The Democracy & Justice Studies internship program is rooted in the idea that the modern university in a democratic society should play a role in preparing students to participate actively in shaping their communities. Internships encourage students to think seriously about what they have learned in the classroom in the context of everyday activities meant to bring about progressive social change. Through its students, the university increases its presence in community life.
In light of the fact that so many Americans have become increasingly disinclined to join civic organizations and share in political activities, the Democracy & Justice Studies emphasis on democratic participation takes on a special significance. The extent of political disaffection may be attributable, in part, to a sense that politics is too far removed from the daily realities facing most Americans. Internships provide access to local politics so that students may feel that they can make a difference.
And, of course, the Democracy & Justice Studies internship program helps students prepare to take their place in society upon graduation from UW-Green Bay. Students, by working directly with community organizations, develop ideas about where they want to work in the future, and they can develop further the skills and experiences that will prove useful throughout their careers.
We encourage students to find internships they wish to pursue and then work closely with the department to arrange the field work and other internship components. There are four reasons for this:
- There is a better match between student interests and the needs of external organizations when students seek out opportunities; students know themselves, their interests, and the capabilities.
- By student's personally establishing contact with an organization/activity of their interests, the working relationship is strengthened.
- There is a great diversity of interests among Democracy & Justice Studies majors; students often have more knowledge of opportunities than do their instructors because students are intimate with their field of interests.
- Searching for and obtaining internship opportunities prepares students for life beyond college, where success depends on knowledge and initiative.
The Democracy & Justice Studies Internship Coordinator is Alison Staudinger.
Nuts and Bolts
The basic requirements for doing an internship in Democracy & Justice Studies are as follows:
- Students must be majors in Democracy & Justice Studies to potentially secure an internship.
- Internships must be compelling and relevant to the major.
- Internships are negotiated in advance and organized through the office of the internship coordinator.
- Qualified students must have a minimum of 45 credit hours prior to doing an internship.
- Students must perform 45 hours of service for each hour of academic credit, up to a maximum of six credit hours.
- Internships may be undertaken during either the Fall or Spring semesters and must be arranged prior to the semester in which they occur.
- Students and field Supervisors will negotiate and complete an "Internship Learning Contract" which will state the learning objects, hours, and goals of the internship, with the assistance of the Internship Coordinator.
- Students are expected to create an online photo-essay using Medium that documents their experience, including both a research and a reflective component.
- Students will be required to post 5 times per semester to a D2L discussion board; 2 times on research, and 3 times on their ongoing experiences and challenges as interns. There will be 3 "meet ups" per semester that can substitute for these posts.
- The field supervisor will submit a written evaluation of the student's performance in the internship, per the Learning Contract.