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Scott Bigelow | 910.521.6351 | scott.bigelow@uncp.edu
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Tuesday, November 1, 2005

UNC in Washington program a unique experience

The UNC in Washington program is offering UNC Pembroke students an opportunity to engage in a semester of study and internship in the nation’s capital.

Charles Tita“This is a career-defining experience,” said Dr. Charles Tita, who is UNCP’s campus coordinator for UNC in Washington. “This is a unique program for our students to gain vital exposure in the nation’s capital.”

UNCP has three spots available each semester and each summer, making it a total of nine spots per year. Applications are now being taken now for the spring 2006 semester. Dr. Tita is director of the Office of Distance Learning.

UNC in Washington provides student housing and a faculty member in residence. A three-credit seminar, called “The Washington Experience” and three-credit independent study are coupled with a six-credit internship. A summer session is also available.

Internships may be selected from a broad array of choices, including the White House, Congressional offices, political parties, think tanks, media, law, interest groups (lobbies), public relations, museums (including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian).

“As one student described it, ‘this is the Super Bowl of internships,’” Dr. Tita said. “Students from all over the world seek out this experience, and here it is for our students.”

The program is for upper-level students, Dr. Tita said. Students must apply to the campus advisory committee and meet with their academic advisor to make sure the program fits into their graduation plan.

Students pay UNCP’s regular (full-time) tuition and fees and estimated expenses of $3,000 for housing, $950 for food, $500 for transportation in Washington, $300 for books and $950 in other personal expenses. The program meets the requirements for financial aid.

A meeting of interested students met in October with Dr. Tita and Jessica Puckett, a senior recreation and public policy major who spent last summer at UNC in Washington. Puckett said she interned at the offices of UNC’s Washington lobby.

“It’s a great opportunity that our students should not pass up,” she said. “Nothing has challenged me like this.”

Puckett attended a variety of meetings and reported on them. She also worked on special projects related to financial aid, including compiling UNC’s “federal agenda” from all 16 campuses.

A recreation management and public policy major, Puckett said the program is not just for political science majors. She said it is well staffed and structured.

“It was a group atmosphere, a managed environment living, working and studying with other students,” Puckett said. “The people were very diverse, and I came away a changed person.”

Student applications for the spring semester of UNC in Washington should be submitted by November 4. The 2006 spring semester dates are January 17 - April 28. Students move on January 14. The 2006 summer semester dates are May 29 – August 12. Students move on May 27.

For more information, please call the Office of Continuing Education at 910.521.6367 or email charles.tita@uncp.edu.

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