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Capitol Scholars

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Mike Crespin and capitol scholars

Capitol Scholars: A Service-Learning Course

P SC 4033-001

The Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center offers the Capitol Scholars Program, a public service-learning opportunity for the spring semester. Approximately 15 OU undergraduate students are placed in politics- and/or policy-related internships in and around the Oklahoma Legislature. The program provides a unique learning opportunity for undergraduate students who experience first-hand the process of public policymaking in the state of Oklahoma. The internship experience is enriched through weekly seminars and briefings with state leaders.

Capitol Scholars are placed in assignments with the Legislature, state agencies, interest groups or the media, and are expected to work about 16 hours a week. Capitol Scholars develop professional experience and skills, gain insights into the Oklahoma legislative process and policy issues, and obtain intimate knowledge of the legislative session and state government.

The Center also partners with the University of Kansas in an exchange program where students from each university alternate yearly visits to each other's state. The students visit the capitol and meet with elected officials and other participants in the political system. This allows scholars to expand their experience, and also compare and contrast the political system in a neighboring state.

Internship

Students are placed with individuals, institutions and organizations that run the policy-making process for the State of Oklahoma. Each student is required to work 16 hours per week. The internship assignments are in such places as:

  • Oklahoma House
  • Oklahoma Senate
  • Legislative liaison offices of state agencies
  • Interest groups and associations
  • Media outlets
The class meets on Friday afternoon for a weekly seminar, and includes guest speakers such as elected officials, congressional staffers and others involved in the legislative process.

Application and Enrollment

Interested students must apply for the program, and applications open in fall.

Students accepted for the program must enroll in P SC 4033-001, Capitol Scholars. Enrollment in P SC 3910-002, Government Internship with Prof. Crespin, is optional.