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Community Scholars

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photo of 2019 community scholars class

Community Scholars: A Service-Learning Course

P SC 4023-001

The Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center offers the Community Scholars program, a public service learning opportunity for the Fall semester. Up to 10 undergraduate students from OU are placed in community-based internships with nonprofit organizations or local government entities in and around Norman and Oklahoma City. The Community Scholars program provides a unique learning opportunity for undergraduate students to experience first-hand the dynamics of working within community-based organizations. The internship experience is enriched through weekly seminars and briefings with leaders from the nonprofit sector.

Community Scholars are placed in assignments with local governmental agencies, various nonprofit organizations, and other community-oriented agencies. Internships require a minimum of 16 hours of work per week and may include night meetings. Community Scholars develop professional experience and skills, gain insights into the dynamics of community organizations and learn how nonprofit organizations function and interact within their broader communities. Duties may include proposal writing, direct client services, fundraising and marketing, policy research, grassroots organizing and outreach, and program management.


Previous Community Scholars have been placed with a variety of organizations including the City of Norman, United Way of Norman, Food and Shelter, Bridges of Norman, the Norman Economic Development Coalition, the Center for Children and Families, Cleveland County, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Indigent Defense System and The Spero Project to name just a few.

Each student is required to work 16 hours per week at their internship site. Students may, at their option, enroll in three additional hours under P SC 3910 (Government Internship) or other departmental internship courses. Community Scholars requirements meet other internship requirements without the commitment of additional work hours or additional in-class time.

The class meets Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. and features information about nonprofit and community leadership in an informal setting. Frequent guest speakers from various community-based organizations join the class.

Application and Enrollment

Interested students must apply for the program.


Students accepted for the program must enroll in P SC 4023-001, Community Scholars. Enrollment in P SC 3910, Government Internship with Prof. Blum, is optional.