High School Curriculum

Through our dynamic, curriculum-based experiences, young people learn to be active members in the American political process.

student workshop learning talking Shadow

Every day, students from across the country join us in Washington, DC, to build the skills and dispositions of engaged citizens.

How do we do this?

On Close Up’s high school programs, students use the nation’s capital as a living classroom where they explore iconic sites and discover how the issues and ideals represented in them impact us today. Through facilitated debates and deliberations, students gain a deeper understanding of the current issues facing our country and learn the importance of civil discourse in a democracy.



Highly-Trained Program Instructors

Close Up delivers its world-class experiential Washington, DC curriculum through a staff of highly-trained, college-educated Program Instructors (PIs), each of whom works with a group of approximately 25 students throughout the week. It is in this intimate workshop setting that students work with their peers from across the country. Together, they create a learning community to share their perspectives on issues that matter to them and build connections between the content they learn and actions they can bring back home.

Capitol Hill Day

Students spend an unforgettable day on Capitol Hill, walking the halls of Congress and meeting with members and staff members of their congressional delegations. It’s an incredible opportunity for students to put their new skills to work and question representatives about current policy issues.

Seminars and Onsite Study Visits

As a part of our civics curriculum, students participate in onsite study visits and seminars at foreign embassies, government agencies, or advocacy organizations, giving them a glimpse of real-world policymaking and citizen action. Close Up partners with more than 150 organizations in Washington, DC, to offer these unique perspectives.


Experiential Education
Cooperative Learning
Issue-Centered Education
Intentional Scaffolding and Sequencing