The academic course, "Politics and Policy in the New York State Legislative Process," is taught to the Session Interns by the Assembly Intern Committee's Professors-in-Residence Dr. Anthony J. Maniscalco and Dr. Angela D. Ledford.
This course is designed to explore how politics influences policy in the New York state legislative process, as well as the role of policy analysis. The course examines the critical issues confronting New York State, and analyzes models for understanding how these issues get on the policy agenda. The course focuses on the points in the policy process when politics can and does play a role, as well as the various political actors in the process, including legislators, the governor, the attorney general and comptroller, state agencies, citizens, lobbyists and policy entrepreneurs, as well as the media.
The academic course, which constitutes 55% of the Intern's final grade, is designed to complement the Internship experience in the Assembly offices, as well as the scheduled Issue Policy Forums, and to aid students in the preparation for, and enactment of, the end-of-program Assembly Mock Session. Upon completion of the course, each student is expected to understand the many aspects of the legislative policy process in New York State. Through weekly quizzes, short papers, class participation, and writing a major research paper, Assembly Interns will learn important academic and professional skills, specifically, how to function in a legislative environment and communicate effectively orally and in writing on diverse aspects of complex legislative issues.
The course seminars meet at regularly scheduled times each Thursday and are an integral part of the Internship. They build upon the Orientation, link placement experiences with educational objectives to maximize practical/theoretical linkages and enhance participant observation. Weekly class meetings include lectures on the subject matter. Each Intern and Graduate Scholar must complete all requirements for the course.
The course seminar explores ideas from literature by scholars or experts in the field and applies these concepts to Interns' observations and experiences in the Assembly. Interns who have completed courses in related areas are expected to be resource persons, to explore literature beyond the assigned material and to complete papers of a depth and scope appropriate to their background.
Requirements for each course are:
- Completion of readings and any other assignments prior to each class. Required readings are assigned by the Faculty; some are available as books, which the students are expected to purchase; other readings will be provided by the Intern Committee.
- Attendance and active participation in weekly classes and Issue Forums.
- Completion of a research paper on a topic approved by the Professor-in-Residence, which relates to course readings, observations, research, or activities in the Intern's placement. Interns who are assigned research projects by placement supervisors and/or by home faculty sponsor(s) may, with the prior approval of the faculty sponsor(s) and the Professor-in-Residence, substitute these papers for the course paper.
- Attendance at Mock Session and Debriefing.