The Mentorship Program is a fall semester, non-degree program open to students who have been admitted to AU for the spring semester. The Mentorship Program is an option for students to take courses at AU prior to formally starting their degree program in the spring.
Mentorship students take three core courses specific to the program, including the Mentored Field Practicum (internship) course. Being non-degree students in the fall allows Mentorship participants the opportunity to pursue a professional experience and earn college credit before matriculating to AU in the spring.
The official deadline for reserving a spot in the Washington Mentorship Program is May 1, 2017.
To reserve a spot, a student will need to complete an Enrollment Agreement and Housing Application form, found on the myAU Portal, and submit a $600 deposit.
The Washington Mentorship Program has between 150 and 180 students on average. The Mentorship Program in Greece can have up to 24 students. The Mentorship Program in England can have up to 24 students. Deposits are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Take a look at a breakdown of the cost of the program. The tuition, housing, meal plans, and student fees are the same rates as other students living and dining on the AU campus. Additional expenses may include: food (eaten off campus), transportation to/from Washington, DC for the semester, books and school supplies, entertainment and social activity expenses.
Since the Mentorship Program is a non-degree seeking program, financial aid is not available. Financing options, including private loans, are available. Although students may receive financial aid packages for the spring semester, this aid cannot be applied to fall semester studies in the Mentorship Program.
Concerning financial aid packages, please contact an undergraduate financial aid officer in the Office of Financial Aid at (202) 885-6500.
Yes. However, this is something students should wait until October/November to discuss with their degree program advisor.
The Mentorship professors are full-time, American University faculty with appointments to the School of Professional and Extended Studies. Professors teaching Intercultural Understanding may also teach for AU's School of International Service. Professors teaching Introduction to College Inquiry and Politics in the US may also teach for AU’s School of Public Affairs or other academic units.
In addition, College Writing, mathematics, and statistics professors hold appointments in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Elizabeth Slupski (Assistant Director for Bridge Programs) is the academic advisor for students in the Mentorship Program. Students should email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call (202-895-4936) Elizabeth with any questions regarding academics and preparation for the fall semester. Academic advisors at AU provide academic counsel to students and assist students to select courses, navigate university regulations, and provide guidance on educational and professional goals.
There are three core courses in the Mentorship Program: Intercultural Understanding, Introduction to College Inquiry, and the Mentored Field Practicum. All courses employ experiential learning concepts and provide students the opportunity for active learning, collaboration, teamwork, and interactive discussions.
Intercultural Understanding is a block (extended) class which meets once a week. It is a combination of lecture, discussion, guest speakers, and experiential learning activities which focuses on such themes as intercultural negotiations and social media technology and its intercultural effectiveness.
Introduction to College Inquiry meets twice a week. Students use different research methods to analyze contemporary issues and controversies while utilizing the various resources available at American University and in Washington, D.C.
The Mentored Field Practicum provides students the opportunity to work in a professional setting two days a week while also meeting regularly with their professor/mentor to discuss their experience.
There are no prerequisites for the MFP course. Students are required to attend the practicum placement two days a week and attend the MFP in-class sessions conducted by the MFP professor (usually once every two weeks). Students earn a grade generally comprised of the practicum supervisor evaluations (one at mid-term and one at the end of semester; 40% of the final grade) and the MFP professor's course grade (60% of the final grade).
WMP does not place students in internships; students are given the tools to secure an internship on their own with guidance from their MFP professor and program advisor. Searching for an internship is a key skill developed through the practicum course.
Over the course of the summer, students are given access to resume resources and work with program staff to fine-tune their resumes in June and early July. Students are then given access to the SPExS Internship Database, which has one of the largest collections of internship offerings in the DC area. Students are highly encouraged to start applying to internships posted on the database over the summer.
On the first day of class, students attend the school’s Internship Fair, where they can meet with over 100 internships sites. Finally, students also work with the WMP office and their MFP professor to fine-tune their search and secure an internship.
Students can search for and gain a practicum placement in a variety of fields. In the past, students have had placements with Senators, lobbyists, nonprofits, veterinarian offices, art companies, research institutions, and businesses. The type of activities completed varies from position to position.
When securing your placement, you and your supervisor will sign an agreement with AU which guarantees that 85% of your activities must be substantial- meaning it should not include just coffee runs or making copies. While these tasks may sometimes occur, we want your experience to give you insight into that particular field.
Mentorship students will start to make contacts, build credentials, and gain real-world experience through the Mentored Field Practicum. Internships are available in areas of interest ranging from politics and justice, communications, international affairs, psychology, and arts & sciences.
The typical class size is about 20-25 students. This allows more interaction and mentorship between professors and students.
The program is flexible and allows students to take between 12 and 15 credits. By taking 12 credits, Mentorship students can dedicate more time to their internship and focus on their course work.
All credits and grades received in the fall semester will transfer to a student’s American University degree and appear on their AU transcript. Provided students successfully complete a 15 credit course load (or bring in AP or IB credit), they will not be behind other freshmen.
Intercultural Understanding counts towards AU’s General Education requirements. Introduction to Inquiry and the Mentored Field Practicum courses will count as elective credits. College Writing, mathematics or statistics courses, and Politics in the US all count toward specific AU requirements.
Please note that students who enroll in the Washington Mentorship Program must abide by the policies, regulations, and codes relating to student behavior at American University. Any student who violates the Academic Integrity Code while in the Mentorship Program will have their spring admission offer reevaluated. The GPA earned in fall semester will be the student's starting GPA for the spring semester. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in order to meet the standard for satisfactory academic progress. If a student earns below a 2.0 for the fall semester, they will start the spring semester on Academic Probation.
Mentorship students will have full access to all AU facilities and activities. These include computer labs, library, fitness centers, resource centers, clubs, speakers, campus events, etc.
Mentorship students, like other resident students, are not allowed to bring cars. Under special circumstances, students may be granted permission, but this must be arranged with campus transportation services.
All students living on-campus are required to have a minimum 175-block meal plan each semester. However, students may opt to have a larger 200, 225, or 250-block meal plans. Commuter students (living off-campus) are not required to have a meal plan.
Mentorship students have access to AU's Student Health Center located on campus. D.C. law states that all students must have health insurance - through their parents or through AU. If a student has insurance by way of their parent's plan, they can waive AU Health Insurance through their myAU.american.edu portal. More information about the Student Health Center and insurance requirements is available on the website.
The tuition insurance is an optional tuition refund plan for students and parents. This private insurance program enhances American University's published refund policy, helping minimize financial losses should students suffer serious illness or accident that results in withdrawal from AU before the semester is completed. The insurance policy is elective and covers 75% of tuition and room charges.
The Housing & Dining Programs office at AU will determine housing assignments. Mentorship students will receive roommates' names and information over the summer when it is posted on their myAU.american.edu account. Room and roommate requests are made through the housing preference questionnaire.
The Mentorship Program is a full-time (12-15 credits) program for spring admitted AU students. The structure and courses of the program help students stay on track to graduate from AU. The AU Gap Program is a part-time (7 credits) program that consists of a 3-credit seminar course (American Politics or Global Business) and a 4-credit Mentored Field Practicum (3 days on site). If students are interested in the AU Gap Program, please note that it is a part-time program and students will need to make up the additional credits by taking extra courses another semester or bringing in AP, IB, or transfer credits.