Univ. Students Get ‘Once in a Lifetime’ Trip to Inauguration

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BALDWIN, Kan. -- Winter break is usually a time when college students go home and relax or pick-up a part-time job to make some extra cash.

But, Baker University offers a unique opportunity for those who want to pick-up some extra credit hours -- called inter-term courses.

For a handful of students, they chose a tour of our nation's capital, which includes tickets to the Presidential inauguration.

"I'm really excited I got the opportunity to go", said Baker student Megan Pontius, of Overland Park, Kan.

Andrew Leiker, of Lenexa, Kan., is ready, too.

"I really just to get a chance to learn about our nation's capitol," he said.

Andrew and Megan are two of six Baker University students in Washington, D.C. for the next two weeks.

Their trip culminates with President Barack Obama's inauguration -- something Pontius is excited for.

"I really want the once in a lifetime opportunity to go see the inauguration to go see a part of history," he said. "I turned 18 this year, so it was first election I voted for, and I get to see the results of this election in person."

That's one of many reasons Professor Lee Green has taken students to D.C. for the last six inaugurations.

Beyond the pomp and circumstance surrounding President Obama's second swearing in, there will be two solid weeks of taking in the sights.

Green said it's a fun trip, but educational, too.

"I didn't want us to just be tourists, but for the students to really learn about the founding of the city, the history of the city, history of all the institutions and monuments, memorials and museums in the city," he said.

The university offers these types of opportunities each winter session. And it's something Green enjoys most about his job.

"It does give kids a chance to engage in experiential learning in a way that may not be possible in regular semester courses," he said.

Each student will get three hours of college credit. The students come home the day after the inauguration.

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