The TFAS Journey: TFAS is not one summer, semester, seminar or fellowship – it’s a journey. Click through below to see how the TFAS journey helps cultivate future leaders from high school, all the way through to their university studies and professional careers.
High School Student Programs
High School Years: It’s never too early to start learning responsible citizenship and the economic way of thinking! The Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) programs give promising high school students the skills to be more effective leaders and teach them how to employ economic analysis when considering difficult public policy choices. Students learn through engaging games and simulations that explain economic concepts in exciting and relatable ways.
"I was surprised by how practical and applicable economics is to everyday life. The teachers were so wonderful; they made economics fun." – FTE High School Program Participant
High School Teacher Programs
High School Years: By also hosting programs for high school teachers, FTE programs expand their impact exponentially! Today, there are more than 15,000 high school teachers in American classrooms who have participated in FTE economic education training programs. Each year, these FTE-trained teachers educate an estimated 200,000 students. Programs are taught by mentor teachers and university professors who run hands-on games and simulations with real students so teachers can observe students’ interactions.
"As a new teacher of economics, this program was the perfect jump-start into the basics of the topic, its real-world applications and, most importantly, its relevance to student's lives, by teaching them how to think critically about the world around them." – Johnny Kent, FTE Teacher Program Participant
Undergraduate Collegiate Programs
College Years: As students leave their parents’ homes and begin to develop their own ideas and opinions on the world, TFAS offers 10 programs for undergraduate students – all designed to teach America’s founding principles and free-market economics, foster critical thinking and instill responsible leadership.
Undergraduate US Programs
College Years: Every year, more than 400 outstanding student leaders from across the country and around the globe descend on D.C. to "LIVE. LEARN. INTERN." in our U.S. Summer and Semester Programs for undergraduate students. Programs include placement at an internship, exclusive lectures and site briefings, a mentorship program and professional development series, as well as upper-level courses in economics, ethics and constitutional government taught by TFAS’s award-winning faculty and accredited through TFAS academic partner, George Mason University. Through this comprehensive program, students forge life-long friendships, learn the economic way of thinking and develop the skills to serve as responsible and effective leaders.
"The economics course has been the single best class that I have ever taken. It has developed my confidence in critical thinking more than any experience in my life. It’s everything that I've wanted in an education – an open marketplace for my assumptions and ideas to be constantly challenged." - Jack Willett, TFAS Alumnus
Capitol Hill Lecture Series
College Years: Even students who do not attend our summer, semester or year-long programs have the opportunity to gain TFAS lessons through our Capitol Hill Lecture Series on "Free Markets, Individual Liberty and Civil Society." This one-of-a-kind series is open to all interns – not just TFAS students – and attracts more than 1,000 interns each year, putting young people face-to-face with prominent leaders advancing the cause of freedom. The series is held in partnership with the office of Sen. Rand Paul and is made possible through the generous support of the Einhorn Family Foundation.
"The TFAS Capitol Hill Lecture Series with Sen. Rand Paul inspired me to do what these people do. The speakers are really at the top of their field fighting for these values and the free market ... It’s inspiring to see the people who are paving the way for us to be the next generation of leaders, and it’s great to hear from them on how we can contribute to the cause." - Austin Sheehy, TFAS Alumnus
Undergraduate International Programs
College Years: From all corners of the world, promising young leaders come to TFAS International Programs to study the ideas of individual liberty and free-market economics, and gain the leadership and conflict management skills to fight for freedom in their home countries. Each year, TFAS welcomes more than 200 students to these programs in Santiago, Chile; Hong Kong; and Prague, Czech Republic. Through courses, lectures, site visits and peer-led cultural presentation nights, these bright, eager-minded students navigate the principles and practice of freedom around the globe.
"TFAS was a learning experience for me through the theories of Locke, Hume, Tocqueville, the American Constitution, Austrian model of economics and public choice economics … The extent to which my knowledge increased in these three weeks surpasses all the things that I have learned in my entire life." – Kranti Pageni, TFAS Alumna
Graduate & Professionals
Graduate and Professional Development Programs
As young people enter the workforce or pursue graduate degrees, TFAS is there to ensure that opportunities for critical thinking and a platform for discussing and advancing the principles of a free society do not fade away.
Legal Studies Program
Law School: The TFAS Legal Studies Institute (LSI) on the Constitution, Economics and Public Policy gives law students firsthand exposure to the American legal system through legal internships, while immersing them in discussions on constitutional originalism and the economic foundations of legal studies. Through courses – with credit provided through the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University – an exclusive lecture series and a mentorship program, students gain a better understanding of the importance of limited government and free enterprise in shaping today’s law and policy.
Public Policy Fellowships
Young Professionals: Rising public policy leaders are selected to participate in TFAS's year-long Public Policy Fellows (PPF) networking and professional development program. Led by TFAS faculty, the PPF program engages these young leaders in discussions on the fundamental principles behind policy decisions, as well as the challenges and responsibilities of leadership.
"It's nice to take a step back and have a larger conversation and understanding of how issues are going to impact the greater good of society as a whole. When I go back to work after the retreat, I will be bringing this fresh, free-market, moral vision to the table and be able to re-energize myself on why I do what I do." - Danielle Hamel, 2017 TFAS Public Policy Fellow
Journalists: The TFAS Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program is nurturing a new generation of serious and enterprising journalists. Through part-time and full-time fellowships, this prestigious, year-long program allows writers early in their careers to pursue projects supportive of the principles of a free society – something they otherwise would be unable to research and report. The Novak Program has awarded more than 140 fellowships and nurtured the careers of groundbreaking reporters, editors, editorial page writers, columnists and authors, including Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard and Fox News, Katherine Mangu-Ward of Reason magazine, Mollie Hemingway of Fox News and The Federalist and Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner.
"I can't imagine how different my career would be without the Novak Fellowship. It enabled me to take a year of in-depth study and become knowledgeable on my beat. It helped me get placed in national publications and put me in contact with other fellows who answered my questions and helped me learn the ropes." - Mollie Hemingway, TFAS Alumna
European Journalism Institute (EJI)
Journalists: Overseas, the TFAS European Journalism Institute (EJI) brings together journalists from North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for an immersive educational experience discussing political and economic issues around the world, and the responsibilities of journalists in covering these topics.
"EJI taught me that journalism and the media have an increasingly major role to play to sustain democracies and freedoms around the world." - Ramee Deeb, TFAS Alumnus
Continuing Education for TFAS Alumni
The Journey Continues: The TFAS journey doesn't end upon completion of a program. TFAS continues to engage and cultivate its combined network of 42,000 alumni through weekend seminars, networking events and careers services designed to help our alumni get into positions of leadership where they can truly make a difference by upholding the values essential to the preservation and success of a free society.
"When you're a TFAS alum, the learning never stops … TFAS wants you to stay involved in a way that will benefit you.”– Jameson O’Connor, TFAS Alumnus
Curriculum of Liberty Seminars
The Journey Continues: What sort of communities must Americans build to allow generosity to flourish? What role does the marketplace of ideas play in the search for truth and the preservation of liberty? These are the type of questions examined by TFAS alumni leaders during our Curriculum of Liberty Seminars. Held in partnership with the Liberty Fund, Inc., these conferences implement a Socratic-style discussion model based on a set of issues and encourage participants to apply the lessons of Locke, Smith, Hayek and Bastiat back to their professional and everyday lives.
"Every time I have participated in a TFAS program, I have come away refreshed and reinvigorated as a person and with a renewed hope in our society’s ability to engage in a civil dialogue." - Nate Carden, TFAS Alumnus
Alumni Career Services
The Journey Continues: Through a career placement program and the TFAS connect online portal, TFAS provides career services, networking, mentorship and counseling to alumni, helping them achieve positions of influence where they can make a difference in advancing freedom and free-market initiatives.
"It's no exaggeration to say I'm doing what I'm doing now directly because of the opportunities presented to me by The Fund for American Studies." - Stephen F. Hayes, TFAS Alumnus and Editor-in-Chief of The Weekly Standard
Alumni Network Engagement
The Journey Continues: The TFAS Alumni Network truly spans the globe with alumni representing six continents and more than 140 countries. Through staff engagement and regional alumni chapters, TFAS alumni have opportunities for social, educational and network engagement no matter where they live or travel. In 2017 alone, TFAS hosted alumni events in more than 30 cities worldwide, bringing together more than one thousand alumni in face-to-face interactions. In addition, the alumni awards program recognizes individuals and chapters for their dedication and service to TFAS and the ideals of freedom. In cities where TFAS programs operate, alumni connect with current students and contribute their time and expertise as guest speakers, mentors and internship site hosts.
"It's amazing how it changed all our lives for the better and allowed us to be better people and citizens ... The feat TFAS accomplishes with every program is awe inspiring – bringing young students from all over the world together to explore the ideas of liberty, become better professionals and connect with one another makes me proud to be a TFAS Alumnus.” – Maria Wer, TFAS Alumna