Internship Placement Process

Internship placement process and timeline:

The Washington Center (TWC) works hard to provide internship opportunities closely tailored to a student’s interests and needs.  Because TWC must often wait until a given term approaches for placement sites to determine their needs for interns, their tailored, individualized placement process often takes some time.  Although this process maximizes a student’s opportunities, it can sometimes lead to anxiety.  UCA’s Liaison to TWC can explain the process and the timelines.  There are five steps to TWC’s tailored placement process. Placement process timelines are different for each student and depend on the credentials of the student as well as needs of the internship sites. See The Washington Center (TWC) webpage,, for more information.


The Washington Center (TWC) for Internships and Academic Seminars consists of three key components:

A) Internship

The internship or work experience provides students with a practical learning environment very different from the classroom.  It is at your internship in Washington DC where you will learn by being a daily participant in your office.  Each student is expected to act in accordance with standards established by the internship office and The Washington Center (TWC) Code of Conduct.

B) Academic Course

All students are required to enroll in an academic course taught through The Washington Center (TWC).  Each participating student takes their academic course one evening per week, Monday through Thursday.

C) LEAD Colloquium (Professional and Career Development)

On Fridays during your program in Washington D.C., you will attend different activities and events along with your internship placement and the academic course. The Washington Center (TWC) staff plans events to enrich your experience during the semester. These activities include such events as the President’s Lecture Series, Public Policy Dialogues on Capitol Hill, and specially arranged tours, briefings, workshops and/or other small group activities.

Civic Engagement Project

A major part of the LEAD Colloquium is the civic engagement project. While you are in Washington DC, you will have the opportunity to participate in a civic engagement activity. The purpose of involving yourself in society is to help you build your knowledge, skills, and abilities to solve community problems. Civic engagement means identifying and becoming informed about an issue you care about, then working to make a positive difference in public life at the local, national or global level by:

* Volunteering with a social service, educational, or advocacy organization

* Participating in the political or public policy process

* Advocating for policies on issues of concern that make communities stronger

The Washington Center (TWC) plays an important role in helping you develop the skills needed to identify problems on a local, national or global level, and then taking action to address the problem.


During your Washington Center Experience you will be asked to construct a demonstration portfolio to showcase your accomplishments. Your portfolio will consist of a collection of documents outlined below. The purpose of the portfolio is to demonstrate and showcase what you have learned during the semester and how you made the adjustment from classroom learning to practical learning. Your portfolio is the best synopsis of how you developed skills related to civic engagement, professional achievement, and leadership while in Washington, D.C. The following documents should be included in the two spiral bound portfolios.

* Cover Page

* Table of Contents

* Internship Defense Letter

* Learning Objectives Statement

* Résumé

* Civic Engagement Project

* Informational Interview

* Public Policy Dialogues on Capitol Hill Summary

* Program Specific Assignment

* Work Examples

* Class Syllabus (from your evening class)