PIA Government Program Completes Successful Year

Posted: August 22, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Department of Public and International Affairs (PIA) has completed the second year of its “Summer High School Government Program,” created last summer by Joel Clark, a faculty member in the department. The program allows high school students to complete their senior-year government requirement and earn transferable college credit hours at George Mason.

During summer school, 30 high school students completed Introduction to American Government (GOVT 103) and Virginia State and Local (GOVT 204). The students came from a variety of local high schools, including W.T. Woodson, Bishop O’Connell, and Thomas Jefferson, and they took the classes alongside regular college students ranging from incoming freshmen up to graduating college seniors.

The high school students did very well this year, with several ranking in the top five among all enrolled students. Program activities included a group orientation and a class trip to Capitol Hill, where the students received briefings from the Virginia Liaison Office and Senator Chuck Robb’s office.

Only in its second year, the program tripled its seat count this summer from last summer’s numbers (10 to 30), and PIA is receiving more calls from parents and high school guidance counselors.

“The PIA Department considers the program a ‘win-win’ situation in that high school students can try out college while freeing up their schedules during the regular school year for other advanced courses and programs,” says Clark. “George Mason benefits by exposing high-caliber students to its excellent faculty and facilities.”

PIA plans to expand the program next year by also targeting high schools in the Centreville and Manassas areas and offering additional courses at the Prince William Campus.

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