Participants gain knowledge, skills, academic credit, and practical work experience through this comprehensive and intensive program. While working full-time for a government agency or private firm in an academically supervised internship, students earn 6 credits in the summer term (9 credits during the fall and spring semester programs). American University provides full academic support for the internship and additional course work in the evenings. In addition to making connections in DC, participants meet other AI/AN/NH students from across the country through the full support of a multi-cultural campus environment.
A meaningful internship experience is at the heart of the WINS program and provides professional, real-world work experience. Special arrangements are made with a variety of federal agencies, private firms, and American Indian /Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian (AI/AN/NH) organizations to provide a focused, academically-supervised internship experience for WINS participants.
Academic courses are designed specifically for the WINS program and focus on issues important to AI/AN/NH communities through a combination of lectures, discussions, relevant readings, research projects, and guest speakers.
Cultural and social activities take place throughout the program, beginning with an extensive orientation and culminating in a farewell banquet. Recent summer events have included picnics with advisory board members and internship supervisors and a summer powwow to honor WINS participants. In their free time, students are encouraged to take advantage of the nation’s capital by visiting notable landmarks such as the National Museum of the American Indian, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and Capitol Hill.