Students pursuing a BA in Public Affairs are required to complete a three-quarter experiential learning opportunity. Experiences can range from internships in community-based organizations, social enterprise businesses, or regional governments to international (UCEAP), UC in DC (CAPPP), or UC in Sacramento (UCCS) programs. These experiences are accompanied by a seminar that enables students to reflect on and share their engagement experience with classmates, apply what they have learned in their coursework to their community or public engagement, and analyze how the engagement experience conforms with or differs from what they learned in coursework. This experiential learning opportunity culminates with a capstone project in the spring quarter that integrates what students have learned in their field experience with theory and methods learned in their coursework.

Students

Capstone Internship Sites

  • Traditional capstone
    • 220+ hours at a Los Angeles–based internship in conjunction with the 187 series.
  • Center for American Politics and Public Policy (CAPPP)
    • One quarter in D.C. + two quarters at a Los Angeles–based internship in conjunction with 187B and 187C.
    • M191DC Research Development Seminar (8 units) + M195DC internship course (4 units) will satisfy the 187A requirement.
    • Other courses may count as elective credit toward the Public Affairs major by petition.
  • UC Center Sacramento (UCCS)
    • One quarter in Sacramento + two quarters at a Los Angeles–based internship in conjunction with 187B and 187C.
    • Poli Sci: 192A Internship (5 units) + Poli Sci 193 Internship & Research (2 units) will satisfy the PA 187A requirement.
    • Other courses (including Poli Sci 195 + 196E) may count as elective credit toward the Public Affairs major by petition.
  • UC Education Abroad Program
    • One quarter abroad + two quarters at a Los Angeles-based internship in conjunction with 187B and 187C.

*Students who plan to participate in CAPPP, UCCS or UCEAP must meet with the Capstone Advisor during Week 2 of Winter Quarter during their Junior year and prior to their participation in the internship program to confirm that the program will count for one quarter towards the PA 187 series.

Capstone Prerequisites & Requirements

Prerequisites

  • Declared major in Public Affairs
  • Completed lower division courses
  • Recommended completion of methods courses
  • 2.0 GPA
  • Senior Standing (135+ units)
  • Attended 1 Community Impact Training
  • Attended 2 Career Skills Workshops
  • Attended 1 Capstone Information Session
  • Completed Capstone Interest Form

Capstone Requirements

  • Students are required to complete all capstone prerequisites prior to enrollment in the Public Affairs 187 series.
  • The Capstone Advisor and the Director of Experiential Learning will compile a list of approved internship sites that are interested in hosting Public Affairs students. Students who are hoping to find their own internship must meet with the Capstone Advisor in Fall quarter of their Junior year.
  • Students will be at their internships a minimum of 8 hours per week during Fall Quarter, 8 hours per week during Winter Quarter, and 6 hours per week during Spring Quarter. Altogether, students will complete a minimum of 220 internship hours during their senior year.
  • Simultaneously, students must enroll in and actively participate in the 187 course series, which will use readings, writing assignments, and other coursework to introduce students to concepts and methods relevant to their internship projects. This seminar will enable students to reflect on and share their engagement experience with classmates, apply what they have learned in their coursework to their community or public engagement, and analyze what they have learned in the field.
  • Students participating in CAPPP, UCCS or UCEAP during fall quarter of their senior year must meet with the Capstone Advisor by Week 2 of Winter quarter of their Junior year to discuss their plan and to eventually waive the fall PA 187A requirement. Students who are participating in CAPPP, UCCS, or UCEAP during their junior year must meet with the Capstone Advisor.
  • In Spring Quarter of their senior year, students will complete a capstone project that integrates the internship experience.

Capstone & Career Preparation Workshops Requirement & Certificate of Completion

Minimum Requirement

In order to enroll in the PA 187 series and start the internship placement, students must complete at least one Community Impact Training and two Luskin Career Skills Workshops.

Life After Luskin: Leadership Development Series

Students interested in going above and beyond the minimum requirement may choose to pursue the Luskin Leadership Development Series Certificate of Completion. In order to obtain the certificate of completion, students must complete the following: 3 Luskin Career Paths Workshops, 3 Luskin Career Skills Workshops, 1 Community Impact Training, and 1 Field Trip.

Workshop Descriptions

Luskin Career Paths Workshops: These workshops highlight professionals from the field of public affairs to discuss their career journey, provide insight into their field of expertise, and offer guidance and best practices.  Topics and communities will vary to represent the diverse field of public affairs.

Luskin Career Skills Workshops: These workshops are meant to provide students with the necessary skills to prepare them for their internship placements and post-Luskin careers. Topics range from managing your digital brand to managing up; from understanding and critiquing professionalism to developing your story and interviewing with confidence.

Community Impact Trainings: These trainings go deeper into supporting specific identity-based communities and working with diverse populations. Trainings range from LGBTQ Allyship trainings to Suicide Prevention; from UndocuAlly Training to sexual harassment prevention training.

Field Trips: These field trips are meant to expose students to a community based experience beyond their internship as well as to encourage volunteerism and civic engagement. This can be completed by participating in UCLA volunteer day. For more information visit: volunteerday.ucla.edu

Frequency of workshops:
Luskin Career Paths Workshops:  2 per quarter
Luskin Career Skills Workshops: 4 per year
Community Impact Trainings: 2 per year
Field trips: 1 per year

Workshops Calendar

Wednesday, October 9th 12:30-2pm
Developing your Professional Narrative & Brand
Type: Luskin Career Skills Workshop
Location: PAB 5391

Wednesday, October 16th 12:30-2pm
Sexual Harassment Prevention Workshop
Type: Community Impact Training
Location: PAB 5391

Wednesday, October 23rd:  12:30-1:30pm
Speaker: Brian Nguyen, UCLA MPP ’16
Type:
Luskin Career Paths Workshop
Location: PAB 4357

Wednesday, November 13 12:30-1:30pm
Capstone Info Session #1
Location: PAB 4357

Monday, November 18th: 12:30-1:30pm
Speaker: Diego Sepulveda, UCLA ’12
Type: Luskin Career Paths Workshop
Location: PAB 5391

Monday, November 25 4-5pm
Capstone Info Session #2
Location: PAB 4357

Roles & Responsibilities

Roles & Responsibilities:

UCLA PUBLIC AFFAIRS UNDERGRADUATE DEPARTMENT

  • Prepare student for internship experience through coursework, professional development series, and capstone seminar.
  • Advise students on their internship placements.
  • Establish and maintain channels of communication between the department and the agency.
  • Co-plan the internship requirement with the Supervisor; support the capstone research project requirement as needed.
  • Share with Supervisor the expectations of the internship and capstone requirement.
  • Arrange site visits with Supervisors.
  • Reconsider placement assignment of any student if problems relevant to that student cannot be resolved in the agency.

STUDENT

  • Complete the minimum number of hours (220+ for the academic year).
  • Provide appropriate notice to Supervisor if the student will miss a shift (minimum one business day in advance) and immediately reschedule those hours.
  • Adhere to all agency regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Conduct the business of the agency in an appropriate way.
  • Be engaged, inquisitive, ready to learn, eager to contribute, responsible, and hard-working.
  • Approach the internship experience in an open manner which includes dialoging across difference.
  • Share with the Supervisor or Capstone Advisor any issues or impediments to experiential learning.

SUPERVISOR

  • Structure the internship to provide an intentional and meaningful learning opportunity.
  • Develop and assign responsibilities to the student.
  • Clearly communicate expectations and responsibilities to the student.
  • Adhere to UCLA Public Affairs program deadlines.
  • Schedule hours during the academic quarter so that the student can complete the required hours.
  • Provide training, supervision and feedback to each student (recommended .5-1 hour per week).
  • Provide a verbal and written evaluation to the student and certify the number of hours the student completed via the evaluation form.
  • Contact Capstone Advisor if there are any problems or issues that cannot be resolved with the student.
  • Nominate outstanding students for recognition.
  • Consider writing recommendation letters for employment or graduate school for outstanding students.

 

Community Partners

During their senior year, students pursuing a BA degree in Public Affairs participate in an experiential learning internship that lasts for three quarters (roughly the end of September through the beginning of June, and approximately 30 weeks total). The Public Affairs Undergraduate Department encourages internships in a wide range of fields, including education, immigration, climate change, transportation, mental health, and criminal justice, to name a few.

Internships can take place in nonprofit organizations, private firms, schools/school districts, or government agencies. The internship is accompanied by a UCLA-based seminar that enables students to reflect on and share their engagement experience with classmates, apply what they have learned in their coursework to their community or public engagement, and analyze what they have learned in the community. This experiential learning opportunity culminates at the end of the spring quarter with a capstone project for the organization or agency that integrates students’ field experience with theory and methods learned in their coursework.

What is the major in Public Affairs?

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs is a new undergraduate major that offers an in-depth and engaged educational experience with a clear public service ethos. Drawing from UCLA Luskin’s expansive resources in Public Policy, Social Welfare, and Urban Planning, the interdisciplinary major combines critical thinking, social science theories, data collection and analysis, written and oral communication, and experiential learning. The B.A. in Public Affairs gives students the skills to analyze information, use evidence for decision making, and make compelling arguments for collective action. Ultimately, the Public Affairs major prepares our future leaders to immediately and effectively bring about social change.

What is experiential learning?

Experiential learning connects the dots between theory and action. Our faculty developed the experiential learning requirement for the new undergraduate degree program to engage students in a relevant, rigorous, and rewarding educational experience through meaningful community-based learning. Experiential learning provides students with the opportunity to apply and/or critique theoretical concepts they learned in the classroom and to learn directly from leaders doing the work in the community.

Agencies such as yours provide a learning environment where students actively engage in the day-to-day operations of the site and are expected to produce a capstone project that is useful to the agency. Supervisors provide 1:1 supervision, feedback, and mentoring. The role of the student at most placement sites is that of a participant observer but they are expected to be professional, engaged, inquisitive, and ready to learn and contribute. The ultimate goal is for the student and agency relationship to be mutually beneficial.

Timeline:

UCLA operates on an academic quarter system from late September- early June. Students will be at their internships a minimum of 8 hours per week during Fall Quarter, 8 hours per week during Winter Quarter, and 6 hours per week during Spring Quarter, for a minimum of 220 internship hours during their senior year, exact hours can be discussed between the organization and the student. Students are not expected to come in or make up hours if their usual shift falls on a university or agency holiday.

UCLA observed holidays:

November 11: Veteran’s Day
November 26-27: Thanksgiving
January 18: Martin Luther King Jr
February 15: President’s Day
March 26: Cesar Chavez Day
May 31: Memorial Day

  • Fall Quarter 2020

    October 1-December 11

  • Winter Quarter 2021

    January 4-March 12

  • Spring Quarter 2021

    March 29- June 4

Roles & Responsibilities:

STUDENT

  • To complete the minimum number of hours (220+for the academic year)
  • Provide appropriate notice to Supervisor if the student will miss a shift (minimum one business day in advance) and immediately reschedule those hours
  • To adhere to all agency regulations, policies, and procedures
  • To conduct the business of the agency in an appropriate way
  • To be engaged, inquisitive, and ready to learn and contribute
  • To approach this learning in an open manner which includes dialoging across difference
  • To share with the Supervisor and/or UCLA Department any issues or impediments to experiential learning

UCLA PUBLIC AFFAIRS UNDERGRADUATE DEPARTMENT

  • Prepare student for internship experience through coursework, professional development series, and capstone seminar
  • Advise students on their internship placements
  • Establish and maintain channels of communication between the department and the agency
  • Co-plan the internship and capstone requirement with the Supervisor
  • Share with Supervisor the expectations of the internship and capstone requirement
  • Arrange meetings with Supervisors for site visits to confirm an Internship Placement site and to check-in with the Supervisor on the student’s progress
  • Plan and hold events for the Department, Student, and Supervisor to meet one another, understand the requirements of the internship placement, and present the capstone projects
  • Reconsider placement assignment of any student if problems relevant to that student cannot be resolved in the agency

SUPERVISOR/INTERNSHIP PLACEMENT SITE

  • Structure the internship to provide an intentional and meaningful learning opportunity
  • Develop and assign responsibilities to the student
  • Clearly communicate expectations and responsibilities to students
  • Schedule hours during the academic quarter so that student can complete the hours required
  • Adhere to program requirements and deadlines
  • Provide the space and equipment needed by students
  • Provide training, supervision and feedback to each student (recommended .5-1 hour per week)
  • Provide a verbal and written evaluation to the student and certify the number of hours the student completed
  • Contact UCLA staff if there are any problems or issues that cannot be resolved with the student
  • Assume responsibility for liability incurred in connection with agency assignment

BEST PRACTICES FOR STRUCTURING INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS

Ideal placement sites provide students with a pre-professional experience and structure activities that allow the student to:

  • Contribute to the day-to-day activities of the organization by working on duties and tasks related to Public Affairs.
  • Develop an understanding of the organization’s vision, mission, inputs, activities, and outcomes.
  • Develop interpersonal and technical competencies required in the workplace.
  • Receive supervision, mentorship, and feedback from a professional in the field.
  • Apply the conceptual, analytical, and/or methodological skills students have learned in their courses.
  • Produce a professional-quality capstone product (e.g., a presentation, report, etc.) that will be useful to the organization.