I am an unabashed geek for gov. I think it is kind of evident. I talk pol all the time; much to my family's chagrin. (See evidence above... I go to National Science Festival in DC with family, and am thrilled to see the Democrobots wrestle each other. I can find gov stuff everywhere.)
So, I am going to share this (cringingly) with my fellow lovers of gubbers out there... because the thought of going back to the university to get my masters is super exciting but super expensive.
Every year, the Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation grants a $24K fellowship to one lucky person from each of the fifty states to go back and get their masters in Poli Sci or a similar program of studies with a couple of strings attached.
Wow. I mean, really. All I have to do is go and geek out after work for two years and I get my Master's? This seems like a dream come true.
I know that you are totally psyched, so I will get out of the way here and let you move on over to the website and get your gov on. Good luck, gubbers!
Here in VA, we have been getting mad press about the MOOCs offered at THE University. (of Virginia). To date, Larry Sabato of Sabato's Crystal Ball and Peter Onuf have offered one on JFK and TJ, respectively.
While your home state may or may not count these towards continuing education, they are great free ways to increase your scholastic aptitude for all things gov. And why not?
After all, so many of us already have or will in the very near future experience online courses... and the idea of experiencing master professors in the prime of their craft for free is beautiful.
So, flip over to Coursera and flag a course you are interested in so that when it is available, you can sign up. You and 80,000 of your closest friends.
Full disclosure: I have not attended the Summer Conference, but I have attended one-day workshops in the past.
I truly enjoyed getting to mingle with folks like Susan Swain, Steven Scully, and Brian Lamb on the grounds of C-Span's DC studios. The folks there do a phenomenal job of showing educators what kinds of great on-line (and often teacher created) education materials there are, like the Supreme Court timeline, the Constitutional Clips, and the Timely Teachable Videos that are periodically pieced together with great guiding questions. I have used these videos to teach about the Shutdown earlier this year, as well as the Occupy Wallstreet movement of 2012. There is also plenty of time to learn about the StudentCam competition.
(And the thrill of my life was dining at the Press Club downtown.)
Wow, that is a lot for just one day. I know that their summer conferences are well worth it, and who knows!?! Maybe with a little hard work, an application, and some luck you may be a Teacher Fellow who comes and lives in DC for the summer to try your hand at working at the C-Span HQ!
I just did a write up on my awesome experience out at Montpelier early this April; and it should be emphasized that there are good things going on at Montpelier all the time.
When you attend a seminar on their grounds, you are getting a great deal. Widely recognized scholars, detailed readings and analysis, and stimulating discussion. The accommodations are fantastic (I personally loved running on the grounds of a thorough breed race horse rescue farm in the mornings, too...), and the cost is very low. ($50 to the educator due to generous donations).
If you are in the area and so inclined, consider spending the weekend at the Center. Applications for seminars and other information is found here, as well as links to on-line seminars and other activities like ConText. Such good stuff.
I have attended multiple Bill of Rights Institute seminars, and have always been really happy with my time spent.
I frequent the seminars they have out occasionally in Delaplane, Virginia... but they have workshops that are free (paid for by generous donations) to educators, and you leave with great resources.
I personally have two full DBQ books covering the American Presidency and Federalism.
There are lots of opportunities all over the country, so check back with them frequently to see what is available to you!
Here is what they have through the fall of 2014:
June 3-4, 2014 – Federalism and the Constitution
September 16, 2014 – Documents of Freedom: A Tradition of Rights
Kansas City, KS
September 23, 2014 – Being an American: Teaching the Founding Documents
October 21, 2014 - Documents of Freedom: A Tradition of Rights
October 23, 2014 – Documents of Freedom: A Tradition of Rights
October 28, 2014 – Presidents and the Constitution: The President and Federal Power
New York, NY