The safety and wellbeing of our students and partners is The Washington Center’s top priority.
The Washington Center is excited to welcome students back to D.C. in Fall 2020! As we prepare for the upcoming semester, we’ve made adjustments to our academic, programmatic and residential plans and policies to ensure the safety of our community.
While we look forward to hosting students in the nation’s capital, we also understand that some schools may issue alternative policies regarding in-person participation in internship programs this fall. To accommodate students from these schools, we will be offering a virtual internship program in addition to our in-person experience.
Washington, D.C. Internship Program
We look forward to having students join us in the nation’s capital for our in-person internship program. While many aspects of the program will remain the same, we have made some programming and policy changes to keep our students and staff safe.
Students who choose to intern in-person will have access to the broadest network of internship sites, but given the uncertainty, some internship sites may be unavailable this fall.
Students who intern in-person should expect to work 32-36 hours per week. Internship sites may utilize hybrid or staggered schedules, so interns may work remotely on some days and in the office on other days.
TWC will work with internship sites to ensure appropriate safety measures, including social distancing and cleanliness standards, are in place. Interns will be expected to adhere to all internship site policies regarding health and safety.
Evening courses and career readiness programming will be delivered virtually to all students, including those participating in the in-person program. Career readiness programming will likely feature a more varied schedule, with sessions offered throughout the week.
In addition, TWC will not host any large gatherings, but networking activities that meet Washington, D.C.’s social distancing guidelines will be shared with students.
Housing and Community Life
TWC will stagger its check-in and check-out processes over multiple days. During check-in, students will be required to sign up for an hour-long time slot and may enter TWC housing facilities with no more than one (1) non-resident. Check-out details will be provided during the semester.
To maintain social distancing, TWC will house all students in private bedrooms, with shared living areas and kitchens. Students will be required to disinfect and clean their apartments, particularly shared spaces, each week, and TWC will conduct monthly health and safety inspections.
TWC will install hand sanitizer stations at all primary entrances and exits to community spaces in the Residential and Academic Facility (RAF) and institute a daily cleaning schedule for common spaces.
TWC will implement the following policy changes and maintain zero tolerance for violations (residents who fail to adhere will be removed from the program):
- Student residents and TWC staff will be required to wear masks in all public spaces of the RAF, including the lobby, elevators, stairwells and hallways.
- Each student resident will be limited to no more than one (1) guest in their TWC apartment at any one time. A guest is any building resident who is not an occupant of that unit.
- Non-resident visitors (excluding limited TWC staff) will not be allowed in the RAF or other TWC residences during the Fall 2020 semester. TWC will also suspend housing tours and visits from partner institutions, including TWC campus liaisons.
- The fitness center and computer lab at the RAF will be limited to four (4) residents per hour and masks will be required for use.
- The patio at the RAF will be limited to gatherings that adhere to Washington, D.C.’s current social distancing guidelines.
- The elevators at the RAF will have a maximum capacity of two (2) persons at any one time.
Students who plan to reside in TWC housing must have health insurance and provide their policy information prior to check-in.
Residents are encouraged to bring a personal supply of reusable masks with them when they travel to Washington, D.C. for the Fall 2020 semester. TWC will also maintain a supply of disposable masks for residents who lose or forget their own face covering.
TWC has updated its emergency response plans with new procedures for the following circumstances (details available upon request):
- Single individual exposure to a contagion
- Single individual contracting a contagion
- Multiple individuals contracting a contagion
- Community spread of a contagion
TWC will maintain units for use in self-quarantine (if necessary). TWC’s emergency response plan also includes provisions for response to exposure or contraction including: apartment/common area disinfection; contact tracing; and communication within the community, to internship sites and to home institutions.
TWC will provide students with information on all forms of transit available in Washington, D.C., so that they can make informed and safe decisions regarding their commutes. This will include best practices from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (which maintains the bus and rail system, commonly known as Metro), as well as Capital Bikeshare and various other rideshare programs.
TWC will also fully utilize the RAF’s parking garage for those students who wish to bring cars. Please note: capacity is limited.
The cost of the in-person program remains the same. TWC’s program fee for Fall 2020 is $8,965. TWC’s housing fee for Fall 2020 is $6,290.
If public health conditions deteriorate, TWC will work closely with area universities and the D.C. government to decide whether it is safe for students to remain in Washington, D.C. If students are sent home early due to public health concerns, TWC will make the following adjustments:
- Evening courses and career readiness programming will continue virtually for the remainder of the semester.
- TWC will work with internship sites to encourage continuation of the experience in a fully virtual format. Each internship site will make the final decision regarding its ability to provide a virtual internship experience.
- TWC will work with students whose internship sites are unable to make a virtual transition to identify alternative projects to fill the remainder of the semester.
If students are sent home from Washington, D.C. early, TWC’s standard refund and cancellation policies will remain in place, with the following adjustments:
- Housing Fee: TWC's standing policy is that housing refunds are not provided after students have checked into TWC facilities. However, given the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, TWC is prepared to refund up to 25% of each resident's housing payment* to TWC in the event of an early Fall 2020 closing due to public health concerns. If a resident decides to leave Washington, D.C. for other reasons, refunds would only be considered on appeal.
- Program Fee: Consistent with standing policy, TWC will not offer program refunds after a student has begun their internship. As noted above, in the event of disruption, programming will transition to a virtual experience. If students choose to self-terminate their experience, they will receive grades based on work completed (grades may be incomplete) and remain responsible for the program cost.
* Each student's housing payment is the amount they paid to TWC for housing, after accounting for any scholarships received from TWC. Please note: TWC's scholarship awards are always applied to a student's housing balance first.
Virtual Internship Program
We are thrilled to be able to provide a virtual internship experience this fall semester. Students will be able to gain real-world professional experience, learn how to thrive in the modern workplace and prepare to land their first job out of college – all from the comfort of their home.
Students who intern virtually should expect to work 20-36 hours per week. These students will arrange their work schedule with their internship site and may work a more traditional 9-to-5 schedule, a shorter set number of hours each day, select days each week, or another varied schedule. Students who intern virtually should expect internship experiences that are more project-based, rather than routine office work. Students participating in the virtual program are required to have access to a computer with a stable internet connection to facilitate their experience.
Students who intern virtually will have a more limited array of internship site options and may be placed with sites that are physically based outside of the D.C. metro area. TWC does not expect to have virtual internships available in the following areas: federal law enforcement, federal government agencies, Capitol Hill, cyber/national security, legal or law-related positions.
Evening courses and career readiness programming will be delivered virtually to all students, including those participating in-person and virtually. Career readiness programming will likely feature a more varied schedule, with sessions offered throughout the week.
TWC will provide students who intern virtually with access to virtual networking events and will seek to foster connections with those students participating in-person.
TWC’s contact hour calculation determines that the virtual internship experience is worth at least 12 credit hours (versus 15 for the in-person internship experience).
For schools that typically award 15 hours, we encourage flexibility. However, for those who cannot justify the same award in a virtual format, we recommend that the institution require an additional project, reflective paper, or other assignment to maintain normal credit loads. TWC will provide some project examples from partner institutions that have already instituted this framework.
Given the virtual nature of this program option, students who intern virtually will be expected to maintain their participation throughout the semester, regardless the conditions of in-person activities or the status of the in-person program.
TWC’s program fee for Fall 2020 is $8,965. The cost of the program is the same for students who intern virtually as those who intern in-person. There is no housing cost for students who intern virtually.
If you have questions about program options for Fall 2020, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.