Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS)

1025 Arlington Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209

Office (703) 525-5292 | Fax (703) 525-2442

Intern@WashingtonSemester.org

Equal Opportunity Statement

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Courses

Immerse Yourself in Your Studies

During the fall and spring semesters, LCWS offers academic courses in a variety of subject areas, including the Arts, History, Communication, Sociology, Criminal Justice, Law, Political Science, International Relations, and more.  Small courses allow students to actively engage with their coursework.  Students are challenged to draw connections between their internship experiences and their studies, imbuing their coursework with a greater sense of relevance and importance.  LCWS faculty also utilize the Washington, D.C., landscape as a learning laboratory, inviting established experts and professionals into their weekly class meetings, and incorporating site visits into their curriculum, to actively engage students with the D.C. community.  Outside of the courses offered by LCWS, students can also pursue an Independent Study in any field with a faculty member of their choosing at their home institution. 

Make Washington, D.C., your classroom with LCWS.

Learn from experienced professionals who are actively engaged in the fields in which they are teaching.

Step outside of your comfort zone with peers of various majors, backgrounds, and experiences who bring their unique perspective to class discussions.

Course Offerings

Students take two courses in total, which, alongside the internship, count towards a full semester of academic credit.  Courses are held in the LCWS office complex in the evenings.  Each class meets once per week.

American Diversity: Issues in Race, Religion and Gender
This course will expose you to different aspects of American culture through a broad spectrum.  You will use analytical and critical thinking skills to study major diversity issues in America.  Discussion will focus on controversial issues essential to understanding the function of race, gender, and religion and how these factors have formed and affect the United States.  It will also examine historical and current challenges and opportunities, and discuss their current and potential impacts on you, individually, and on America as
a whole.  

The Art of Communication in the Nation's Capital –

The Art of Communication in the Nation’s Capital explores the role that communication plays in Washington, D.C., within the context of strategic communication.  This seminar examines how the media landscape in Washington affects campaigns and media strategies, as well as the everyday challenges professionals face working in the 21st century news media environment.  The course will examine the role of communication in politics, advocacy and public communication.  Students will analyze, interpret and evaluate the best ways to communicate with various target audiences.

Conflict Management and Resolution – 

The management of conflicts and hopefully their resolution calls for students to explore processes, methods and means beyond litigation or legislation to reach successful agreements. Our course is presented from a skilled practitioner’s perspective, not from a fixed science or theory. Constructive dialogue, accommodation, compromise and negotiations are viewed as the preferred methods of managing disputes with a view toward longer lasting accords. Third party processes that assist disputant parties through negotiations will be examined, such as: fact-finding, facilitation, mediation, med-arb, negotiated rulemaking, special master and arbitration. Interactive exercises will be employed to enable students to have “hands-on” experience in representing divergent positions and to search for common interests that lead to constructive outcomes.

Controversy and the US Supreme Court – 
This course provides students with an understanding of the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in shaping the U.S. Constitution through its most controversial cases.  It will examine the history of the Court, discuss landmark cases and current controversial cases, and examine the human factors that influence these decisions, including the backgrounds of the parties to, and jurists of, the cases.  This course will enable students to analyze the quality of these decisions, to appreciate their significance in shaping the U.S. Constitution, and to logically defend or oppose them.

 

Global Agenda

This course will explore the international and domestic forces that shape the complex and multi-faceted political, social and economic challenges confronting the quest for a stable world order.  Case Studies and Guest Speakers are used rather than textbooks.   The first 30 minutes of each class will begin with a discussion of international current events.  Students are encouraged to follow international news stories on cable and network television, pod casts, BBC and NPR radio broadcasts, newspapers, websites, various social media sites, and discuss the limitations of each.  Among the many topics explored during the semester are: International Conflicts, Arms Control, Foreign Aid, Climate Change, International Trade, Human Rights, Trafficking of Women & Children, Immigration & Refugees, Global Health & Disease, Endangered Species, Globalization, and Food Security.  Students choose an international topic they are interested in learning more about and do a semester paper and PowerPoint presentation. 

Public Policy Issues
This course provides in-depth examinations of timely social, political and economic issues, such as ethics in government, healthcare, immigration, the economy, or the environment, with topics differing each semester.  It is designed for students to explore directions for government action and to critically examine the impact of government legislation and regulation on issues.

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: Policies, Practices, and Politics -- 

​This course examines the phenomenon of terrorism from historical, international, transnational, and domestic perspectives. The course aims to be both topical and practical, utilizing practitioners’ first-hand experience in international operations and in U.S. government agencies that handle terrorism-related issues.  The course focuses, in particular, on terrorism’s effect on U.S. domestic and foreign policies and on the various agencies and organizations in Washington, D.C. that implement U.S. counter-terrorism policies.  The course also highlights relevant think tanks and research organizations in Washington and the analytical studies and reports they produce on terrorism-related issues. Critical infrastructure protection, maritime security, and protection against nuclear, biological, and chemical attacks are some of the topics discussed to give students an appreciation for the breadth of activities handled by the U.S. government.

Violence and Values
This course will explore the presence of violence and criminality in our lives and culture, as well as the values society holds concerning violence and criminal deviance.  The course will also cover the methods used to prevent, control and respond to violence and criminality.  Why are we violent?  Do we tolerate, or even embrace, violence?  How does our criminal justice system work, and what are the ideals and barriers that affect how justice is dispensed?  These and other questions will be explored and discussed by the class, and by criminal justice and social services professionals who work in the field with victims and perpetrators.

 

The Washington Theatre Experience – 

Although known primarily for government and politics, Washington, D.C., is one of the
extraordinary cultural capitals of the world.  The breadth and diversity of its many theatres, and the high quality of its performing arts productions, makes it an ideal laboratory to learn about the multiple dimensions of the theatre.  Not only does Washington, D.C., attract renowned shows and plays with internationally recognized artists, but the city also lends itself to pre-Broadway productions, experimental theatre, and programs reflecting the rich cultural, racial and ethnic diversity of the city.  In this course, students will attend several live productions, critique them, and explore how a theatre company is created and managed.  Topics will include the history of the theatre as an art form, directors, actors, producers, technical production, marketing & sales, fundraising & development, and theatre management, among others.

Independent Study –
Students may opt to take one course in the fall or spring as an independent study with a professor at their home institution.  This requires approval prior to the start of the LCWS semester in which the student is enrolled from his/her academic advisor, department chair, the Registrar at their College or University, and the Dean of LCWS.