Student Extracurricular Opportunities Extend Far Beyond Campus

Byline: by Lesley Eichelberger

Posted: November 16, 2012

Ever wonder if your "Wilson experience" is reaching its full potential? It may not be if you are not aware of the many opportunities that the school has to offer beyond its campus limits. Along with articulation agreements with several local colleges and universities, there are programs that support a student's desire to expand their education to include travel, internships and a chance to study abroad.

For students who wish to remain close, the school partners with Shippensburg University and Gettysburg College. In this partnership, students may complete courses that are not offered at Wilson or they may choose these courses to better fit their schedules.

A more distant opportunity exists between Wilson and the Public Leadership and Education Network (PLEN). This program is primarily for women, although a few of the schools that participate are co-ed. It educates through seminars, field trips and internships on topics that deal with public policy and science.

"We have a couple of students attending their seminar on Women in Science and Technology on Jan. 7-11, 2013. This is a great opportunity for someone in the science program who may be unsure of their career path. PLEN offers many programs that are relatively inexpensive, but they do not provide housing. They do arrange internships of many interests for the students. An upcoming seminar on Women in Public Policy will be held on Jan. 14-18, 2012, in Washington, DC and will be a chance to see women working in their field," said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Mary Hendrickson.

Another, albeit slightly costlier, option for studying in Washington, DC is a program taught by the Washington Center.

"This is a co-ed program that is open to any student with a2.75 GPA of any major. It is more costly to attend because it does offer housing. They have a seminar at Camp David to learn more about the Middle East negotiations," said Hendrickson.

For the student interested in traveling further north, Vermont Law School offers a guaranteed admittance for those students that meet their minimum entrance requirements. Located in a rural setting in scenic Vermont, this learning opportunity is for any post-graduate major.

Tina Brown '12 recently graduated with a baccalaureate in Environmental Sustainability and is currently pursuing a Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) at Vermont Law School. This program is offered completely online and consists of seven week courses, with only one course taken at a time permitted.

"I learned about the MELP program and Vermont Law through Ed Wells. The application process was surprisingly simple. I found out that I was admitted a week after I submitted two reference letters and two essay questions. I was intimidated to start, but as soon as I did I realized that Dr. Wells had really prepared me for this next level of learning. Almost everything I'm doing he had already touched on in his classes," said Brown.

For the student who wishes to travel out of the United States to add the study of foreign land and cultures to their Wilson experience, there are several study abroad programs. A summer abroad is offered through the Washington Center for full time study in England or Australia. Other locations for study include South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

"We have only had one student participate in the Saudi Arabian program. The culture is so different there that many choose not to go," said Hendrickson.

A program called CEA Global Education Network offers students the chance to study in South America, China, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Ireland and South Africa. The course offered in South Africa is called 'Vets in the Wild Expedition,' and is a 22 day adventure in treating endangered animals in their habitat.

Not all of the study abroad opportunities are taken for credit. Many offer experience as their incentive. Requirements for study abroad vary, along with their costs.

Periodically, Wilson will offer one of these programs to a qualified student at no cost. The student must submit a proposal stating where and why they would like to study abroad. The most creative proposal is accepted. Their study is then funded by an alumna, who experienced many of these programs.

Last Updated: April 20, 2013

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