New Westminster State Capital Internship Program Established 


State Capitol in Jefferson CityA new and exciting intensive internship program in practical politics will begin in the spring semester 2013 at Westminster College taking advantage of the College’s close proximity to the State Capital in Jefferson City.
“By working for 20 to 40 hours per week for a legislator or government institution in  Jefferson City, our students will gain valuable exposure to and experience in the process and procedures of Missouri government,” says Dr. Tobias Gibson, Westminster Associate Professor of Political Science and one of the planners of the new program.
Students of all majors who have earned 57 credit hours can apply for the program. For example, an environmental science major might intern with an agency, advocacy group or legislator promoting environmental policy.
Applicants must have a grade point average of 2.5 or greater and receive approval to take the program from their academic advisor, the internship coordinator, Dean of Faculty and Department Chair.
Student applicants are interviewed by the coordinating team of the program.
Others on the planning committee include Dr. Bob Hansen, Executive Director of the Emerson Center for Leadership & Service; Dr. Carolyn Perry, Senior Vice President and Dean of Faculty; Mike Gibbons, Westminster  Class of ’81 and former President Pro-Tem of the Missouri Senate; Abigail Manwell, Internship Coordinator for the Westminster Center for Career Development; and Michael Applegate, a past intern for a lobbying firm.
The program includes three components: a one-hour pre-internship online practical introduction to Missouri politics taught by Dr. Gibson; a two credit hour seminar taught by Mike Gibbons; and the 6-12 credit hour internship.  Students taking five or more credit hours will have two faculty advisors.
Students can earn one credit for every 50 hours of internship and intern credits can be applied to two academic departments with the approval of the Chair of the Department. Two faculty advisors will collaborate with the student throughout the process.

Internships will begin January 7.  The legislative session begins January 9.
At the end of the semester, students will be asked to present a final project that examines and reflects on the experience.