other major events such as championships, awards shows, season finales, etc.
- Apartment cook offs and potlucks
- Game nights
- Christmas tree decorating and holiday party
- Monument/Museum tours
- Professional and collegiate sporting events
- Cultural events (such as festivals, embassy tours, parades)
- Concerts (from indie bands at small venues to the opera or the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center)
Family Night Dinner
One of our favorite and most cherished traditions at ASP is our weekly shared meal, which we call Family Night Dinner.
Once a week we gather together as a program for a meal to share food and fellowship.
The meal is generally catered from a local restaurant, and we always try and provide enough that there are leftovers for lunch the next day. Often times we will be joined by alumni who share a little of their experience from ASP and what they have been up to since they did they program. It is a time to relax, get to know each other, and for students, staff, guests, (and sometimes families too) to all come together.
Spiritual life is one of the areas in which we specifically challenge you to be independence this semester. There is no required chapel or Bible study, but we believe that faith should be a formational part of your life.
We strive to provide resources to help you take ownership of your own personal spiritual development.
One way we do that is by encouraging local church engagement; there are dozens of churches within walking distance and even more small groups and/or Bible studies you can join. We also provide resources and support for student-led initiatives such as worship nights, Bible studies, or prayer groups. Lastly, we strive to collectively model and live faith-informed lives where faith is not an isolated aspect of our lives, but something formational to our everyday practices and conversations.
The American Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program that gives no preference to students in any particular field of study. However, a good academic record is necessary: students are required to maintain a GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, regardless of major.
ASP is designed for students in their second, third, or fourth year in college. All full-time students earning credit toward their degree are eligible.
HOW DO I APPLY?
Simply complete an online application for the semester during which you plan to participate. Each campus makes its own policies regarding off-campus study, so you should consult your academic dean, off-campus study coordinator, and/or advising faculty member at your school to ensure completion of all campus requirements.
Before your application can be reviewed for admission, you must submit all of the following materials:
- A completed online application form
- $50 application fee (payable by check or credit card)
- One faculty reference
- One character reference
- Official transcript(s) of all college course work
- Certification Form
Fall 2021 Semester Dates:
|Application available until (or spots are filled)||May 15|
|ASP begins on arrival||Aug 11|
|ASP concludes||Nov 23|
Spring 2022 Semester Dates:
|Application available until (or spots are filled)||Nov 1|
|ASP begins on arrival||Jan 5|
|ASP concludes||Apr 23|
YAY! MY APPLICATION WAS ACCEPTED! NOW WHAT?
Once admitted into the program, you will be required to confirm your intent to participate by submitting a non-refundable $300 confirmation fee, which will be applied toward your program tuition.
You will also be required to complete additional confirmation and pre-departure materials, including but not limited to: waiver and liability forms, a medical information form, housing form, and internship questionnaire. But don’t worry! We will send you all of the details and instructions upon acceptance.
HOW MUCH DO I PAY & WHAT’S INCLUDED?
Typically, the only expenses ASP participants pay directly to the CCCU are the application fee ($50), the non-refundable confirmation fee ($300, deducted from the total housing fee at invoicing), and the $100 refundable security/damages deposit (this is paid prior to or upon arrival in Washington, D.C.).
About six weeks before each semester begins, the CCCU sends participation invoices to each home campus. For the 2021-22 school year, that bill will feature the GlobalEd D.C. Programs semester costs below.
|ASP PROGRAM FEES|
|TOTAL ASP FEES||$15,200|
|BALANCE OF ASP FEES||$14,900|
Keep in mind the total program costs billed to you through your school may differ, depending on your campus’s policies.
Note: Schools or individuals who pay with a credit card will also be charged a credit card service fee.
Expenses Covered by ASP Fees:
- Recommended 15-16 hours of academic credit
- Laundry facilities available at no cost (must provide own detergent, softener)
- SmarTrip card (initial purchase fee covered, student reloads as necessary)
- Family Night Dinners
- Occasional outings
Additional Anticipated Expenses*:
- Travel between your home and Washington, D.C.
- $100 security/damages deposit (due upon arrival; refundable following post-departure inspection)
- Health insurance, valid for entire length of stay/program dates
- Meals (approximately $80/week)
- Textbooks (approximately $100)
- Local transportation (varies based on internship location; approximately $20-$50 per week)
- Personal medical expenses, if incurred
- Personal discretionary expenditures (recommend $45-$90 per week)
HOW DOES BILLING WORK FOR ASP PARTICIPATION?
The American Studies Program (ASP) is an extension campus of each member institution of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU); each school grants the academic credit for program participation.
The CCCU invoices campuses for the cost of participation in ASP and in turn campuses bill their students following the campus’s established policies and procedures. (For example, some schools charge the exact fees of the off-campus program, other schools charge the campus tuition price, while others charge full on-campus fees plus an additional off-campus study fee. And there’s every variation in between!)
Since each school determines their own policies regarding off-campus study costs and the applicability of institutional scholarships and other aid, you should confirm your school’s policies with the Off-Campus Study Coordinator on your campus.
*Anticipated expenses are estimates that will be updated should local costs shift significantly. You may spend more/less depending on your personal spending habits.
Know Before You Go…
For the latest updates on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 Response page.
Studying off campus can be an exciting time filled with adventure and personal growth. Prepare yourself in advance for challenges you might face on the program. At ASP, you should anticipate:
- Living in regular, close-quarters community in a two-bedroom apartment with 3-5 other students, with shared bathrooms and bunk beds, kitchens, and communal spaces.
- Living in an autonomous setting where a student is in charge of decisions such as meal planning/prep, budgeting, religious activity, etc. without the previously accustomed resources of their home campus (i.e. there is no cafeteria, housekeeping, required chapel, or free on-campus counseling services).
- Sustaining a weekly schedule that requires evening studies after a full day of work at an internship.
- Walking an average of two miles a day during the work week when commuting to internships and in-city class sessions.
- Spending time daily in the urban, culturally pluralistic context of Washington, D.C., engaging local Washingtonians, taking public transportation (buses, Metro trains, taxis), and exploring neighborhoods where stark imbalances between power and poverty often reside in the same space.
- Experiencing potentially challenging personal, political, religious, and cultural learning, lectures, field trips and assignments.
Our goal is to make the admissions process for spending a semester in Washington, D.C., simple and easy to navigate. These FAQs will help guide you through the process.
When will I know if I am accepted?
What is the required grade point average to apply?
Can I arrive at the program early/late or leave early/late? What is the attendance policy?
I am an international student—am I eligible to attend ASP?
What scholarship or financial aid options are there?
Deciding to spend a semester away from your campus can raise questions about where you’ll be living. Learn more about the neighborhood our apartments are located in, what our facilities offer, and how to navigate the city.
Where is ASP located in Washington, D.C.? Which neighborhood do we live in?
What do the ASP facilities offer?
How will I get around?
What is the weather like?
Some of the most important questions you might have about spending a semester in Washington, D.C., focus on the classes you’ll be taking and where you’ll be interning.
Do I get academic credit for this program? How many credits can I take?
Do ASP courses count towards my major?
How does the internship work?
Where will I be taking classes?
These FAQs cover everything from the community you’ll become part of, how faith plays a role during your semester, and some of the highlights of daily life here.