Political Science 485

POSC 485
Internships in Political Science and Public Administration

Catalog Entry

POSC 485 Internships in Political Science and Public Administration
Credit Hours (3-15).

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing; 2.5 in political science; 2.0 cumulative university GPA; departmental approval. Must be POSC major or minor.

This course will allow students to integrate concepts developed in classroom experiences and relevant readings in the theory of political science and public administration with the practice of these concepts in public and private agencies, organizations, and institutions.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Students will develop an internship proposal in conjunction with the Political Science Department's internship advisor and appropriate faculty members in the area of political science. Students may develop proposals to work in and study the judicial, legislative and executive branches or some public policy area. Proposed projects may include: (1) providing an organization or agency with some type of finished product that the agency has not had the resources to accomplish; (2) working on a political campaign; (3) performing day-by-day activities in an agency's or organization's office; and (4) studying the connections between some type of service project or local issue and national public policy concerns.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course


(1) see the internship advisor to discuss a general idea and its feasibility;
(2) develop a formal proposal in conjunction with the intern advisor and appropriate faculty members;
(3) return proposal to internship advisor;
(4) meet with internship advisor to discuss needed revisions in the product;
(5) attend orientation session on what to expect as an intern;
(6) record initial expectations concerning the project and discuss them with the internship advisor;
(7) do the project;
(8) write exit essay.


(1) Students must have taken the prerequisites for this class;
(2) Students must attend an orientation or internship training session;
(3) Project proposals must include an outline of the work to be done, an essay documenting that the student has sufficient background in the area to benefit from the internship, a list of the readings in the topic area of the project and a plan for integrating the readings with the internship work (journals, response essays, analytical essays);
(4) Interns are required to check in periodically by phone or mail with the internship advisor;
(5) Students must write an exit essay on their experiences.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will:

(1) integrate classroom experiences and important, readings relevant to the proposed project into the world of politics;
(2) develop critical thinking skills;
(3) better understand the pressures facing those who 'practice' politics or public policy;
(4) develop their oral and written communication skills.


Assessment Measures

Assessment measures will include:

(1) evaluations from the organization or agency of the student's attitude, preparation, and work habits;
(2) evaluation of essays and journals integrating the reading with the work experience by the internship advisor;
(3) evaluation of exit essay by internship advisor;

Students participating in an internship must submit a project proposal for department approval. The proposal will list the readings, work to be done for the agency, expected final product and an assessment plan appropriate for the proposed work. The project proposal must be approved by the department chair and the internship advisor before the student may register for the class.


Other Course Information


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

April 1998 Reviewed M.J. Franck, Dept. Chair