Washington Center

UCDC Remote Program Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated July 24.

General Questions on the Remote Program 

Why remote? 

Uncertainty about the spread of the virus and the ability to test and isolate students prompted the UC Office of the President to cancel the in-person program. At the same time, many internship sites are making plans to offer remote positions, continuing to provide opportunities for students who are interested in gaining professional experience in an academic setting.

What fees will I be expected to pay?

Tuition and course fees are identical to those on campus. All students are required to be full-time. Because the in-person program is suspended, UCDC will not charge housing fees.

Will I receive support from UCDC if I find my own housing in Washington?

Washington D.C. remains under stay at home orders and most establishments are closed or operating under strict guidelines. The UCDC building is closed. Staff are working remotely and will not be available if an emergency arises. We strongly discourage anyone to risk getting sick and to consider the consequences of being so far from family or support groups.

Will I remain eligible for financial aid?

Yes. Financial aid applies the same as if you were taking regular courses on your home campus.  We encourage you to seek information about your financial aid package your campus coordinator or the financial aid office on campus.”

How will the program handle the three-hour time difference?  

Most internships allow for flexible hours. The time difference may require students to begin and end their day early. Courses schedules will reflect the time difference.

I am a fall student and asked to defer in hopes that the winter or spring term would be in-person. Can I now withdraw my deferral and attend in the fall?

Yes. Please contact your campus coordinator or program administrator to if you now wish to attend in the fall. 

When do fall students need to commit? 

We ask that you make a final decision by July 31. You should have received an email with a link to the registration form. If you did not receive that email, please check your email junk/spam folder or contact SISsupport@ucdc.edu for assistance. 

Who can talk to if I have questions?

There are multiple ways to get more information. Staff in Washington and on campus are available to discuss how a remote program can work for you. See sections below on courses and internships for contact information. 

Questions on Remote Courses

Do I have to take UCDC classes? Can I take classes at my home campus?

In addition to your internship, you are required to take a seminar from UCDC. If you wish to take an elective, you may select from our offerings, or in most cases, those offered by your campus.   

Will I receive academic units for participating in a remote UCDC program?

Yes, all students earn academic units for their internship and UCDC seminar. Students that choose – and some are required – to take an additional elective will be able to receive units for those courses as well.

What can I anticipate from the seminars/courses being offered?

You can find preliminary information about seminars and electives online. You will find course titles and  descriptions, faculty bios, and syllabus outlines. The schedule of classes will be forthcoming. Our faculty are working to adapt their in-person courses to online courses.

All seminars include individual research and writing assignments as their primary requirements. Other assignments depend on the subject matter and instructor – and adaptation to virtual instruction – but in the past have included quizzes, presentations, infographics, video projects, group discussions, and more. Electives may include midterm and final exams.

What courses will be offered?

You can find preliminary information about Fall 2020 seminars and electives on the Academics section of our website. You will find course titles and descriptions, faculty bios, and syllabus outlines. Information about Winter 2021 and Spring 2021 courses will be available later in the year, about October and January, respectively.

Who are the instructors and what will they bring to the classroom experience?

Our instructors are experts in policy, government and media who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to UCDC courses. Currently, they are all imaginative and experienced teachers. They are working on transforming their in-person courses into online courses for the Fall Term. You can read their bios attached to the different courses.

What time will the classes be?

You can find the tentative schedule of classes on our website. The classes and times are subject to change depending on final enrollment.

All fall classes will include a live (synchronous) component but will also have a recorded or other non-live (asynchronous) component. We know that there is a need for face-to-face instruction but also flexibility for student schedules, technology challenges, Zoom fatigue, and more.

What platforms will be used for instruction? Communication with peers?

Instructors are likely to use some combination of Canvas, Zoom, Slack, and email for conducting class and communicating with students.

How do I enroll for classes?

First, you MUST commit to the program by July 31 to be eligible to enroll in classes. Instructions for committing have been sent so if you have not received them, please contact your campus coordinator.

Then, you will enroll in two separate ways. One, you must be enrolled on your home campus. Different campuses have different course numbers for UCDC seminars and internships. Your UCDC Campus Coordinator will provide you with instructions on how to enroll on your home campus by late-August.

In addition to being enrolled on campus, you will be required to enroll in courses through UCDC’s enrollment system.  Enrollment instructions will be emailed to students on Thursday, July 30.

Enrollment for Fall 2020 begins on Wednesday, August 5.

What date will instruction begin?

Fall 2020 Semester instruction will begin the week of August 24, 2020. Quarter instruction will begin the week of September 21, 2020.

Dates for Winter 2021 and Spring 2021 will be forthcoming.

When can students expect updates about the academic program?

We will provide you updates on a rolling basis, as soon as we have specific information about a topic. 

Can students be enrolled part-time in UCDC for internship credits only?

NO! All students must enroll in a UCDC seminar for 4 credit hours as well.

For further questions regarding UCDC academics, please contact Sabrin Said, Administrator of Academic Service, at Sabrin.said@ucdc.edu

Questions on Remote Internships

What kind of work will I do as a remote intern?

Remote assignments mirror those given out in person. Projects vary from one organization to another and could include research, analysis, news monitoring, social media management, or logistical support. Employers are encouraged to assign projects that relate to the overall goal of the organization and short-term projects helping with the day-to-day work of the office. 

Where can I find a list of organizations that are offering remote internships?

We’ve been distributing a newsletter to fall students each Wednesday since May with internship leads and will continue to update you through September. Winter and spring students will receive similar updates in the future. Remote internships can also be identified in our database by clicking on the COVID-19 banner. The list will grow as internship sites firm up fall plans.

What are the dates for the remote internships at UCDC?

Fall Semester students are expected to intern from  August 25 to December 4, 2020.

Fall Quarter students are expected to intern from September 22 to December 4, 2020.

Extended Quarter students can begin their internship on August 25 or September 9. (Please consult with your Program Administrator if you are considering these dates.)

Future terms:

Spring Semester internships are from January 5 to April 16, 2021

Winter Quarter internships are from January 5 to March 12, 2021

Spring Quarter internships are from March 22 to June 4, 2021

Quarter students are welcome to enroll in semester length internships if they choose. Talk to your program administrator for details.

How many hours per week are students expected to work?

Students intern 24-32 hours of work per week. Schedules are determined by agreement between the internship supervisor and the student. Additional hours are permitted if both parties agree.

Will remote internships be compensated?

Some positions include compensation, though a majority are unpaid.  You should inquire about pay when you apply or interview with organizations. We encourage internship sites to offer compensation when possible. There are no restrictions on UCDC students receiving compensation while also receiving academic credit. 

Will a remote internship increase my chance of securing other internships or employment after the closures are lifted?

The ability to connect with employers in a remote professional setting is a great asset. Since March, thousands of organizations in the DC area have sent employees home and shifted to remote operations.  Your creativity, collaboration, empathy, desire to learn, and your flexibility during such an extraordinary time are qualities that future employers will value.  The connections you make and the experiences you will be able to share will make you a stronger candidate for future opportunities. 

Can I participate in an internship hosted by an organization that is not located in Washington, DC?

The organization must have its headquarters or a substantial presence in the DC area. UCDC has a large network and continues to develop new possibilities.  If you have questions, talk to your program administrator. 

What if the stay at home order is lifted in Washington, DC, and the office reopens?

We have instructed internship sites that they may not change the terms of their internships once a student commits. 

For further information about internships, contact your program administrator.

Alfreda Brock Alfreda.brock@ucdc.edu: Berkeley, UCLA, Santa Cruz

Mike Nieto Michael.nieto@ucdc.edu: Davis, Irvine, Riverside

Chantal Quintero Chantal.quintero@ucdc.edu: San Diego, Santa Barbara, Merced

Sangmeet Kaur Sangmeet.kaur@ucdc.edu: questions about the internship database.

Questions on other Remote Programming

What other programming is planned?

UCDC is more than internships and classes. We are working with alumni to pair interested students with mentors in fields of interest and developing professional development workshops on topics such as how to turn your internship into a job. We are putting together a speaker series, to give students a chance to ask questions of policymakers, journalists, and lawmakers.

Will I have a chance to “meet’’ other participants?

Yes. We are working on ways to bring students together in remote groups to share their experiences. Discussions on the 2020 election, a book group, movie nights, are all ideas we are exploring.

Can I network when I am remote?

Absolutely. The stay-at-home orders have forced much of the world to work from home, and everyone – from students taking classes to lawmakers who hardly know how to text – are finding ways to connect remotely. We will create opportunities for you to interact with professionals, colleagues, and classmates.