Labor Studies 195CE: Worker and Community Organizing for Social Change Internships

Labor Studies is a multidisciplinary degree program with a focus on work, working-class communities, organized labor, and social movements for greater social and economic equality. While most of the courses in Labor Studies involve some degree of community engagement, Labor Studies 195CE offers students an intensive and guided community engagement internship experience. Students work intensively with a community organization on a structured activity that supports the organization’s mission and the student’s intellectual development. Students meet regularly with a graduate student instructor to reflect on the internship experience, assigned readings, and reflective writing assignments. Students complete a final paper that links research and experience with a focus on putting our program’s principles of research justice into practice.

Working with Community Partners

Students must identify a community organization to work with and complete an internship contract form that confirms a commitment from the student and the community organization. Labor Studies maintains a list of organizations with internship opportunities. Internships should provide students with 8-10 hours per week (80-100 hours per quarter) of meaningful work in which the student is the primary beneficiary of the work. Students must be actively engaged in the internship for at least 8 weeks. We cannot support independently arranged internships. Credit cannot be given for experience previous to the quarter enrolled.

Eligibility and Enrollment

The course is designed for Labor Studies majors and minors but is open to all UCLA undergraduate students. Students must have junior standing to enroll in Labor Studies 195CE. To enroll in Labor Studies 195CE, students create a course contract, obtain a signature from their internship supervisor, and submit the course contract to the Labor Studies Student Affairs Officer. Students then schedule an intake appointment with the Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) for the course. During the intake session, the GSI will review course requirements and approve the course.

Timeline for Host Organizations

  • October-November: Schedule meeting with labor/community partners; discuss possibility of hosting 2 or more interns this upcoming winter quarter.
  • November: Connect with the Labor Studies Academic Programs Manager to vet and/or interview intern candidates. Host site supervisor confirms interns – signs 195CE course contract and the  195CE Learning Agreement.
  • December (before Winter Closure): Host site supervisor meets with remaining students to sign 195CE course contracts and learning agreements.
  • January (2022): Once university approves the internship, sometime in the first 1-2 weeks of January, the Graduate Student Instructor will reach out to introduce themselves and confirm the start of the internship.

Timeline for Students

  • Week 4: Contact current and new students to set-up appts in Week 5
  • Week 5: Mid-quarter check-in (Winter quarter students), initial appts with students needing Capstone, interested in internship course (Week 6 — schedule of classes up)
  • Week 6: Handshake post opens – new students apply (schedule of classes up)
  • Week 7: Continue to meet with students
  • Week 8:  Deadline for all students to review internship site list and provide top 3 choices (via Handshake)
  • Week 9-10: Internship site matches. Connect students to host org site supervisors to get signatures
  • Finals week: Connect remaining students to host org sites and get signatures for contract courses/agreements
  • Spring Break: Intake appt schedule for Spring quarter 195CE opens to sign-up
  • Week 1-2 (Spring Qtr 2022): Students sign-up for intake appts. with graduate student instructor

For questions, please contact Elizbeth Espinoza, Student Programming Manager at espinoza@irle.ucla.edu.