The PA Capital Semester - College of Liberal Arts

Institute for Public Affairs
Temple University
The Pennsylvania Capital Semester
government affairs, policymaking, program implementation,
media relations, economic development and more
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
What is the Capital Semester
Program in Harrisburg?
 Includes internship, internship seminar including policy
analysis, and state government and politics course
 Modeled on idea of study abroad—total immersion in state
institutions and the world of state politics, policymaking,
media relations and policy implementation
 Internship placements in executive branch agencies, the state
legislature, media outlets, and government-related private
and non-profit employers
 University-wide program for undergraduates of any major
Why do an internship?
 High value of experiential
Pennsylvania Capital Semester students meet
with Governor Corbett
Successful transition from
academia to world of work
Gain marketable skill set
Build resume & portfolio
Develop self-confidence,
refine career goals
Internships are a key path to
government related
What do graduates of the
program do?
 District Director for State Rep. Brian Sims
 Policy intern for State Senator Vincent Hughes
 Law student (with scholarship!) at Northeastern University
 Political Action Director at AFSCME
 Associate Vice President, DDC Public Affairs
 Membership Director at Drug Policy Alliance, NYC
 Reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat
What majors and areas of interest are covered
by the Pennsylvania Capital Semester?
 Political Science
 Public Policy
 Communications
 History
 Criminal Justice
 Lobbying and Public Advocacy
 Journalism
 Local Government
 Economic Development
 Planning
 Information Systems Technology  Finance & Economics
 Geography-GIS
 Environment
 Liberal Arts
 And MORE !
Just ask! The possibilities in government and related areas
are nearly endless….
Internship Placements
State legislature
State executive agencies/departments
Economic development organizations
Lobbying firms and associations
Issue advocacy organizations
Media and media relations offices/firms
Program alum, Andrew Edgar, with
Rep. Mark Cohen
PLUS all the advantages of a guided search—Temple makes the
initial contacts and sets up interviews
Apply EARLY for best choice and a good fit!
Paid or Unpaid Internships?
 Some internships are paid; some are not
 The state executive branch has recently suspended paid
internships due to the economic crisis and resulting revenue
 For students taking unpaid internships, remember, the
experience gained is invaluable, and you are earning course
 Private sector offers paid internships
 State competitive fellowship program
What Will I Be Doing?
 Depending on placement, interns will work on specific
legislation, legislative analysis, constituent service, policy
research, organizing meetings, public relations, grassroots
campaigns, special events, press releases, writing newsletters,
economic development projects, writing news stories, reporting
on legislative hearings, lobbying, advocacy for particular
policies/groups, information systems or web design &
 Regardless of internship placement, everyone will have
opportunities to meet some “movers and shakers,” lunch at
Harrisburg hot spots, tour the State Capitol and to experience,
first-hand, the Harrisburg political scene.
Beyond the Job . . .
 The internship may involve activities outside the “normal”
work day (fundraisers, receptions, special events)
 Interns might sit in on legislative sessions, committee
hearings, political events and news conferences - even if it’s
not part of the job. (We will help make arrangements with the placement
Academic Requirements for
Admission to the Program
 Junior or senior by the beginning of the
internship semester
 A minimum GPA of 3.0
 Completed PS 1101, The American
Political System, by the beginning of the
internship semester, or an equivalent
Pennsylvania Capital
Semester student,
Shelly Forrester (right) with
Sally Keaveney, legislative
director for State Senator
Larry Farnese
Academic Requirements for
Admission to the Program
 Talk to your academic advisor about how the program coursework
and internship credits fit into the graduation requirements for
your major.
For example, Political Science majors may count 6 credits of
internship experience toward the major, the rest (if any) count
toward graduation .
Internship credits and how they are counted toward majors vary
by department and college.
Additional Requirements to Aid the
Internship Placement Process
(to be shared with prospective placements)
 An Updated Resume
If you need resume help, contact Temple’s Career Center . We strongly urge
you to have your resume critiqued by professionals. PROOFREAD.
 A Writing Sample of 3-10 pages to be shared with prospective
placements. Choose something submitted for another class that
shows your skill as a writer. PROOFREAD.
 Two Recommendations –letters, in a form provided by the
program, at least two from faculty and/or previous employers
Capital Semester Internship Seminar
PS 2107: Public-Private Cooperation in Public
Policymaking and Program Implementation
Course includes:
 Strategies for getting the most out of an internship
 A context for the internship experience --the basic interactions between the public
and private sectors at the federal, state and local level
 Special section on policy analysis, including a final project analyzing state policy
 Special focus on interaction between the state executive branch; legislature and the
legislative process; nonprofits, advocacy organizations, lobbying or trade associations;
and local economic development organizations.
 Extensive use of guest lecturers
Michael Cassidy, Former Executive Director
Office of the Democratic Caucus Chairman
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
A policy analyst, former legislator and expert on the legislative process with over thirty years experience in
speech writing, issue research, media relations, coalition building, campaign management and strategy. He has
a B.A. in Political Science from Penn State -University Park and a M.A. in American Studies from Penn State Harrisburg. He also serves on the Executive Council of the PA Political Science Association.
Capital Semester Internship Seminar
PS 3107/3500: State Politics and Policy
Course objectives:
 Examine the institutions, politics and policy making of American state governments with special
emphasis on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
 Determine the states’ special place in the structure of American federalism and how this has
changed over time.
 Explore the similarities and differences in the governmental designs, problems faced and the
institutional, social and economic conditions in which the states operate.
 Identify and explain why state governments often produce different solutions to similar
Michael R. King, Ph.D.
Former Executive Director, Legislative Office for Research Liaison
PA House of Representatives
Formerly an Associate Professor of Political Science at Penn State - University Park, Dr. King has written books and articles on
critical elections and political realignments in America, state legislative recruitment, legislative staffing, legislative
professionalization and state electoral politics. He serves on the Executive Committees of the National and the Eastern Regional
Conference of the Council of State Governments and is chair of the Eastern Regional Legislative Service Agency Director's Group
of the Council of State Governments. He holds a B.S. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Oregon.
Experience Harrisburg
 Whitaker Performance Theater
 Whitaker Center IMAX
 Nightlife on Restaurant Row
 Riverfront Park events
 Beautiful trails along the
 AMTRAK line to Philly and NYC
 State Museum
 Hershey Giant Center Concerts
 International House in Downtown Harrisburg (Temple
arranged housing) general info at:
 Home or with area relatives
 Other housing in Harrisburg
Served over 700 students representing more than 70 Countries
University Partnerships with HACC, PSU, SSHE, HU, Temple
Artists In Residence with Open Stage and Theatre Harrisburg
International Interns with State Government and Private employers
Great Community Atmosphere with up to 86 residents
Other Benefits of the Program
• A guided orientation to Harrisburg, the Capitol and more
• $1500 award after add/drop
• Free meals included on class nights
• Learning in the internship and in the classroom
How to Apply
 Go to for more information and
application forms
 Contact:
Michelle J. Atherton
Associate Director, Institute for Public Affairs
[email protected]
To discuss internship placement options
Michael Cassidy, Program Administrator and Seminar Instructor
[email protected]

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