The Office of Service-Learning has offered Honors leadership and public service internships for over 17 years. We work in partnership with the Chancellor and UM system offices to place gifted MU students in internships with State Representatives and Senators, as well as state-wide elected offices such as the Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State; the Missouri Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. and community leaders in non-profit organizations across Missouri. Students may serve in their internships either full or part time; full time state government interns earn $2000 scholarships, and Congressional interns earn merit scholarships and need-based funding to support their living expenses in and transportation to Washington, D.C. The Chancellor's Office supports the Congressional scholarships.
SRV_LRN 3028H: Civic Leaders Internship Program has 3 sections:
Section 1: State Government Internships
Section 5: Non-Profit Internships
Section 12: Congressional Internships
The coursework and meetings provide a framework for students to seriously reflect on their internship experiences and to articulate their personal and professional development. Students are encouraged to better understand the role of non-profits and government, and explore the social and political challenges we all face. Each assignment and discussion challenges Honors students to step back and consider their field experiences through multiple lenses. In addition, in the progress reports as well as the Honors assignments, interns research important issues facing the citizens of Missouri and our nation and propose solutions. This research inspires creative policy discussion and community development. Research and reflection empowers students to be better and more effective interns.
Honors Course Assignments:
1. Office and Constituency Profile: Interns research the missions and goals of their internship sites as well as detail their role as interns and the expectations the offices hold for them. They research their constituencies so that they might better understand the citizens they will be serving, as well as the issues that face our state/nation. Finally, students reflect on their learning goals for the internship, and then refer back to this document in subsequent progress reports and personal assessments.
2 Progress reports/Journals: Because each student intern works in a different site with diverse learning experiences, the progress report/journal format allows them to explore and articulate their unique experiences and professional development. Sections in these reports include a summary of their internship activities; a discussion of what they have learned about public service, civic engagement and professional contexts; and substantive research concerning public policy and the constituencies they are serving. Of importance in these reports are the choices they make for research, personal development, and creating effective service contexts. The more they know, the better they will be able to serve their constituents.
3. Internship Self-assessment: In this final report students describe the trajectory of their internships, taking into consideration the learning goals they set for themselves, the research they have performed, and their contributions to their offices. Students reflect on what they have learned about the role and processes of government or how non-profits engage resources to fill voids in community development. Finally, interns reflect on and articulate the skills they have developed or discovered within themselves, and how they may engage in impactful public service in the future.
4. Honors Project: Public Policy or Community Development Papers. For Congressional and state government internships, honors students choose public policy topics that are directly relevant to their offices. They are encouraged to work with Representatives, Senators and Congressional staffers to create their research prospectus, propose policy approaches and outline measurable outcomes. Honor students often submit their policy statement to the offices where they serve, as well as present their ideas to their colleagues in the course. Non-profit interns work in much the same way, working to research and define community challenges that are relevant to their non-profit and to propose direct, community based solutions that will impact the populations that they have served. In each case, Honors students are encouraged to use their skills to empower the lives of others and their creativity to create a vision.
As with our other service-learning and public service programs, CLIP courses are writing intensive and engage critical thinking through dialogue, research and the very nature of the challenging and prestigious offices and organizations where they serve. Honors students are encouraged to share their projects and research with the offices where they intern, and work together in CLIP honors meetings to create solid policy/development programs.
Answer the questions below as they would apply to one section. For all other sections, provide similar information in the Additional Sections Information box below.
As part of the Honors component of these internship courses, Honors students engage in significant research, paired with their field experiences, to create public policy or community development projects that directly contribute to and benefit the government offices or NPO's at which they work. Honors students meet with me to discuss projects and research, report on progress, and finally they present their projects to their honors cohort.
Students submit an application and undergo an interview before receiving a permission number.