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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University

Shepherd Program for the Study of Poverty and Human Capability

Program Offerings

Academic Division: College

Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Arts

Academic Programs: Minor

Course Offerings:

Example Career Outcomes

  • Academia
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Public Health

Washington and Lee's Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability integrates rigorous academic coursework with co-curricular service to disadvantaged communities and persons. It supplements and enriches the education of W&L undergraduate and law students in all majors and career paths, and nearly 20 percent of the student body participates in a Shepherd Program course. Rather than focusing on a specific discipline, the Shepherd Program enables students to tailor their studies to their own professional and civic interests. It applies to both domestic and international poverty.

Program Highlights

  • The Shepherd Program offers three interdisciplinary courses, nearly 30 discipline-based courses, and an internship course that support the minor in poverty and human capability. Studies normally begin with Poverty 101, which explores the nature, scope, causes, and possible remedies for poverty from different disciplinary perspectives.
  • The Shepherd Alliance summer internship program offers students who have taken the introductory course an opportunity to apply for an eight-week internship with agencies that seek to diminish poverty. Students intern in fields that correspond to their own professional interests: business, education, healthcare, law, community organizing, among others.
  • Courses with service-learning, the Bonner Leader Program, the Campus Kitchen, and the Nabors Service League provide students with co-curricular experience at community agencies in the Rockbridge area that complement the academic goals of a course of study.
  • Community-Based Research (CBR) provides research and analysis to support community agencies serving disadvantage populations. Projects are advised by faculty and executed by students. CBR partners the campus and community in a commitment to identifying community needs and solutions and honing student skills.