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A Student’s Experience In Washington D.C.


My Washington Semester Experience

When I first heard about Roanoke College’s participation in the Lutheran College Washington Semester Program (LCWS), it immediately sounded like something I would be interested in. This was before I decided that I wanted to get my teaching license. I talked with Dr. Peppers about going in the spring of my junior year, and he told me that it could have some benefit for my future education career as well. I was doubtful, but wanted to go, so I agreed. I ended up getting an internship with The Smithsonian Associates National Education Outreach office. The office works to plan teacher training workshops in different districts all around the country. Not only am I getting to help plan these programs, I’m also gaining numerous resources that will be helpful to me when I have my own classroom. Outside of my internship, there have been many cool opportunities as well. I was able to attend a Senate hearing at which Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, testified and spoke about changes he wanted to make to No Child Left Behind; changes that will affect me as a future teacher. This was definitely one of the coolest opportunities to me and it really helped me to see some of the connections between teaching and public policy. Before this semester I was already interested in public policy and government issues, being a political science major, but this semester has helped me to see more direct connections between teaching and the role of the government. Getting to experience this firsthand is an extraordinary opportunity.  I have also met several students this semester from other schools that are English, communications, and Spanish majors. LCWS is a great opportunity for students of any major, and “It’s Not Just for Politics!” as their slogan declares. It has been a great experience and I would encourage anyone who is interested to contact Dr. Todd Peppers in the Public Affairs department.