Published on July 12, 2013 by Dr. Kristie Chandler  

The Human Development and Family Life Education Department offered an online course during the Summer I period that included a trip to Washington D.C.,during the week of June 23-30. The course, Family Law and Public Policy, focused on how law and policy impact families.

Dr. Kristie Chandler, department chair and course instructor, said the trip provided context and a historical element to the class.

“Although the students can learn in a traditional classroom setting, I believe the D.C. experience really helped the course material come alive,” Chandler said. “Being there provided that extra element of knowledge, experience and interest.”

Highlights of the trip included meeting with the communications director for the Baptist Joint Committee, who is a Samford graduate, touring the new National Public Radio (NPR) studio and meeting with a representative from the Family Research Council.

Laura Price, a senior family studies major, said the trip showed her how vital family policy is to everyday lives.

“Being an advocate for families is one of our goals as family studies majors, and this class definitely demonstrated another aspect of advocacy,” she said.

The group met with representatives from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, U.S. Department of Education, Domestic Violence Commission of the American Bar Association, Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Heritage Foundation.

They also had the opportunity to meet with Congressman Spencer Bachus, followed by a private tour of the Capitol. Other tours included: National Portrait Gallery, American History Museum, Library of Congress, National Archives, Holocaust Museum, Jefferson, World War II, Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., Vietnam, Korean, Lincoln and Iwo Jima Memorials.

Samford’s Human Development and Family Life Education 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 66th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 104th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,683 students from 47 states and 19 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.