FAQ'S

The Washington 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.

The official deadline for reserving a spot in the Washington Mentorship Program is May 1, 2018. To select the program, you will need to complete an Enrollment Agreement and Housing Application form, found on the myAU Portal, and submit a $600 deposit. Please note that this deposit will be applied to your bill in Spring 2019, not to the fall Mentorship semester.

The Washington Mentorship Program has between 140 - 175 students on average. Deposits are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Here is a breakdown of program costs. 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. Parents also have the option of using the American Payment Plan (APP), which splits the semester balance into convenient monthly payments, with no interest charged.

Any questions concerning financial aid packages should be addressed to an undergraduate financial aid officer in the Office of Financial Aid at (202) 885-6500.

Yes. This is something you should wait until October/November to discuss with your spring semester academic advisor.

The Mentorship professors are 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 Undergraduate & Post-Bac Programs) is the academic advisor for students in the Washington Mentorship Program. You can email (mentorship@american.edu) 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.

The Washington Mentorship Program courses incorporate experiential learning concepts and provide students the opportunity for active learning, collaboration, teamwork, and interactive discussions. More information on the program courses is available on the Washington Mentorship Curriculum webpage.

There are no prerequisites for the internship. You are required to attend the practicum/internship two days each week; in addition, you attend an MFP class led by an AU professor. The internship/practicum is graded – with the grade comprised of the practicum supervisor evaluation (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).

The Washington Mentorship Program does not place students in internships. You are given the tools to secure an internship on your own, with guidance from your MFP professor and the Director of Experiential Education.

To prepare you for the internship search, over the summer you work with program staff to create and finalize your resumes and cover letters. Then, you are given access to the program’s internship database, which has over 3,000 internship listings. You can begin searching for an internship over the summer, however most students will arrive without a placement, though they are resume and cover letter ready and prepared to start their internship search.

On the first day of class, you attend the school’s Internship Fair, where you can meet with over 100 internships sites. In addition, you also work with your MFP professor and the Director of Experiential Education to develop search criteria and strategies to secure an internship.

Approximately 90% of students will have an internship by the third week of September.

You can research, interview, and obtain a placement in a variety of fields. In the past, students have had placements with Congressional Offices, lobbyists, nonprofits, veterinarian offices, art companies, research institutions, and businesses. The type of activities completed varies from position to position.

After securing an internship, you and your supervisor will create and sign an Experiential Learning Form, which guarantees that 85% of the internship activities will be substantial (meaning it should not only be coffee runs or making copies). While these tasks may sometimes occur, your experience should provide insight into a particular field.

Before your internship starts, the Experiential Learning Form is reviewed and signed by the Mentored Field Practicum professor.

You will start to make contacts, build credentials, and gain real-world experience. 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 for more interaction and mentorship between professors and students.

The Washington Mentorship Program is flexible and allows you to take between 12 and 15 credits.

All credits and grades received in the fall semester will transfer to your American University degree and appear on your AU transcript. Provided you successfully complete a 15-credit course load (or bring in AP or IB credit), you will not be behind other first-year students.

The Washington Mentorship Program consists of 4 or 5 3-credit courses:

  • Intercultural Understanding fulfills AUx1 and counts as an elective course.
  • College Writing fulfills the Written Communication & Information Literacy I requirement.
  • Mentored Field Practicum is an elective course that can be applied to the Career Planning Toolkit designation.

In addition, students enroll in 1 or 2 courses from the following list:

  • Politics in the United States
    This course counts as an elective course and is a requirement for certain majors.
  • Math or Statistics
    Math or Statistics courses can be applied to the Quantitative Literacy I requirement.
  • Introduction to College Inquiry
    This course counts as an elective course.

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 Washington Mentorship Program will have their spring admission offer reevaluated. The GPA earned in the 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.

You have access to the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) on AU's campus. ASAC can be reached by phone at 202-885-3360. More information about ASAC accommodations and services is available online.

In addition, during the fall semester, the Washington Mentorship Program advisor, Elizabeth Slupski, assists students with fall courses and questions about accessing AU resources.

You 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 first-year 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, you 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.

You have access to the Student Health Center, located on AU’s campus. DC law states that all students must have health insurance - through their parents or through AU. If you have insurance by way of your parent's plan or your own, you can waive AU Health Insurance through your 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.

Housing & Residence Life at AU will determine housing assignments. Room and roommate requests are made through the housing preference application which you will receive in late spring. You will receive roommates' names and information over the summer when it is posted on your myAU.american.edu account.

The Washington 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 spring-admitted 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.