The Grinnell-in-Washington, D.C., program is offered in the first semester of each academic year. Part of the curriculum changes from year to year, reflecting the interests and expertise of the Grinnell faculty member leading the program that fall. Other courses—policymaking, internships, and the internship seminar—are offered every year.
Students are placed in internships that match their individual interests and experience. The internship is 12 weeks in length, Monday–Thursday, approximately 32 hours each week. During the internship, classes are on Fridays and on one weekday evening.
Students are housed in apartments in D.C., attend class just off Dupont Circle, and take multiple field trips in Washington, D.C.
Prerequisite: second-year status and good academic standing.
This course will examine economic policymaking as a potential response to collective-action problems that frequently emerge from the public or common dimensions of economic activity. The course will open with theoretical background on collective action and problems of the commons, such as nonsustainable use of resources like fisheries. A few local examples will be investigated, before turning to the main area of application: climate-change policy. The course will investigate, with much student input, federal, international, NGO, and industry approaches to climate policy. Students will visit and/or hear speakers from relevant locally-based agencies and organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of State, Congress, foreign embassies, Washington-based environmental organizations, and Washington-based industry associations or affiliates.
This course will introduce the political and organizational nature of policymaking using an applied interdisciplinary approach, taking advantage of the resources available in Washington, D.C. Various approaches to public policymaking will be discussed and analyzed using current policy issues of interest to the students on the program. The course will provide students with analytic tools to use in their internship and to use as a foundation for understanding the politics of policymaking.
This course includes readings and discussions on how organizations operate and how decisions are made in Washington, D.C., as well as reflections on students’ experiences as interns in Washington-based organizations. Students will analyze readings, share questions and insights from internship journals, develop portfolios of internship projects, and write a reflective paper (at the end of the semester) on their internship host organizations using informal ethnographic case study techniques.
Each student will intern four days a week (approximately 32 hours per week) for 10 weeks. Beginning in the spring prior to going off campus, students will work with an internship coordinator to secure an internship which matches their interests and skills.
- College Catalog