The ASP Difference and Why It Matters
A Washington, DC semester experience is an investment.
Short-term trips to the nation’s capital give you a glimpse into the important work happening here, the remarkable people dedicated to making a difference, and the inspiring history that reminds us that our work is part of a story much bigger than our own. But is awareness enough for you?
ASP is here so you can take full advantage of Washington, DC resources and put them to use.
The ASP semester experience is designed to provide adventure, challenge, and change. What distinguishes ASP is its unique ability to gather a diverse Christian community of college students, ASP and CCCU alumni, and other thoughtful Christians living and leading in the nation’s capital, all wanting to be conformed to Christ in all areas of life, including as purposed professionals.
ASP gives you an insider’s access to substantive internship work experiences in our nation’s capital. You will find no greater collection of leading organizations—commercial, governmental, non-profit advocacy, non-profit education and research—than what Washington, DC offers, providing you the possibility of building a bridge to virtually any career field. Look over our list of recent internship placements.
The benefits you gain from completing over 300 internship hours are significant:
- Your affiliation with a nationally reputable organization makes your resume stand out.
- Letters of recommendation from your internship supervisors confirm your professional preparedness in ways that a grade point average cannot.
- Your work achievements provide compelling stories to tell in job interviews and personal statements.
- Reflecting with others on what you are learning provides greater clarity about your next move after graduation…and the confidence to make it.
ASP plugs you into an experienced mentorship community of Christian professionals, drawing from our extensive network of ASP alumni, CCCU alumni, and other thoughtful Christians living and leading in the Washington, D.C. area.
These mentors want to benefit you in a number of ways, for example:
- Strategize with you about the opportunities and challenges at your internship.
- Share their lessons learned from experience about pressing questions:
- Should I go straight into grad/law school or get work experience first?
- Can you advance in high intensity career fields and prioritize marriage and family?
- When you move to a new place, how do you look for and decide on a church?
- How do I sustain the professional relationships I’ve made when I return to campus?
- Do your colleagues know you are a Christian? How does your Christian faith shape the character of your work?
- Introduce you to their own colleagues and friends for informational interviews.
- Share their favorite activities and places in DC’s local neighborhoods.
Another unique privilege ASP enjoys is our Capitol Hill location. We are both centrally located and neighborhood based. It is a rare combination among Washington semesters. Benefits include:
- Walking distance to the National Mall—and less than a mile to places like the U.S. Capitol Building, U.S. Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and all U.S. Senate office buildings.
- Easy public access to the rest of the city—less than a mile walk to two major metro stations—Union Station and Eastern Market—historic sites in their own right, and bus stops for two major bus lines on our block.
- Educational and entertainment activities for all interests—ASP organizes free or discounted student pricing for DC United (MLS soccer), the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Press Club, Navy Yard, the Smithsonian Institution (17 free museums and the National Zoo), the Washington Nationals (MLB baseball), and the Washington Wizards (NBA basketball).
- Authentic relationships with DC neighbors—plug into ASP partnerships with trusted community service providers, like Capitol Hill Village, Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, and Little Lights, through ASP’s well-established Neighborhood Engagement program.
The ASP semester allows you to make full-speed progress towards graduation. We offer fieldwork-based seminars in Public Policy and Strategic Communication (spring semester only). Each study track offers two 3-credit courses.
Consider the benefits you accrue when you:
- Expand upon your internship experience by participating in fieldwork meetings that place you at a variety of influential organizations: congressional offices, embassies, federal agencies, non-profit advocacy groups, and non-profit education and research organizations (“think tanks”).
- Directly engage policy experts as a young professional with a growing specialty in a specific issue area, not a passive “academic tourist.”
- Create a unique, fieldwork-based academic product that could have only been in Washington, DC and use it to help you stand out at a conference or when submitting a sample writing piece.
- Develop the institutional intelligence and savvy required to successfully transition from classroom to the professional practices in your field of study.