Fall 2020 Student Updates
All of us at The Washington Center are excited to have you join us this fall!
As we prepare for the fall semester, we’ve made some changes to ensure the health and wellness of our TWC community. Some of these adjustments will impact your internship, programming and living experience, so we encourage you to review the details below.
While we are excited to welcome students back to the nation's capital, we also understand that some schools have issued alternative policies regarding off-campus programs this fall. To ensure everyone has access to the opportunity, we will be offering a Virtual Internship Program in addition to our in-person experience.
Washington, D.C. Internship Program
While many aspects of the program will remain the same, we’ve made some updates to ensure your safety and that of our staff.
Below are some of the changes we've made to ensure the safety of our TWC community during the check-in process. We also encourage you to watch our video to get an overview of what check-in will look like for you!
- We recommend that you practice social distancing for two weeks prior to check-in. If you experience any symptoms related to COVID-19 before you arrive at TWC, please let us know and we will reschedule your arrival for a later date.
- Check-in will be staggered over multiple days (to limit exposure to COVID-19), so you’ll have a specific time when you and one other person can move your belongings into the building. If you haven’t selected a time slot for your arrival, please return to the Community Profile.
- Once you arrive at our Residential and Academic Facility, you and anyone arriving with you will undergo a no-contact temperature check. Anyone showing a high temperature or other symptoms will not be allowed to move in and will be asked to return after testing negative for COVID-19.
- Several housing policies have been updated to ensure alignment with the D.C. Public Health and CDC guidelines. While those have been shared with you via the Community Profile, we’ve created an agreement to highlight those specific policies. All students will need to sign this agreement before receiving their keys.
- In accordance with D.C. health guidelines, anyone traveling to D.C. from a high-risk state must quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in the District. If you’re from one of these high-risk states, that means that once you get to our Residential and Academic Facility, you’ll need to stay in your apartment – unless absolutely necessary – for two full weeks.
- All students will participate in mandatory COVID-19 testing on Monday, August 31. TWC will cover the costs for this initial testing. Students who refuse to test will be asked to move out of the Residential and Academic Facility. Test results will arrive within 48 hours and will be shared with students and TWC’s Student Services team. Positive test results will initiate TWC's COVID-19 protocols.
Once you arrive in the nation’s capital, you’ll be working with your internship site remotely or on a hybrid schedule (remotely on some days and in the office on other days). This will depend on your internship site.
Your evening course and career readiness programming will take place exclusively online to help limit potential exposure to COVID-19. Career readiness sessions will be offered throughout the week (not just on Fridays).
While TWC will not host any large gatherings, we will provide virtual networking opportunities and let students know about networking activities around the city that meet Washington, D.C.’s social distancing guidelines.
Housing and Community Life
If you plan to reside in TWC housing, you must have health insurance and provide your policy information prior to check-in.
To maintain social distancing, you’ll be housed in a private bedroom, with a shared living area and kitchen. You’ll be required to disinfect and clean your apartment each week, and TWC will conduct monthly inspections.
TWC has revised its Emergency Response Plan with new procedures for Fall 2020. We have also implemented the following policy changes for our housing facilities:
- You will be required to wear a mask in all public spaces of the Residential and Academic Facility (RAF). We encourage you to bring a personal supply of reusable masks, but TWC will also maintain a supply of disposable masks if you lose or forget your face covering.
- You will be limited to no more than one guest in your TWC apartment at any one time. A guest is any building resident who is not an occupant of that unit.
- Non-resident visitors (excluding staff) will not be allowed in any TWC residences during the fall 2020 semester (with exceptions for check-in).
- The fitness center and computer lab at the RAF will be limited to four residents at any one time 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/gathering guidelines.
- The elevators at RAF will have a maximum capacity of two persons at any one time.
If public health conditions deteriorate, TWC will work with area universities and the D.C. government to determine whether it is safe for you to stay in Washington, D.C.
If you are sent home early due to public health concerns, TWC will make the following program adjustments:
- Your evening course and career readiness programming will continue virtually for the remainder of the semester.
- TWC will work with your internship site and encourage them to continue your internship in a fully virtual format. Each internship site will make the final decision regarding its ability to provide a virtual internship experience.
- If your internship site is unable to transition to a virtual experience, TWC will work with your school to identify alternative projects to fill the remainder of the semester.
If you are sent home early due to public health concerns, TWC’s standard refund and cancellation policies will remain in place, with the following refund adjustments:
- Housing Fee: TWC's standing policy is that housing refunds are not provided after you have checked into TWC facilities. However, given the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, TWC is prepared to refund up to 25% of your housing payment* to TWC in the event of an early fall 2020 closing due to public health concerns. If you decide 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 you have started your internship. As noted above, in the event of disruption, programming will transition to a virtual experience. If you choose to self-terminate your experience, you will receive grades based on work completed (grades may be incomplete) and remain responsible for the program cost.
* Your housing payment is the amount you paid to TWC for housing, after accounting for any scholarships received from TWC. Please note: TWC's scholarship awards are always applied to a your housing balance first.
Virtual Internship Program
If you decide to participate in the Virtual Internship Program (or attend a school that has selected this option for its students), you’ll be engaging in a virtual internship and joining TWC’s evening course and career readiness programming online.
If you’re participating in the Virtual Internship Program, you’ll have a more limited array of internship site options to choose from. TWC does not expect to have virtual internships available in federal law enforcement, federal government agencies, Capitol Hill, cyber/national security, legal or law-related positions.
Once the program begins, you should expect to work 20-36 hours per week, depending on your site. You’ll arrange a work schedule directly with your internship site, so you may work a traditional 9-to-5 schedule, a shorter set number of hours each day, select days each week or another varied schedule.
In order to participate in this virtual program, you will be required to have access to a computer with a stable internet connection.
Your evening course and career readiness programming will take place online along with students participating in the D.C. program. Career readiness sessions will be offered throughout the week (not just on Fridays), and TWC will provide you with access to virtual networking opportunities.
Program Cost & Credit
The cost of the Virtual Internship Program is the same as the Washington, D.C. internship program, with the exception of the housing fee. Your final cost of participation will depend on how the program works at your school.
The amount of academic credit you’ll receive for your participation in the Virtual Internship Program also depends on how the program works at your school.
Contact your campus liaison to confirm the cost and credit arrangements for the Virtual Internship Program. If you need help identifying your liaison or if your institution does not have a liaison, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since you’ll be participating virtually, you will be expected to maintain your participation throughout the semester, regardless of the status of the in-person internship program.
We are working with our partner schools to determine which program may be the best fit for their students, and we will update you on your school’s decision (if we haven’t already)!
If your school is allowing you to choose either the in-person or virtual program, be sure to review the information above. Once you're in your advising session, you'll work with your pre-arrival advisor to explore your options and make a decision about your plans for the fall.