Davis and Elkins College is hosting its second annual Democracy Focused Symposium.
It focuses on a vital American concept, democracy.
D&E ask students to think critically and creatively outside the traditional classroom model. Freshman students perusing a four year degree participate in a symposium focusing on a variety of courses.
"For our freshmen students they participate in the same experience. The topic is democracy. This is our second year for what we are calling our winter symposium, and it's a three week course," said Amy Jones, academic support coordinator.
The first week is designed to mirror an academic conference. The second week students participate in a simulated legislative session.
"They're divided into a senate and a house. They're assigned in districts and committees. They're asked to draft and debate legislation which will take place on Friday," Jones said.
The final week involves putting the pieces together by examining how this experience might influence them to participate civically or politically in the future.
"It's been really beneficial, not as critical or the political process because it's very difficult there's a lot of compromises," said Alyssa Richmond, freshman student from Colorado.
"You learn a lot of the legislative process. You get to see other people's views, you get to debate. You really have to do some critical thinking, do your homework. Find out what your party stands for," said Brandon Sellers freshman student from Georgia.
D&E hopes that its own initiative will provide valuable information in its commitment to civic learning and engagement.
"If they just exercise they're right to vote or become responsible citizens in smaller community functions or a social issue they might care about poverty, homelessness, anything to get students engaged and to participate," Jones said.