National Convention Program

Taken behind the scenes of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in Washington, DC, Reaud Honors College participants experience national politics up close during a consequential moment in US history.

Offered only during a Presidential election cycle, every four years, and organized by the Washington Center, the National Convention Program equips Reaud Honors participants with skill sets that empower them to become engaged citizens in an arena that flourishes with opportunities for students to develop professional identities. These skill sets include: 

  • Political Fluency
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-Solving
  • Social Competency

Reaud Honors participants hear diverse viewpoints as they interact with political insiders, media professionals, policy experts, law enforcement officers, business leaders, and convention organizers. These conversations challenge pre-existing conceptions about the political process and provide perspectives that shape students’ understanding of how politics works.

At small group meetings led by experienced faculty, Reaud Honors participants discuss convention proceedings, presentations, assigned reading, and related topics. These sessions encourage students to share opinions and personal observations. 

Through fieldwork assignments, Honors students contribute to the conventions through roles that range from assisting CNN, Fox News,The Daily Show and other media to helping state delegations participate in the convention. This fieldwork places students in the center of the action, instills in them confidence to accomplish tasks they may have never contemplated handling, and enhances students’ problem-solving and communication skills.

At social receptions and gatherings, Reaud Honors students can practice and develop their soft skills while rubbing elbows with the movers and shakers who make the conventions happen. Becoming comfortable with social interaction and networking will help Reaud Honors students distinguish themselves in professional settings.

Reaud Honors students who take advantage of the Washington Center’s National Convention Program will have unique access, during a history-making moment, to develop skills and confidence that should help them thrive in a competitive global marketplace.