Topeka Internship

The Topeka Internship Program

What is the Topeka Public Service Internship Program?

The Topeka Public Service Internship Program consists of KU students working with state elected officials, agency administrators and lobbying organizations to learn more about state government and public service. Internships are offered during the spring semester of each year. Most interns work for the Kansas Legislature.

Who is eligible?

KU Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible and all majors are welcome.

Do I receive compensation for my internship?

The Topeka Public Service Internship is not a paid internship, but the Legislature does pay $600 for commuting expenses.  

Can I receive course credit for my internship?

Yes. Students can earn up to six hours of course credit for their field work depending on the amount of time dedicated to their internship. Fieldwork is graded as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory based on evaluations by your internship advisor. Fieldwork counts toward your political science major credits. Students can earn three hours of credit for enrolling in the seminar. These hours do not count toward your political science major credits. Seminar participants are given a letter grade based on their research paper and participation in seminar meetings.

Can I arrange my own internship?

Students should talk with Professor Loomis about all internships if they want to receive course credit.  Internships should relate directly politics or policy-making.

Who can I talk to for more information?  Professor Burdett Loomis, 515 Blake Hall                                                                     
                                                                                785.864.9033; bloomis@ku.edu

THE INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE

  • Internships take place during the spring semester of each year at the State Capitol in Topeka. They generally begin the second week in January and run through the end of the semester in May. Students should plan a minimum of two days a week in Topeka.
  • Students are matched with legislators, agency administrators and lobbyists. They have the opportunity to learn how state government works through research on public policy issues, constituent correspondence, committee work, bill tracking, and helping the citizens of Kansas in various capacities.

THE INTERNSHIP ADVANTAGE

  • Students ordinarily earn up to six hours of course credit by participating in the program, but nine hours of credit is possible for full-time internships.
  • Students network with elected officials, agency administrators and lobbyists from all over the state of Kansas. Future job opportunities and internships may develop from this experience.
  • Students further develop their research and communication skills during their internship.
  • Students learn firsthand about the legislative process.

INTERNSHIP APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

  • There is no formal application for the KU program, but there is one for the Legislature, which can be found on its website. This must be completed in order to receive compensation.

GRADING

  • An internship journal for all field work
  • An evaluation from your internship supervisor for all field work.
  • A research paper (15 to 20 pages) for the seminar
  • Attendance at all meetings and active participation for the seminar (for those enrolled in the seminar).

ENROLLMENT PROCEDURES

  • STUDENTS MUST OBTAIN A SPECIAL PERMISSON CARD FROM PROFESSOR LOOMIS TO ENROLL.
  • Students should enroll in Topeka Field Work, POLS 497 and the Topeka Intern Seminar, POLS 495. The seminar is not required, but is highly recommended. Meeting with other interns on a weekly basis to share experiences, as well as heading from outside speakers allows for a more complete picture of the operations of state government. The seminars are held on Thursdays from noon to 1 PM at the Capitol.

Contact: Professor Burdett Loomis

515 Blake Hall
785.864.9033
bloomis@ku.edu

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