GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — Students interested in government will have a chance to work with local officials as part of a new internship program between Stockton University and Atlantic County.
The Board of Chosen Freeholders on Tuesday approved an affiliation agreement with Stockton’s William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy and the college’s political science program to create the program.
“Helping to place Stockton students in government internships fits perfectly with the Hughes Center’s mission of civic engagement,” Hughes Center interim executive director John Froonjian said.
Internships will be available to undergraduate students in various county departments, including Administration, Public Safety, Law, Human Services and Family and Community Development. Additional departments may also request interns.
All Stockton University undergraduate students may apply for the unpaid internships, which will provide students with four academic credit hours for a semester. Atlantic County government officials have agreed to accept at least three interns in their Atlantic City offices for the fall 2019 semester. County officials have also requested two graduate student interns, who would be placed through a separate Stockton program.
Michael Rodriguez, coordinator of Stockton’s political science program, said students will gain real-world experience as they learn how government operates. County officials created detailed descriptions of the duties that interns will perform.
“This is a great opportunity that benefits both the students and county government,” County Executive Dennis Levinson said. “We gain insight from the perspective of these young adults while they gain knowledge of the many programs and services we provide.”
The internships developed from a May meeting with Atlantic County department heads led by Deputy County Administrator Diana Rutala and arranged by Froonjian, who had offered to help the political science program establish the government internship program. The county officials were receptive and discussions continued to ensure the internships would provide value to county government as well as to the students.