About the Program


Since 1969, the Legislative Internship Program has sought to offer CT college students the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge about how state government works, through direct experience in the legislative offices of the Connecticut General Assembly

With the mission to provide educational opportunities outside of the traditional classroom setting, our program is tailored to acquaint students with both the formal and informal aspects of the legislative process. Accordingly, the program provides training, academic examination, and encourages a high level of personal interaction between legislators and the interns assigned to work with them.

While serving within the CT General Assembly, our interns gain exclusive insight and access to the legislative players and policy making process. Paired with our academic and supplemental programming, our program offers a unique opportunity for students to explore careers in public service while earning credit, practical experience, and professional connections that will last a lifetime.

Click here to see what previous interns have said about their experience.


What Sort of Work Do Interns Do?

Interns are assigned to work with individual Legislators and Senators as support staff, in the four caucuses of the CT General Assembly.

Duties will vary from office to office, but can include:

  • bill tracking and analysis,
  • policy research,
  • drafting of news releases, speeches, and/or testimony,
  • liaison work
  • constituent casework.

Click here to see the job description for our Legislative Interns.


Program Year

The Legislative Internship Program Year runs from January to May, corresponding with the spring academic semester and the Legislative Session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

Interns begin in late January with a required two-day Orientation Program (traditionally the third week of the month), and serve through early May. The Orientation Program is in advance of the intern’s official first day with their legislative office, which will vary based on the individual’s established schedule.

Any student applying for the program must be willing to commit to the entire program year.


Who is Eligible?

All undergraduate students enrolled and matriculated in an accredited undergraduate degree program at a two or four year institution of higher education in the state. CT residents attending out-of-state colleges are eligible to apply, but should contact us directly prior to application to the program.

Minimum program qualifications include:

  • be 18 years of age or older by program start
  • have competed 20 credits by program start
  • possess a minimum 2.7 grade point average
  • be registered for a course (varies by institution) in order to receive credit for the internship

While our program requirements are listed above, each sponsoring institution has their own qualifications and requirements for program participation. Please contact your on-campus advisor (see list here) to find out what those are.


Hours and Credit

Every intern is required to be enrolled and matriculated in an accredited undergraduate degree program and registered to earn academic credit for participation in our internship through a corresponding course at their sponsoring institution.

The specific amount of credit granted to each student differs based on hours of service and school. To find out how many hours of credit you may obtain by participating in this program, please contact your on-campus advisor (see list here).

Both full-time and part-time internships are available, following the standard eight hour workday. See our primary schedules below:

Full-Time

Part-Time

Days per Week

5

2*

Number of Hours per Week

40

16

Schedule

Monday - Friday

Monday/Wednesday or
Tuesday/Thursday

Credits

12-15

6-9

* Additional days can be added should credit be awarded from the sponsoring institution.

Interested students should seek consultation from their on-campus advisors regarding schedule and credits prior to submitting the program application. Students will be held to the days entered on their application during the selection process.


Academic Component

As part of the credit arrangement, interns are required to participate in our program academic component. Focused on familiarizing students with Connecticut’s legislative process and the factors that impact it, we offer a large breath of programming to support our student’s successful completion of this component, as well as the program at large.

First, our interns will engage in a series of required and optional training opportunities to prepare them to perform the necessary support services desired by the legislators for whom they are working. Along with the mandatory two-day Orientation at the start of the program, interns will be offered research and IT classes, small group workshops on technical elements, and a variety of informational seminars conducted throughout the course of their internship.

Second, following the experiential learning model, students are given assignments which drive them to research and reflect in order to place their experience in a broader conceptual framework. Required academic assignments become part of the students “Session Binder” and include reflection papers, interviews, and the completion of a three part bill tracking project which spans the term. Students will share this binder with their schools for grading, and use them as a future reference of the work they accomplished.

Finally, along with mentoring and one-on-one advisement, Supplemental programming is offered. Sometimes referred to as "the fun stuff", these optional, student driven, and many times peer coordinated activities, are designed to engage students in individual goal setting and career development. Supplemental programs vary annually, and are constructed on student input and identified career/interest areas. Past venues have included career forums, lobbyist panels, mock sessions/committee meetings, and fieldtrips to “industries” including ESPN, correctional facilities, and the Supreme Court. See our Facebook Page for photos of past offerings.


Program Administration

The Connecticut General Assembly Internship Program is administered by the statutorily created Committee on Legislative Staff Internships (CGS-2-84), along with the Internship Committee Director.

The Committee is a bi-partisan body with bi-partisan co-chairs, who alternate between the respective houses in each successive term. Their principal responsibility is the development and oversight of Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) internship program and policies. The Committee conducts all intern interviews and is responsible for intern assignment within the four caucuses. (See Selection and Placement below)

Since 1980, the Committee has retained the services of an administrator to serve as Director. The Director is responsible for the implementation of the Committee’s policies, administration and facilitation of the Legislative Internship Program (LIP), coordination and council of interns, as well as monitoring and reporting on intern performance and evaluation.


Selection and Placement

Selection is made by the Committee on Legislative Staff Internships. The Committee will interview candidates and decide who will be offered an internship for the coming legislative session. A workable and mutually beneficial relationship between legislator and intern is a major goal of the interview process.

Interns are assigned to Legislative Leaders, Committee Chairs, Ranking Members and individual legislators. Appointments will be communicated to applicants in December following interviews.

Although students from all disciplines are considered, preference is given to upperclassmen, and students whose experience and academic background offer some preparation for the work they will undertake. In addition, some consideration is given to contributions which the applicant has made to his or her college and community, as well as the applicability of the internship to future career goals.

The Selection and Placement timeline is as follows:

September 1st:
Application period begins w/application posting on website.

November 1st:
Program applications and all corresponding materials are due.

Late November/Early December:
Interviews are held at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

Mid-December:
Offers to participate are extended to students.
Students have one week to respond with their acceptance or rejection.

January:
~ Legislator assignments are announced.
~ Mandatory Two Day Orientation. Students must attend both days
(Wed. & Thurs. of the third week in January)
~ Placements Officially Begin (week following Orientation).


How To Apply

If interested in applying, please do the following:

  1. Contact the official Legislative Internship Program Advisor on your campus. Each school has different registration requirements in relation to eligibility criteria and credit. You must work with this advisor through the application process. (Click here to see the list of Advisors)
  2. Complete the online application process. The application for the coming program year is posted in the preceding September on this website. Click here for full details on our application procedure.
 
 
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