The Leadership and Community Engagement Institute is a six-credit academic program composed of a two-week course, an internship and internship credits that give W&M students the opportunity to work, live and learn in the DC area for the summer. This Institute will be taught by Drew Stelljes, the Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and Leadership and Executive Assistant Professor of Education at W&M. The two week class will give students the chance to interact with prominent leaders in government, education, non-profits, law and international relations. Through nearly twenty site visits and guest lectures, Institute fellows will gain insight into the most effective leadership strategies from the nation's most successful community change makers. Discussions are lively and thought-provoking, with current issues in leadership examined as class readings and assignments that help fellows develop their own leadership and communication skills.
Dr. Stelljes and W&M Washington Center staff help students obtain internships throughout the DC area that align with the topic. Community Engagement fellows' internships from previous summers include the Boys and Girls Club of America, the Jane Goodall Foundation, Civic Enterprises, the Department of Education, the National Conference on Citizenship, the United Nations Foundation, Global Playground and the Pulitzer Center. Fellows receive an additional three independent study credits based on the academic work affiliated with the internship while completing papers and projects for the good of the organization. The Institute helps program fellows discover their strengths in leadership, and develop lasting relationships with national leaders and W&M alums.