Why choose the Les Aspin Center?
Washington, D.C., is not only the center of the American political process, but is a global city with foreign embassies, media outlets, and international corporations and organizations. Studying in our nation's Capitol is a unique complement a university education and lets students experience a new environment, opening their eyes to the world beyond campus.
There is no substitute for observing and participating in the political process firsthand. The center's internship experiences provide a behind-the-scenes look at how public policy is made. Students work closely with Congress members and their staffs, as well as civil servants in various executive branch agencies. The education and insight provided by these experiences allow for more than an appreciation of our political system. Students become a part of it.
And internships often lead to opportunities after students' time in Washington, D.C., ends. Dozens of students — because of their experience and connections — have joined congressional staffs, campaigns, and the offices of interest groups and lobbying firms. The Les Aspin Center has nearly 50 alumni working as full-time staff members in congressional offices and hundreds of others in the Washington, D.C., area.
Focused curriculum, close interaction
The Les Aspin Center emphasizes close interaction among students and faculty as they live, study, work and pray together. Small class sizes and a dedicated faculty allow tremendous attention to be paid to the intellectual development of each student. Students receive instruction in seminar-style classes in which individual participation and focused study are demanded. The academic rigors of the program, which features courses in political science, philosophy and fine arts, set it apart from other similar programs in Washington. And the wide range of classes allows students to fulfill several of their academic requirements. Political science courses can be counted toward elective requirements, and fine arts courses can be counted toward core course work.
Making real leaders
The Les Aspin Center is committed to leadership and public service. Students are given opportunities to grow and develop as active members of their communities. They are encouraged to do volunteer work and reach out to those around them, amounting in almost limitless opportunities to give back in the Washington, D.C., community. They leave the program more engaged in the political process and informed about how to make a difference.