Graduating students with career-ready skills and a broad worldview is a focal point for Bridgewater College. A new partnership between the College and The Washington Center (TWC) in Washington, D.C., expands on that goal by offering a more accessible avenue for students seeking internship and study away experiences. In the BC2DC program, students will spend a semester in D.C. and will complete an internship aligned with their interests. Designed for students in any major, TWC partners with more than 400 internship sites across a variety of fields, including business, communication, education, criminal justice, international relations, psychology and public health, among others. In addition to their internship, students will take an evening academic course and will have the opportunity to participate in several career-readiness and networking opportunities throughout the semester. The program is a holistic experience designed to help students gain additional skills and make career-centered connections that aid in success after graduation.
“The opportunity to live, work and learn in Washington, D.C., is amazing because you get to be at the highest level of achievement in many different disciplines,” says Bridgewater College Associate Professor of Political Science Dr. Bobbi Gentry, who is serving as the program’s campus liaison. “This program is open to all majors, and The Washington Center is a fantastic partner who genuinely cares about placing students in high-quality internships.”
The Washington Center, founded in 1975, serves as a bridge between higher education and professional careers, leveraging the dynamic, experiential learning opportunities Washington, D.C., has to offer and motivating young people to become engaged global citizens. As the most established program of its kind, TWC has a staff of 90 full-time employees and more than 600 higher education, corporate, government, foundation and internship host partners. More than 60,000 TWC alumni have gone on to serve the public, private and nonprofit sectors in virtually every field: law, education, journalism, social work, medicine, diplomacy, business and politics.
Students enrolled in the BC2DC program will earn 15 credit hours upon completing their semester in D.C. (nine credit hours for their internship, three credit hours for the academic course and three credit hours for the career-readiness programing). For the academic course, they can choose among several offerings, with guidance from their Bridgewater College faculty advisor and BC2DC program liaisons. Along with Gentry, Anne Marsh, Director of Study Abroad at Bridgewater College, will serve as co-liaison of the BC2DC program. TWC’s career-readiness programming includes professional development workshops, networking events, career exploration sessions and one-on-one advising to help students maximize their experience in D.C. and develop a plan for next steps after graduation.
The College will launch the BC2DC program in spring 2023, with fall 2023 being the first semester available for Bridgewater students to participate. Starting next fall, Bridgewater will offer BC2DC programs in both the fall and spring semesters each year. Students who have completed at least 30 credit hours of academic work at Bridgewater, have junior-level status and have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 are eligible to apply for the program. During the program, BC2DC students will live with other Washington Center interns in a building with 24-hour front desk security that is close to the National Mall and with easy access to the D.C. Metro.
For more information about the program, visit bridgewater.edu/BC2DC.
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