POLIS 2136EX - Washington Congressional Internship (Law)

External - Summer - 2015

This course will enable a very small number of students to be placed with a member of the US Senate, Congress or with a Congressional Committee. Interns work full time with the Placement Provider in the US Congress. They perform administrative and substantive duties and receive unique access and educational perspectives into the US Congress. Selection into a Washington Internship Placement is made by application through the University of Adelaide, but final acceptance is by the Director of the Internship Program in Washington and ultimately by Placement Providers. The University of Adelaide cannot guarantee any student a place in the Washington Congressional Internships. This is a 3 unit course for those unable to count a 6 unit internship within their degree.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code POLIS 2136EX
    Course Washington Congressional Internship (Law)
    Coordinating Unit Politics and International Relations
    Term Summer
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s External
    Units 3
    Contact Variable ? internship placement in office of US Senator or member of Congress. See comment under 4.2 below.
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites 36 units of study including at least 12 units at Advanced or Level II
    Incompatible POLIS 2132EX
    Quota 2 ? selection determined by placement coordinator in Washington
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Emeritus Professor Clement Macintyre

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 Gain practical, applied experience in a working political environment
    2 Develop skills in assessing public policy issues in a practical form that mirrors post-university professional work
    3 Enhance skills in the development, management and finalisation of specified projects at an advanced level
    4 Gain experience in applied tasks within a working political office. These are likely to include: research policy briefs, and written and oral communication, all consistent with professional standards and skills
    5 Acquire a high-developed awareness of the ways in which contemporary US policy is shaped by interaction with voting groups, lobby organisations, industry, community and/or government agencies, and through engagement with US Senators and/or Congressional members
    6 Develop an understanding of the ways in which policy related research skills, methods, knowledge and information are relevant to post-university working life and advance career prospects and applications accordingly
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-5
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2-4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2-5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3-5
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 2, 4
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 2, 3, 4, 6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1, 4, 6
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 4, 6
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Students will receive a briefing on their placement and their defined tasks before leaving for Washington. There will be no lectures or seminars offered by the University other than pre-departure and return briefings. They will undertake research as directed by their Congressional host. Students will remain in email contact with the course co-ordinator while overseas.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    156 hours (plus) over duration of the internship while conducting research and working for the Congressional/Senate or Committee Office.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The course involves a placement in a Congressional, Senate or Committee  Office. The exact nature of the work undertaken will depend upon the  tasks set by the host office.
    Specific Course Requirements
    There are no direct ancilliary charges, but students will be required to cover travel and living expenses in Washington, estimated at ~$14,000.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Written portfolio Formative and Summative 100% 1-6
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment is based upon a portfolio of work done while in the placements together, where appropriate (i.e. where the work
    done on the placement has consisted of some less academic activities) with written appraisals of the Washington Congressional system as well as a reflective essay. This assessment does not comply with the formal assessment policy requirements, but similar arrangements have been supported by exemptions granted by the Exec Dean in previous versions of such internship placements.
    All written work is to be submitted to the course coordinator after the student returns from Washington.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.