Policy and Politics Institute

Come learn how to use the power that is already yours, and help shape the laws and the policies that govern you, your community,  state and nation!

The Policy and Politics Institute offered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina is a week-long opportunity where students will learn about the democratic republic, their constitutional rights, and the powers that shape current laws. Students will learn about the efficacy of actually being empowered, which comes from the experience of doing politics effectively with others. Students will practice the art of thinking clearly, speaking persuasively, acting ethically, and working in collaboration with others. 

At a Glance


Dates: July 14-19, 2019 and July 21-26, 2019

Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors in high school and incoming college freshmen

Program Length: 1-week sessions

Program Tuition: $2,350

Location: Winston-Salem, NC – Wake Forest University Reynolda Campus

Residential or Non Residential: Residential

*Courses carry no secondary school or college credit. Upon completion of the program, an official Wake Forest University certificate of achievement will be awarded to all Policy and Politics Institute participants.

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What You’ll Experience

Topics Covered

  • Central Ideas of a Democratic Society – Liberty, Equality, Justice and Diversity
  • Citizenship Rights and Human Rights
  • U.S. Constitution
  • Political Parties and Ideologies
  • Political Messaging and the Media
  • Public Policy

Hands-On Experience:

  • Forsyth County School System – school visit
  • Speak with leaders of education, immigration and other nonprofit organizations
  • Federal District Court House tour
  • Meetings with state legislators
  • Visit county and city government offices
  • Hear from prominent Wake Forest Alumni working in the fields of law and government

*Hands-on experiences are subject to change.

Policy and Politics Institute Costs:

Reynolda Campus (Residential Program) | $2,350

A Day in the Life

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am – Arrive and breakfast
  • 9:00 – 9:30 am – Welcome and program introduction
  • 9:30 – 10:30 am – Guest speaker: Federal district court judge
  • 10:30 – 11:30 am – Visit United States Federal Courthouse
  • 11:30 – 12:30 pm – Lunch
  • 12:30 – 2:00 pm – Panel discussion: WFU alumni working in law and government
  • 2:00 – 3:30 pm – Workshop: What is democracy?
  • 3:30 – 4:30 pm – Group presentations
  • 4:30 – 5:00 pm – Debrief for next day
  • 5:00 – 6:00 pm – Dinner
  • 6:00 – 7:30 pm – Evening activities
  • 7:30 – 9:00 pm – Free time
  • 9:00  – 10:00 pm – Prepare for bed
  • 10:00 pm – Lights out

*This “A Day in the Life” sample schedule is subject to change. 

Dr. Michael Callaghan Pisapia

Academic Leader, Policy and Politics Institute

Michael Callaghan Pisapia graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in Political and Social Thought and the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a Ph.D. in political science. A professor at Wake Forest University, Michael teaches courses on American democracy and political philosophy. He is a recipient of the American Political Science Association’s William Anderson Award and the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for scholarship on women and politics, and he is completing a book manuscript titled, Educating the Nation: Women’s Empowerment and the Shape of American Federalism. Michael loves teaching, playing music, community engagement, and above all, good faith conversations across the political aisle. He lives in Winston-Salem with his wife Page and their five children, Sophia (12), Darian (10), Amalia (8), Elliot (4), and Crozer (1.5).