By Kate McGuire
Every year, Baylor’s dept of political science offers the Washington, D.C. Internship program to 10-15 students. Students are selected to work with representatives and committees in Congress, departments in the executive branch and other associations.
These students will work during the summer in Washington to fulfill their required duties for the internship and the program, including attending the two-day Poage-Mayborn Washington Seminar, keeping a journal of everyday experiences, and submitting a recap paper at the end.
Students who join the program receive three credit hours for its completion.
Students in the program may serve in a variety of places, such as Capitol Hill, the White House, Supreme Court, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and lobbying firms.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to get engaged, especially civic engagement,” said internal vice president Brian Kim. “We have been advocating for this in student senate and it is one of major initiatives by the student body officers.”
Dr. James Curry, the undergraduate director of the political science department, Bob Bullock, professor of public policy & administration and director of the Washington D.C. internship program, said he found students who participate in the summer internship tend to stay in Washington and work.
“Because so many of our graduates have gone to D.C. for their careers, we enjoy a phenomenal number of alumni supporters of the program. These graduates have chosen to give back to the university and to its current students,” Curry wrote in an email to the Lariat. “The alumni are very helpful to prospective interns by assisting with internship placements and mentoring.”
These alumni work with current students to provide connection, communication and education, helping students to create mentor bonds with the alumni.
“Working with Dr Curry, who wants to get students involved in different internships, helps students work with our alumni all over the country,” Kim said.
This fits into Baylor’s new 10-year vision – Pro Futuris, which began in 2012 — of global expansion and education coming through alumni beyond the classroom, which is discussed in the first pillar of the vision.
In addition the program expands opportunities for “students to engage with community, state, national, and international leaders,” another objective listed in the first pillar.
Dr. Kevin Jackson, vice president for Student Life, said programs like the D.C. Internship Program are helping to further that vision.
“Whenever we can get our students with legislators and educators, it causes a win -win situation. Students receive interaction with these people and Baylor gets recognition. This expands our presence in D.C., around America and around the world,” Jackson said.
Jackson said he believes the D.C. program offers the potential of international expansion of the influence of Baylor by taking students out of the classroom and engaging them in an environment where they can network with international leaders and their D.C. mentors.
“Judge Ken Starr is very supportive of these programs to advance Baylor’s influence in the world,” Jackson said. “Pro Futuris has charged each department. These are the early stages for the departments to begin this vision.”
The program is available primarily to those who major in the political science department, because students receive credit for political science classes, Curry said.
Students must pay tuition, living, transportation and miscellaneous costs. The tuition is between $5,350 and $5,900, while housing and transportation must be found and provided by the student.
Information and support on attaining these necessities will be provided by Curry.
Scholarships for tuition may be available through the Mayborn Foundation.
For more information, visit http://www.baylor.edu/political_science