Fall 2021 Updates
All of us at The Washington Center are excited to have you join us this fall!
As we prepare for the fall, 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 on this page.
While we are excited to welcome students to the nation's capital, we also understand that some schools have issued alternative policies regarding off-campus programs. To ensure everyone has access to the opportunity, we will be offering a virtual option in addition to our Washington, D.C. option.
Washington, D.C. Option
While many aspects of the program will remain the same, we’ve made some updates to ensure your safety and that of our staff. TWC may adjust these policies as public health regulations in D.C. are adapted or removed.
Please note that all participants who choose the Washington, D.C. Option are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to their arrival in D.C. We encourage you to review our COVID-19 vaccination policy.
We've made the following changes to the check-in process to ensure the safety of our TWC community:
- All participants who are residing in TWC housing, or living independently in Washington, D.C. and participating in-person in any aspect of our fall program, are required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prior to their arrival in Washington, D.C and to upload a copy of their COVID-19 vaccination card via Canvas. Click here to review our complete COVID-19 vaccination policy.
- 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. You'll select a time slot for your arrival at the time you complete your Community Profile. Instructions and log-in information for the Community Profile will be sent to accepted students on a rolling basis, beginning in mid-June.
- 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.
Once you arrive in the nation’s capital, you’ll most likely 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’s working status, so it's important to discuss work hour and location expectations with prospective internship sites as you progress through the matching process.
TWC's evening courses and career readiness programming will take place primarily online to help limit potential exposure to COVID-19. Career readiness sessions will be offered throughout the week (not just on Fridays).
In conjunction with, and addition to, the programming that your Career Advisors will facilitate, our Alumni Mentors will also provide opportunities for social, professional and personal development programming. TWC anticipates being able to host some of these activities in-person, along with some hybrid and/or online activities.
TWC also anticipates hosting some in-person networking opportunities and will also let students know about networking activities and other events around the city that meet Washington, D.C.’s current public health 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. In addition, given the rise of the Delta variant, we have made the decision to test all students living in our residential facility three times during the fall semester—at the beginning, during the middle and towards the end of the semester.
TWC has revised its Emergency Response Plan with new procedures for fall 2021. We have also implemented the following policy changes for our housing facilities:
- To maintain social distancing, students will be housed in a private bedroom and have a private bathroom, with a shared living area and kitchen. Students will be required to disinfect and clean their apartments each week, and TWC will conduct monthly inspections.
- Students will be required to wear a mask in all public spaces of the Residential and Academic Facility (RAF). We encourage students to bring a personal supply of reusable masks, but TWC will also maintain a supply of disposable masks if they lose or forget their face covering.
- Each resident will be allowed to host one external (non-TWC residential) guest at any given time. Guests are only allowed to stay for three consecutive nights in a seven-day period. If a resident would like to receive another visitor, they must wait at least one week from the day their last visitor checked out. Residents must email proof of their guest’s vaccination card to firstname.lastname@example.org (not on the Community Portal) at least 48 hours in advance of their guest’s arrival time.
- The following occupancy limits will be in place for spaces within the RAF and residents will be required to sign in and out with the front desk for contact tracing purposes:
- The fitness center will be limited to four residents at any one time and masks will be required for use.
- The computer lab will be limited to two residents at any one time and masks will be required for use. Please note: The computer lab does not have printing capabilities for students; however, there are several local printing services that students can use if needed.
- 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 the RAF will have a maximum capacity of two persons at any one time.
- Select classroom spaces will be available as socially-distanced remote work spaces for use between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., as apartments do not have a desk (they include a kitchen table and coffee table in the common area). Residents will be required to sign in and out at the front desk in order to use this space and disinfectant supplies will be provided.
If public health conditions deteriorate, TWC will work with 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 2021 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 your housing balance first.
If you decide to participate in the Virtual Option (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 option, you may have a more limited array of internship site options in some areas. We expect more limited options with federal government agencies, Capitol Hill offices, and legal or law-related positions. Your options may further vary based on fluctuating site availability.
Once the program begins, you should expect to work 20-36 hours per week, depending on your internship. You’ll arrange a work schedule directly with your internship, 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.
TWC’s 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 option is the same as the Washington, D.C. option, with the exception of the housing fee. Your final cost of participation will depend on how the program works at your school and your eligibility for state funding.
The amount of academic credit you’ll receive for your participation in the virtual option also depends on how the program works at your school.
Contact your campus liaison to confirm the cost and credit arrangements for the virtual option. If you need help identifying your liaison or if your institution does not have a liaison, contact email@example.com
Since you’ll be participating virtually, you will be expected to maintain your participation throughout the semester, regardless of the status of the Washington, D.C. 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 Washington, D.C. or virtual option, 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.