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Community Scholars

Community Scholars

During the Fall semester, 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 who 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. Community Scholars intern a minimum of 16 hours 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.

P SC 4023: Community Scholars: A Service-Learning Course (3 hrs) Friday Afternoons

One of the unique aspects of the program will be the opportunity, on a weekly basis, to come together with the other Community Scholars for a seminar that is tailored to the program. This academic component will feature information about nonprofit and community leadership in an informal setting. Frequent guest speakers from various community-based organizations will join the class.


Previous Community Scholars have been placed with a variety of organizations including the City of NormanUnited Way of Norman, the Center for Children and FamiliesLegal Aid Services of OklahomaCleveland CountyBridges, and Food and Shelter to name just a few.

Each student is required to intern 16 hours per week at their internship site. Students may, at their option, enroll in three additional hours under P SC 3910-002 (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.


There are no separate program fees. Students must enroll in P SC 4023; the additional three hours of internship credit are optional. Students may be eligible for a $1,000 stipend for completing the internship if funds are available. Contact Dr. Rachel Blum at for additional information.

Community Scholar Application