The Public Policy Scholars Program differs from traditional internship programs because
it is designed specifically for underrepresented students: African-Americans, Hispanics,
Asian-Americans (or Pacific Islanders), and American Indians. Historically, these
groups have been underrepresented in the process of shaping and implementing public
Once selected to participate in the program, students are placed in one of the following
The legislative branch of government is instrumental in shaping public policy through
the creation of legislation, appropriation of funds, regulation of executive agencies,
as well as the power to oversee government agencies. A legislative internship will
expose students to how the public agenda is determined through the framework of representative
democracy and consensus building, particularly in the area of competing agendas and
This track represents the implementation aspect of public policy. This includes government
agencies within the executive branch of government and the many organizations structured
to assist with implementing public policy solutions.
The private sector is also instrumental in addressing public policy issues. At times,
private sector interventions can address market failures and the limitations of government.
Furthermore, many issues would be unlikely to become part of the public agenda without
media attention. Consequently, it is the media that influences the public awareness
of policy issues, thereby shaping the items on the public’s agenda.