Summer Programs for High School Students

American Politics Institute

XSPP-112 American Politics Institute

Course Details

The American Politics Institute is offered on the following dates:

July 3 - July 9, 2016

Learn firsthand from experts in the nation’s capital about the separation of powers between the three branches of government: the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary branch. In the American Politics Institute, you will learn the role of Congress and how it interacts with the presidency and the legal system. You will also explore the important role that political parties, public opinion, and special interest groups can have on shaping political behavior and decisions.

In the classroom and on field trips, you will meet with key elected officials, Capitol Hill staff, lobbyists and policy makers to discuss congressional campaigns, legislative priorities, and emerging national issues. You will have the opportunity to explore how America’s changing culture impacts the development of political movements and their ultimate influence on federal, state, and local policies. Debate and simulation exercises allow you to experience politics and policy making as you put your new knowledge into practices.

Core Topics Covered*

  • Congress and the presidency
  • The impact of the judiciary
  • The parties in Congress
  • Women and Congress
  • Public opinion
  • Interest groups
  • Foreign policy
  • Tax and spend authority

Hands-on Experience *

  • Interact with key elected officials and Capitol Hill staff, lobbyists, and policymakers
  • Participate in congressional simulations, putting your knowledge to practice
  • Visit the National Mall, Democratic National Committee, Republican National Committee, and Capitol Hill

Sample Day*

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast in Dining Hall

9:15 – 10:30 a.m. Politics and Culture in the United States: Georgetown University Professor Eric Langenbacher

10:45 – 12:15 p.m. Politics and Public Opinion: Georgetown University Professor Micah Jensen

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Visit U.S. Capitol and Observe Congress in Session

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. Discussion Section

6:15 – 7:00 p.m. Dinner in the Dining Hall

7:00 -- 9:00 p.m. Capstone Project: Legislative Simulation

* Core topics, hands-on experience and sample day are subject to change.

2016 Instructional Staff:
Andrea Mayer, 
Academic Director
Professor Mayer currently teaches courses in the fields of political science and law at several universities.  Previously, she served as a trial attorney for the federal government for nine years, where she specialized in litigation related to civil rights, government programs, and fraud.  She has represented the federal government in numerous capacities, including Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, receivership counsel, and agency counsel.​  She has also served on the legal staff of the U.S. Bankruptcy Review Commission and the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and has worked as a trial and jury consultant and a judicial law clerk.  She regularly lectures on topics related to constitutional law, rule of law, and international law, including lectures at Georgetown's Center for Intercultural Education and Development, Program on Public Policy and Ethics in the USA, and the Library of Congress' Open Leadership Program.  She was selected as Georgetown's 2009 Pro-Seminar Fellow for American Government, and serves as​Georgetown Adjunct Faculty.  Professor Mayer received her J.D. from George Washington University and M.A. in Government from Georgetown University.  She​ ​completed Ph.D. ​Coursework at Georgetown University and Harvard University.  Her research and teaching interests center on constitutional law, political behavior, and social change.

Elliott Fullmer, 
Capstone Director
I am a Visiting Assistant Professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. I previously taught at Georgetown, Hood College, and James Madison University. My areas of interest include voting behavior, the American presidency, and interest groups. I have been teaching with the School of Continuing Studies since 2009 and this will be my third year as a Capstone Director. I previously completed my Ph.D. in American Government at Georgetown in 2013. In addition to teaching, I have worked for several DC non-profit organizations, including the Sunlight Foundation. I am originally from New Jersey and am proud to say I have visited every Major League Baseball stadium in the USA.

Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrollment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.


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