Congress

Learn key skills & attitudes for Congressional Debate/Student Congress/Model Congress

Congressional Debate models the lawmaking process in a democratic society. Our unique workshop exposes students to key skills and attitudes needed in both competitive Congressional Debate/Student Congress, as well as Model Congress.

Our focus is fostering students’ sustained growth and improvement, not just preparing for the next competition. This happens in an innovative, fun, and safe atmosphere that encourages students to reach beyond their potential. Respected and experienced classroom teachers employ layer-in skills methodically to ensure mastery, complemented by reflective learning, and personal goal setting. This is augmented with extensive use of technology, including video capture of practice speeches, as well as individualized attention and personal development. We convey knowledge, build skills, and foster a disposition that emphasizes leadership over mere competitiveness.

Level: All Levels

This program is appropriate for students in any with several years or no experience. Veteran classroom teachers differentiate instruction as needed, based on experience level and understanding of politics and government.

Summer 2019 Sessions:

Session One: Sunday June 30, 2019 through Friday July 12, 2019

Session Two: Sunday July 14, 2019 through Friday July 26, 2019

Tuition:

Commuter: 2,095.00

Resident: 3,195.00

Our alumni have won and placed at national invitational tournaments, won NCFL Nationals, earned the esteemed NSDA/NFL Final Session Leadership Award. More important, our philosophy of emphasizing leadership training has prepared our students to lead their squads, and become successful in college beyond high school speech and debate.

Student Testimonials:

“I loved the intensiveness of it. I was thrilled to find that this wouldn’t be a walk in the park, and that it was intellectually stimulating.”

“It was well worth the money for the opportunity to meet some of the best at congressional debate.”

“I honestly learned more about Congress and related topics in 10 days than I have in months at my school. It is a very entertaining and informative camp and I would definitely come back.”

“I love how the experience was personalized. For example, my main problem in Congress was my lack of extemporaneous speaking, eye contact, and refutation – basically, I was accustomed to reciting mostly prepared speeches. Within a few days, we were doing so many speeches that I was both encouraged and forced to change.”

 

Congress

About Program

Philosophy

We empower students to become critical thinkers, collaborative decision-makers, and ethical leaders while cultivating a unique style to set them apart from other debaters.

Sample Schedule

Morning: Lecture: Congressional Economics
Late Morning: Legislation, Authorships
After Lunch: Questioning and Answering
Mid-Afternoon: Squad Management
Late Afternoon:  Parli. Procedure/Presiding
After Dinner: Prep Time & Speeches

Hear From Our Students

Key Skills

Learning Objectives

Z

Current Events

Synthesize knowledge of current events through drafting compelling legislation
Z

Theory

Explore of theoretical frameworks upon which arguments are based
Z

Argumentation

Construct and deliver dynamic, engaging arguments and refutations
Z

Parlimentary Procedure

Master parliamentary procedure and skill in presiding
Z

Ethics and Leadership

Demonstrate competitive ethics and squad leadership
Our Excellent Faculty

Faculty

Our workshop has a higher ratio of veteran classroom teachers and coaches — with more years of experience — than any other Congress workshop.
Adam J. Jacobi

Adam J. Jacobi

Curriculum Coordinator

For 20 years, Mr. Jacobi has worked in the fields of communication and theatre education, as well as public relations, government affairs and politics. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association, which sponsors programming in middle and high school speech, debate, and theatre. In 2018, Jacobi was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), where he previously was Programs & Education Coordinator. There, he coordinated development of an international public speaking and debating curriculum, which he helped implement in the People’s Republic of China, where he taught for a semester. He coached forensics and taught Public Speaking at Ripon College, and consults for the Harvard Debate Council. An author of several books, articles and guides, Mr. Jacobi has also led several professional development sessions, as well as academic presentations on the benefits of speech, debate, and theatre education.

High School/College Debate Experience: Participated in speech, debate, and Model UN in high school; moot court in college.

Other Relevant Experience:  Coached/taught Public Forum Debate and Speech in China (2013-14), Coached Congress at Cypress Creek HS, TX (2014-15); Coached Speech and Parliamentary Debate at Ripon College, WI (2008-2011; 2015-16); Coached all events at Rufus King HS, WI (1997-2008).  Three Diamond Coach, National Speech & Debate Association; Wisconsin Forensics Coach of the Year (2006); Coached 3 NSDA National Champions (Congressional Debate and Extemporaneous Commentary), Harvard Congressional Debate Tournament Champion, National Catholic Forensic League Policy Debate Champion team, and several other national finalists and qualifiers; only 6-place sweep at a Wisconsin state tournament (Congressional Debate).
Years Previously Taught:  Total years as an educator – 21 (16 years teaching summer workshops)
Victoria Beard

Victoria Beard

Instructor

Ms. Beard has been Director of Forensics at Spring Woods HS, Houston, TX, for 14 years, and has taught there for 37. In 2019, she coached the NSDA National Champion in Congressional Debate – House. She also has coached state champions (Texas Forensic Association and University Interscholastic League), and her students have been finalists at prestigious tournaments, including NSDA, Harvard, and the Tournament of Champions. Ms. Beard has a Bachelor’s in Speech and Theatre and a Master’s in Theatre. She was selected as Educator of the Year for the Texas Speech and Communication Association (2013) and teaches courses annually at the TSCA conference. She was also selected as Spring Woods’ Teacher of The Year (2013) and as Spring Branch ISD Teacher of the Year finalist (2013).  This is her 12th year as the UIL Academic Coordinator for Spring Woods High School and she serves on the NSDA Committee for the Space City Chapter.
Years Previously Taught at other workshops: For the past 9 years, organized and taught a speech and debate summer camp for  Spring Branch ISD high schools in Houston.

High School/College Debate Experience: competed 2 years in high school; 4 years in college

Joshua Wurzman

Joshua Wurzman

Instructor

Mr. Wurzman has been an educator and speech and debate coach for 12 years, including at Success Academy HS in New York, NY; Southlake Carroll HS (TX); Spring HS (TX); and KUGNUS ACTS. He holds a Master’s in Education Policy from Columbia University Teachers College, and a BS in Government and Political Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught AP Government and AP Economics.

High School/College Debate Experience:
Plano Senior-Finalist Extemp (TFA/UIL), RD 14 NFL PFD 2005
Indiana University
Other Relevant Info: Earned NSDA Diamond (2017).

Register for 2020

Applications open October 1st, 2019 and are due by January 31st, 2020.