The Blackburn Institute offers multiple unique immersive learning opportunities for new and returning students that provide networking with civic leaders, forging bonds with their peers, and personal development through self-discovery and reflection. New students are required to participate in the Burt Jones Rural Community Experience and the Protective Life Government Experience. Returning students have the option to participate in experiential learning trips to Alabama’s urban centers as well as Washington, DC.

Burt Jones Rural Community Experience

A 3-day/2-night travel experience to small towns and rural communities throughout Alabama. This trip rotates annually, with new students visiting multiple counties in a different region of the state each fall.

Protective Life Government Experience

An overnight drive-in in Montgomery with government officials and policy influencers. New students visit the Alabama’s capitol and explore statewide policy issues prior to the legislature’s annual session.

Urban Travel Experience

An overnight trip that rotates each year to one of Alabama’s metropolitan areas. Piloted in Fall 2022, this travel experience offers returning students and Fellows an opportunity to meet with local leaders in the state’s largest cities. 

DC Government Experience

New for 2023, select returning Blackburn students will participate in a fly-in to our nation’s capitol during Spring Break. Students will engage with elected leaders, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations in Washington, DC.