By Candice Stilwell | Staff Writer
Kyle Marquez, a third-year political science and theology student, is one of four students at Whitworth University who had to make entirely new plans for this fall semester after the cancelation of an internship based in Washington, D.C. Originally, a partnership with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) allowed Whitworth access to the American Studies Program (ASP) which made this trip possible. “The ASP program has been a blessing to the CCCU, educating over 3,000 students since 1976, integrating faith and learning while living and working in Washington, D.C.,” said the CCCU.
This program allowed the students “to get [themselves] an internship over in Washington, D.C. And then [they would] be taking two additional classes through teachers who specifically worked for ASP,” said Marquez.
But that did not happen this year, and it will not happen again. Marquez received an email stating that ASP was facing “unprecedented challenges,” particularly regarding staffing. With ASP no longer running, the Washington D.C. trip was canceled.
According to ASP’s website, the recent shut down of the program was due to how “the changing nature of the higher education landscape has impacted the American Studies Program. Campuses are now better equipped to assist and prepare students for new realities and have expanded their off-campus programs to meet the needs of current and future generations.”
Marquez and his fellow applicants got the information on the cancelation in mid to late-May. In June, the CCCU found an alternative plan through Baylor University. Being very similar to the original plan for the Washington, D.C. trip, it seemed a good substitute. Marquez recalls being “super excited [that he] had an internship secure.”
Unfortunately, Marquez said that two weeks before they were planning to leave, Baylor University announced that their program could not allow any non-Baylor students on the trip. “So, I was kind of left high and dry,” Marquez said. Later on, there was the option to do an independent study in Washington D.C., but Marquez decided this was not in his best interest.
Marquez expressed relief that he has another year to find an internship, and added, “There were people who this is either their last year or they’re actually postponing graduation to be able to go on this trip. That’s more of an issue for them.”