Patrick Henry College American Politics and Policy Program

By Rachel Cochran

Patrick Henry College is dedicated to preserving a fidelity to the spirit of the American founding. While it achieves this goal through its extensive credit core classes, its American Politics and Policy Program is for students who have a passion to go into government or law.

Students who love politics will find a new world of opportunity open to them when they major in American Politics and Policy. Patrick Henry College is dedicated to excellence and high academic rigor, guaranteeing students an immersive and quality experience.

The Program at Patrick Henry College

The program examines key subfields of American Government, including American institutions and behavior, state and local government, public economics, public policy, and research methods. Patrick Henry College requires all of its students to complete a comprehensive 63-credit core in addition to major specific courses.

The American Politics and Policy Program at Patrick Henry College requires students to complete 12 credits of required government courses. The subjects range from domestic policy and politics to apprenticeships.

Patrick Henry College offers classes that provide students with in-depth knowledge of the Presidency, Congress and other courses about policy such as Principles of Policy Analysis and Ethics and Public Policy.

Students who are interested in leadership roles can take the Public Administration, Campaigns & Elections, or State & Local Government courses. Students will learn to become persuasive writers and effective communicators through the Political Science Research Methods course among others.

The Opportunities

Students at Patrick Henry College who want hands-on experience in government or law should consider the American Politics and Policy Program. Because of Patrick Henry College’s proximity to D.C., there are numerous opportunities open to students.

Students at Patrick Henry College can explore opinion polling, survey research and learn the history of public opinion polling, the methods used in polling, and how to accurately interpret poll data. Students are then placed in a survey research firm for a period of time to actually do public opinion polling, culminating in a report on their work.

Students also do their own polling projects, independent of their work in survey research firms, researching already existing survey data to draw conclusions about public opinion on specific key issues facing American policymakers. This is just one example of the many opportunities Patrick Henry College provides students.

Patrick Henry College students have completed internships at an impressive range of government agencies and private organizations. Students have experience working in the Federal Communications Commission, The White House, The U.S. Senate, The U.S. House of Representative, The U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Office of the Attorney General, both State and Local Officials’ Offices, Generation Joshua, Law Firms, and City Councils among others.

The George Wythe Review at Patrick Henry College

But what about published work? Does Patrick Henry College have any literature backing its American Politics and Policy Program? The answer is yes, it is called the George Wythe Review.

Patrick Henry College students in the American Politics and Policy major began the George Wythe Review as a forum for students to present their research on domestic policy issues in one of the nation’s few undergraduate publications. Students submit work about a wide variety of policy topics and are able to collaborate to make a high-quality undergraduate journal.

The journal has received a grant from the Collegiate Network (CN) to connect with a graphic designer to redesign the layout, cover, and logo of the journal. The staff was able to attend the CN Editor’s Conference and met with numerous conservative journalism professionals. Even among other undergraduate publications, they found that the George Wythe Review is unique in its dedication to publish student rather than faculty research.

In the vein of the Patrick Henry College journal’s namesake, the editors are committed to fostering an environment for discussion that enhances both the American Politics and Policy program and the mission of Patrick Henry College. For the coming year the editing staff will apply for a larger grant and search for additional sources of funding so that they can expand the size of the publication and host several campus events to increase the journal’s campus readership.

The Experience

Patrick Henry College offers students an in-depth look at politics and policy in the classroom, but is also offers students a career-defining experience. “If you’re interested in growing your knowledge and skills and becoming effective in almost any area of US policy or politics, I would highly recommend the APP program,” alumna Shannon Turner said.

Turner liked that the program gave her the freedom to take what she learned in the classroom and “put those lessons to use and see how they play out practically through in-class activities and internships.”

While at Patrick Henry College, she had the opportunity to run a simulated campaign, create an agency’s budget, and design a city. She was also able to practice leadership through event planning, fundraising, research, and recruitment. “Joining the APP major was one of the best choices I ever made,” Turner said.

Alumnus Jeremy Tija remembers the extra-curricular opportunities in the American Politics and Policy Program. He loved having the unique experience of the George Wythe Review, ‘’Doing review,’ as we call it, is an opportunity usually reserved for law school, so it looks great on an undergraduate résumé,” Tija said.

He enjoyed meeting renowned policy experts at lunches and the exclusive internships Patrick Henry College offered him. Students who are looking to experience government and politics in unique ways while still in their undergrad should consider Patrick Henry College.

Alumna Ashlyn Roberts enjoyed the flexibility and depth of knowledge that the program gave her. “While the major certainly is an excellent foundation for anything you want to do, the APP major personally prepared me for my current role as a legal assistant,” Roberts said.

Roberts is aiming to attend law school, yet another career path that students in Patrick Henry College’s program have the option to follow. Roberts enjoyed the one-on-one mentoring of Dr. Haynes, who helped her “apply the skills [she] learned inside of the classroom to [her] internship with a Congressman, [her] editorial experience on the George Wythe Review, and [her] excitement to learn more about American politics and policy,” she said.

Students who have a passion for politics, law, or government can find hands-on learning, quality teaching, and an immersive experience in Patrick Henry College’s American Politics and Policy Program as they learn what it means to fight for Christ and for Liberty in today’s world.

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