PIA High School Government Program Triples Enrollment

Posted: August 28, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The Department of Public and International Affairs (PIA) has completed the third year of its Summer High School Government Program created 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. Enrollment tripled from 15 students last year to 45 this summer.

During summer school the students took Introduction to American Government (GOVT 103) and American State and Local Government (GOVT 204) alongside regular George Mason students, and earned six transferable college credits.

The dramatic rise in high school student enrollments is a result of PIA’s more aggressive marketing to high school counselors, students, and their parents, according to Clark. It also reflects a growing national trend of many students choosing to supplement traditional Advanced Placement credit courses with more direct college or university experiences.

“High school administrators are increasingly open to the concept because it helps them confront the problem of overcrowding during the regular school year,” says Clark. “In addition, by completing their government requirement in the summer before their senior year, students can free up their schedules for more advanced or specialized courses.”

The program exposes area high school students and their parents to the course offerings and faculty that George Mason provides, and also creates positive contacts between high school teachers and administrators and the university. An additional plus this summer was the participation of Delegate Bob Marshall, who taught a section of GOVT 204.

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