Guidance – The Washington Center

The Washington Center (TWC) is an educational organization in Washington DC that provides internships, training, and courses for college students. Students from across the country intern in DC through The Washington Center. At UT, this opportunity is available only to Honors students in good standing, ideally Honors students who are entering the second semester of their Junior year or during their Senior year.

How You Apply

As with many of the opportunities in the Honors Program, there is a two-stage application process. First, you must apply through submittable.com (here) to the UT Honors Program. That application will be evaluated by the Honors Program Directors and potentially your department chair. If your application is deemed meritorious, you will then apply through TWC’s website. Because we pre-screen our Honors students before they apply to TWC, students are typically accepted at The Washington Center; we don’t know of any Honors students being rejected, but that is a possibility.

Once students complete the online application to TWC, the Honors Program Director will receive an email notifying them that the application has been submitted. The Director will then have the chance to review the application before recommending changes or approving it. Once the Director approves the application, it is submitted for review at TWC. Applicants can expect to hear back from TWC within a few weeks as to whether or not they were accepted.

When You Can Go

The Honors Program can send up to 3 students to TWC per semester, including over the summer. Honors students can intern at TWC during the fall or spring semesters at UT and can also intern during the summer.

How Credits Work

While at TWC, students will take two courses. One is a subject matter course (e.g., Political Psychology, Middle East Politics, etc.) and is referred to as the “Evening Course.” The other course is the LEAD colloquium, which focuses on professional development and internship success.

Of course, students will also be completing an internship. The internships vary widely and are tied to students’ interests and majors.

While all of this work (the two courses and the internship) is done at TWC, Honors students have to sign up for courses here at UT in order for the credit to transfer back to UT. Precisely what courses and credits students sign up for at UT has varied in the past. Here are some examples of what students have done in the past:

  • One student who interned at TWC during the spring semester signed up for 8 internship credit hours in their department (PSC 440) and also signed up for two sections of the independent study course in their department (PSC 450). That meant the student received 16 credits for the semester spent at TWC.
  • A student who interned through TWC during the summer signed up for 10 credit hours of internship in their major (CRM 401) and nothing else.
  • A student who interned through TWC during a different spring semester signed up for just 8 internship credits and one independent study course.

In short, there is some variability in how students sign up for courses at UT and how much credit transfers back as a result. Regardless of precisely how students transfer the credit back, they must work with their faculty advisor and the chair of their department to sign up for courses at UT before they head to DC for their internship and courses at TWC.

At the end of the internship, students at TWC will receive grades for their Evening Course, for the LEAD Colloquium, and for their internship. Those grades are sent to the Honors Program Director who forwards them to the students’ department chair. The department chair will determine what grades the students should receive for the courses they signed up for at UT.

How The Finances Work

Interning through The Washington Center is not free. Below is an explanation of what students will pay and what UT’s Honors Program pays.

  • Students will still pay their UT tuition since the credit hours will transfer back to UT.
  • If students want TWC to arrange their housing, TWC will send UT a bill. The student will be informed about the expense and will pay UT that amount and UT will pay the bill.
  • Finally, the Program Fee at TWC varies by semester but is between $6,900 and $8,420 (as of 2018; see here for the most current information). The Honors Program pays that fee.

Thus, students will pay only their regular UT tuition and the housing fee if they will be using TWC housing (students have the option of finding their own housing) while the program fee is covered by UT.

It is also important to note that students typically do not pay any money directly to TWC. Students will pay UT tuition and the housing fee and UT will pay all of the TWC expenses and fees. If students receive a bill from TWC, they should take the bill to the Bursar’s Office (or the Honors Program Office).

International Travel – Ana Mejia

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UT Honors student Ana Mejia is spending the semester studying abroad at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain. In her first week in Barcelona, she has already had the opportunity to see some of the amazing sights Spain has to offer, including attending a fútbol match and visiting the La Sagrada Familia church.

McKay Hall featured in the UT Journal

The Winter 2017 issue of the UT Journal featured the innovative living and learning community of the Honors Program. Here’s the excerpt from the Journal:

LEARNING WHERE YOU LIVE
Students looking for more integration between their academic and residence life can choose to live in one of UT’s learning communities.

Learning communities allow students to reside with those who have similar interests. Almost all residents of McKay Hall, for instance, are enrolled in the University’s Honors Program.

Designed to provide a study-intensive environment, the community also offers special programming organized by the Honors Program directors.

“Instead of a place where students just live, our goal is to make McKay more of a cohesive environment,” said Kacy Tillman, associate professor of English and associate director of the Honors Program.

The school year kicked off with a barbecue on move-in day. In the past, they’ve had a dozen students show up to the kick off, but with the addition of the learning community this year, almost all 440 new honors students showed up.

Other programs, which have seen similar success, include Coffee Conversations, where a small group of residents meet with a professor to discuss topics that are in the headlines, and movie nights on the Tuesday before each Honors Symposium, where the film correlates to the topic up for discussion.

“My hope for the learning community is for students to have the same kind of experience I did, where they take the conversation back to their rooms and debate on a topic well into the night,” said Tillman.

For Mallory Kuba, who is currently enrolled in the MBA 4+1 program, being housed in the Honors floor in the Vaughn Center made all the difference.

“I came to UT not knowing a soul,”Kuba, of Annapolis, MD, said. “But living on the Honors floor was a great opportunity to be around students who were motivated and engaging.”

Oxford – Blakely Maynard

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I had the chance to study Business Ethics and Public International Law for the Michaelmas term at Oxford and I do not think I will ever approach learning the same. In that time, I wrote 12 essays which equated to around 48,000 words, which is quite amazing looking back now. I gained two key skills: problem-solving 100% on my own and being able to come up with an intelligent answer on the spot.

Prior to my time there, I had never learned a thing about International Law so I was clearly thrown into the deep end. Each topic I was given was completely new to me; I didn’t have classes to attend to explain anything to me – I had a library, full of amazingly helpful books. The feeling when you put together a 3,000-word essay that your tutor is impressed with from scratch and knowing you did it 100% by yourself is an amazing feeling.

The second skill is equally as important. Being able to intelligently debate and respond to your tutor’s questions shows them just how much you deserve and want to be there. This skill taught me to stop, really think about what is being asked and devise a response. The more I practiced in my tutorial meetings, the faster I was able to do it.

Overall, I truly think this is the most beneficial experience I will have in my university career as it has provided me with a unique skill set beyond the norm. For anyone who is determined in their learning, I would highly recommend this extremely demanding program.

Oxford – Juhi Kore

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As my study abroad experience comes to an end, I am filled with so much gratitude for this incredible experience. In my time at Oxford, I have not only met some incredibly intelligent students but also met super talented and passionate community members. I was provided with the opportunity to be a Director for the Oxford GlobalMUN conference for the Commission on Science and Technology for Development and it was so much fun. I’ve been involved with MUN since high school but in the capacity of a delegate and it was such a cool experience to chair instead! In addition to that, I was selected to be the Campus Director for the Hult Prize competition at the University of Oxford and it was by far the most challenging and yet rewarding event I have organised. For the last three weeks before the competition, my life followed Murphy’s law to the T! Everything that could’ve gone wrong, DID go wrong but I persevered through it all. I have also had some other cool opportunities to evangelise about social entrepreneurship and about my love for Tampa and I even got to speak at the Oxford Union and the Oxford Townhall! The community in Oxford is so supportive and passionate about social impact and that is a mindset I want to further develop in the city of Tampa. I can certainly say that I have had the best study abroad experience EVER and I am eternally grateful to the University of Tampa and the University of Oxford for this opportunity.

Oxford – Nicholas Rivera

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While at Oxford, I have studied Anglo-Saxon military and religious history, covering overlordship in the early Middle Ages, kings such as Alfred and Athelstan, saints such as Bede and Hilda of Whitby, and (my favorite) the changes in swords over the course of the six-hundred-year period. I also took the time to make as many friends as I could, whether they be fellow Americans with the WISC program (who dubbed me “Sword Nick” to differentiate me from the other three Nicks) or other Oxford students. I soon joined the pistol club, generally using air pistols but I also learned to use rifles as well. I even managed to get into a Victorian ball! Being here has been an unforgettable experience with some of the best days of my college career.

Conferences – National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Atlanta

Honors Program Directors Kacy Tillman and Ryan Cragun recently took three UT students to the National Collegiate Honors Council conference in Atlanta. Two members of the Honors Council, Carla Shapira and Delaney Russell, attended the conference, along with Honors student Hanifah Griffith, who was presented a poster titled, “Do Honors Symposia Affect Student Beliefs, Values, and Behaviors? A Pre- and Post-Test Study”. We attended a number of sessions and enjoyed a number of meals together where we discussed what we were learning at the conference.

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The conference was in downtown Atlanta, which meant it was quite close to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. The five of us took some time late one afternoon to visit the site and learn more about the life and activism of Dr. King.