Off-Campus Studies Mission Statement

Off-Campus Studies at Whitman College aims to develop in our students intercultural skills and global understanding for a lifetime of leadership.  We endeavor to achieve this goal by:

  • Providing off-campus study opportunities worldwide that offer high-quality academic content, instruction and evaluation.
  • Expanding learning opportunities for students and integrating the learning off-campus into their academic program to the fullest extent possible.
  • Promoting programs that increase a student’s foreign language and intercultural fluency.
  • Offering programs that foster an ability to question assumptions and think critically in the context of other worldviews.
  • Ensuring that programs are well integrated into the host community and encourage immersion of the student into the host culture. 
  • Developing the means by which returning students can actively contribute to international awareness and programming on campus, as well as in the Walla Walla community.

Off-Campus Studies can help Rhetoric students…

  • Gain awareness of the major discipline from a different scholarly tradition
  • Develop primary research skills from field studies or work with primary sources
  • Develop a global perspective
  • Explore a rhetorical case study in-depth and on location
  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the Rhetoric Studies department?

  • Direct enrollment in a foreign university with host-country students
  • Field study program with opportunities to engage in research with the local community
  • Program that offers an opportunity for independent study research
  • Program that offers an opportunity for an internship or service learning embedded in an academic course as part of the program

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in Rhetoric Studies prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • Mainly through field experience in the subject of a student’s rhetorical interests

Which requirements can Rhetoric Studies majors fulfill while off campus?

  • Elective major credit
  • Research that can be used for Senior Thesis, if IRB approved

Planning Tips

As a general rule of thumb, the Rhetoric Studies Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off campus.

  • In their first and second year at Whitman and prior to Off-Campus Studies, students who believe they may wish to major in Rhetoric should enroll in at least one rhetoric course often the RHET 230 Introduction to Rhetoric and Public Culture.
  • We ideally would like for students to study abroad in the FALL of their third year so that they can take RHET 387 Rhetorical Criticism. in residence at Whitman in the spring of their third year.

Credit Limitations

The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the Rhetoric Studies major from off campus studies (including credits from other U.S. institutions) is 8 credits with the approval of your major adviser.

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the Rhetoric Studies department?

The Rhetoric department encourages students to attend OCS programs that deal with the following kinds of issues:

  • Politics
  • Social Activism
  • Legal Issues
  • Rhetoric/Argument/Communication Studies
  • Public Policy Programs
  • Issues of Poverty
  • Environment
  • Health

In particular, the department suggests that students consider attending programs that will enable them to delve into US domestic policy issues, such as the AU Washington Semester Program and The Philadelphia Center, both of which include academic internships.

Advising Support

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.