Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP)

Washington and Lee University is a member of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) which unites students from Consortium member institutions with agencies that work to benefit under-resourced members of society. Students learn first-hand about the multiple dimensions of poverty in the United States by volunteering for eight weeks alongside individuals seeking to improve their communities. The agencies, located in various urban and rural sites in the United States, focus on education, healthcare, legal services, housing, hunger, social and economic needs, and community-building efforts. Students intern with agencies that fit their intellectual interests in order to develop their experience and skills for future civic involvement and employment.


Internship dates available on the SHECP website


  • Successfully complete the poverty introductory course or other approved course.     
  • Applicants are current first-years, sophomores, or juniors. Seniors are not eligible.

Application & Placement Process

  • Students will complete the online application and upload the application packet.   
  • Application packets will be evaluated by a committee
  • In cases where more information is needed, applicants will be invited to interview

Program Requirements

SHECP and the Shepherd Program at W&L endeavor to create opportunities that maximize learning opportunities over the summer. The internship is an important piece, but not the only piece of your experience this summer.  At Washington and Lee University, the summer internship is a 3-credit course (POV453) and required for the Minor.

Visit SHECP website for additional information

International Students

International students participate in a Shepherd internship through the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program which allows F-1 visa students to participate in paid or unpaid internship experiences that are directly related to the student's major or must either be for academic credit or a major requirement. All declared students at W&L are eligible for CPT. The Practical Training guide provides an overview of CPT and hot to obtain CPT authorization for both undergraduate and law students.