Shepherd Consortium

What has become the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) started modestly in 1998 with a joint, eight-week summer internship program administered by Washington and Lee University that included students from Berea and Spelman colleges. Students' interactive experiences in internships and joint conferences, linked to coursework before and after the summer experience, became an invaluable part of their education. From the beginning, W&L sought to prepare undergraduates in all majors and professional students for a lifetime of work and civic participation to reduce the seemingly persistent high level of poverty in the United States.

A program of this kind has been absent from undergraduate education and largely absent from professional education, and it is one that should take its place alongside of other interdisciplinary programs. To this end, Washington and Lee is leading the effort to create a national movement to expand poverty and human capability studies at other colleges and universities through collaboration among member institutions. The Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (SHECP) is comprised of:

  • Baylor University
  • Berea College
  • Centre College
  • Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
  • College of Wooster
  • Elon University
  • Furman University
  • Hendrix College
  • John Carroll University
  • Lynchburg College
  • Marymount University
  • Middlebury College
  • Millsaps College
  • Niagara University
  • Spelman College
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Washington and Lee University

The Consortium's joint activities include the Shepherd Internship Program, a collaborative eight-week summer internship program with student conferences; an annual symposium on teaching poverty in undergraduate and professional education; promising practices meetings for faculty and staff of Consortium schools; a website for networking and disseminating information; a sophisticated assessment administered by the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia in order to improve Consortium schools' policies and practices; and collaboration with the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.