Q and A: Wake Washington Internship and Study Program
September 14th, 2015
(Wake Forest entered into a relationship with The Washington Center in 2006 to provide Wake Forest students with the opportunity to study and gain work experience in Washington, D.C. Overall, this has been a good partnership.)
Q. One of the reasons my student/I chose Wake Forest is because of the Wake Washington internship program. Why did you offer it then, but now you are ending it?
A. The Dean of the College Office and the Provost’s Office decided to temporarily suspend the program for a number of reasons. As we approach the 10-year mark for the program, it’s time to step back, evaluate the program and ensure we are offering the best academic, experiential, and engagement opportunities possible. In addition, student participation has steadily declined, particularly during the fall and spring. Finally, feedback from students who have participated has been mixed. It is our intent to reflect on what we have learned from the Wake Washington program, to consider student feedback regarding the program, and to identify the ways in which Wake Forest University can most effectively offer opportunities to our students that are consistent with the overall Wake Forest experience.
Q. I’ve heard students enjoy the program in the summer and have been taking advantage of this opportunity. So, why not just keep it going?
A. We’ve experienced declining enrollment year-round. This summer, enrollment fell to just nine students – a 50% decrease from previous years. This is a good time to step back, take a thorough look at the program and consider how we can improve the experience for all students who want to participate.
Q. I’ve heard that a number of students participated during previous academic years, fall and spring. If that’s true, why suspend the program?
A. This fall, we have no students enrolled in the Wake Washington program. One student enrolled in the spring of 2014, no students enrolled in the fall of 2014 and only two students enrolled in the spring of 2015.
Q. What are the goals for the program?
A. Our goal is to make sure that our students take part in a rigorous academic program while in Washington, D.C. and are able to participate in substantive and meaningful internships that further their professional opportunities after graduation. We also want to provide a broad and deep slate of networking opportunities with Wake Forest alumni and parents in the area. We believe our presence in Washington, DC must offer academic rigor, meaningful internships, and the opportunity to fully engage with the supportive Wake Forest community in the Washington, DC area. We are exploring a variety of options designed to help us reach these goals.
Q. When will the program return?
A. While we are unable to commit to the Wake Washington program returning in its current form, we are looking at all of our options. We fully anticipate having a Washington, D.C.-based study/internship program moving forward.
Q. Where can I go for more information? What if I still want to take part in a program like Wake Washington?
A. Several campus departments can help you define your next steps.
- If you are interested in learning more about internship opportunities in and around the Washington, DC area, contact the Office of Personal and Career Development.
- If you are interested in programs that combine credit-bearing classes and internships and you are interested in being abroad, contact the Center for Global Programs and Studies.
- If you have specific questions about the Wake Washington program in its previous iteration, you are encouraged to contact the Office of the Dean of the College.
- If you are interested in connecting with alumni in the Washington, DC area, Jennifer Richwine, Executive Director of Wake Forest’s Washington Office is available to answer questions.