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The success of our democracy rests on the individual actions of millions of citizen advocates who both trust and verify that our democratic institutions function. But to participate effectively, we all have to know how the system works and how to engage with members of Congress.

Noted political science professor, Dr. Welling Hall, developed a curriculum designed as part of a course tied to FCNL’s Spring Lobby Weekend. Every year, 500 college students and other young adults gather in Washington, D.C., to learn about a policy issue, practice telling their story, and then engaging their members of Congress.

We encourage you to download the guide and experiment with the lesson plans, either as a full course or as part of a broader course on American politics.

A Guide to Congress for College Student Advocates

A Guide to Congress for College Student Advocates by Welling Hall

This set of eight lesson plans and two assessment activities provides hands-on tools for faculty and administrators who would like to expand student opportunities as they think about their careers.

The curriculum features research from the Congressional Management Foundation and the Friends Committee on National Legislation about how effective citizen advocacy undergirds the integrated learning experience.

College administrators who are tasked with assessment and accreditation responsibilities will appreciate knowing that this curriculum has built-in benchmarks established by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. Faculty who are designing a new course can use this information to locate the course on a curricular map for assessment and accreditation purposes.


Dr. Welling Hall

Dr. Welling Hall

FCNL is grateful to Welling Hall for allowing FCNL to share this material widely with other professors, administrators, and students who are working to strengthen our democracy. As a political scientist, Dr. Hall has 30 years’ experience researching and teaching in the areas of international public law and organization, civic engagement, social justice, and peacebuilding. Her Ph.D. in political science is from the Ohio State University and her B.A. is from Oberlin College in ancient Greek and history.

She wrote this curriculum while serving as an FCNL Friend In Washington in 2018.