Students having a roundtable discussion with President Murphy

Join the Public Policy School

  • Are you passionate about law, policy and social justice?
  • Do you want to learn public policy advocacy skills?

*requirement may be waived in rare, difficult circumstances.

How to Apply

  • Use the online application
  • For the 2024-25 Year, PPS will start in Fall 2024 and run through Spring 2025. Applications will be considered/interviews conducted in Spring 2024

About the Program

Learn to Be a Public Policy Advocate

Join Public Policy School as a paid intern, where you will learn how to craft messaging, build lasting relationships through networking, and lobby effectively to create real change. Interns commit about 10 hours a week to learning about policy that affects California community college students, practicing lobbying and communication skills, and passing this knowledge to other students through intern-led workshops. Interns spend their time in the Winter quarter preparing for the FACCC Advocacy & Policy (A&P) conference in March, held in Sacramento, CA! 

Start and end dates: Fall 2024 - Spring 2025

Time commitment: 5-10 hours/week

Student Learning Outcomes:
  • Craft clear and persuasive messaging 
  • Gain organizational skills by planning logistics for the FHDA delegation attending the 2022 FACCC Advocacy and Policy Conference 
  • Grow pubic speaking skills through leading group discussions, presentations, and facilitating workshops 
  • Enhance knowledge of the legislative process by doing research and engaging your critical thinking
  • Build meaningful relationships with other students committed to lasting social change

The internship starts in the Fall of 2024 and continues through Spring of 2025. Students must be able to commit to 5-10 hours a week and must be enrolled in at least 6 units. 

Need More Information?

If you have any questions, please contact us!

  • Jim Nguyen, Political Science Instructor and Co-Facilitator of Public Policy School: or 408.864.5551
  • Robert Stockwell, Political Science Instructor and Co-Facilitator of Public Policy School: or 408.864.8382

Purpose of the PPS

students protesting

Public Policy School was created to advance public policy knowledge and advocacy in the FHDA district as it pertains to community college students. The two main goals are to help the development of PPS interns as advocates and to impact policy directly.

Don't like the law? Learn how to change it!

"Nothing counts but pressure, pressure, more pressure, and still more pressure through broad organized aggressive mass action."

- A. Phillip Randolph, Labor and Civil Rights Organizer  

Testimonials from 2023 - 2024 Intern Team 

Daniela Rios, PPS and CYLC Intern:

"Growing as a PPS intern has been incredibly empowering and informative! From learning how to lobby to learning to understand the nitty gritty bills that are passed through the assembly and/or was definitely an opportunity that I’ll cherish forever!"

"Being a part of the 2024 CYLC cohort while being in PPS has been such a positive experience. Not only did I get to take what I learned in the required classes and apply it to my community work with PPS, but I also got the opportunity to apply for a certificate of Leadership and Social Change at the end of my time at De Anza. Hands down, CYLC is an amazing duo when paired with PPS."

Molara Mabogunje, PPS Intern and Foothill Student:

"Participating in this internship experience has given me the confidence to advocate for myself and empower other students to use their voice to make change. Being able to collaborate with my fellow interns under the guidance of our advisors made me feel incredibly supported, and I’d highly recommend PPS to any student who is interested in a program that pushes you to think critically and actively learn about policy."

Testimonials from 2019 - 2020 Intern Team 

Team photoGabi Gupta: “Through PPS, I have been able to learn more about the inner workings of how local and federal politics works. I was able to get exposure to hands-on experiences with lobbying officials and engaging De Anza students with volunteer, voter registration work. Politics can feel very inaccessible, and I am very grateful that I have been able to deepen my learning and engagement under our supportive supervisors, Jim and Bob, as well as alongside my fellow PPS-ers!” 

Zoe Vulpe: "PPS has given me a much deeper understanding of the legislative process, as well as the other factors that go into making policy decisions. I learned how to lobby politicians, how to represent the needs of my community, communicate effectively with staffers and policy makers, facilitate training sessions, and coordinate logistics. PPS has opened a door for me into the world of political change-making, and I've been presented with so many opportunities, connections, and new friends because of it." 

Natiana Day: "During my time as an intern, I have learned the process of legislation and lobbying as well as important life skills. PPS involves its interns in curren
t issues that are important to students and our community. While we advocate for these issues, we are also creating relationships and networking with other institutions on and off-campus. I am thankful to Public Policy School and our advisors Jim and Bob, for instilling within us the power to create lasting change."

Kimberly Lam: Working with PPS has helped me understand the ways in which we can build positive change through policy work, lobbying, and community organizing. As a team, we learned a lot about organizing trainings for larger groups, the logistics associated with planning a conference, as well as how politics works at different levels. I was about to learn a lot about how I can create change on both an individual and a larger level, while working in an incredible team and making really great connections.

Genevieve Kolar: Being a PPS intern has been an amazing experience! I’ve learned about policy making and lobbying, and how to translate community needs into political action and advocacy. It’s given me the chance to work on issues at every level from individual voter registration and engagement at the college level, to state and federal bills. I also gained a lot of practical professional experience, like collaborating on projects with many different people, planning logistics, and better time management. Working with the other interns (and students from across the district) and learning from our advisors, Jim and Bob, has been amazing.

Highlights from 2014 - 2015

The 2014-2015 Public Policy School concluded a successfuly year with trips to Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Eleven students led by Co-Facilitators Bob Stockwell and Jim Nguyen from the Political Science Department conducted conference and legislative visits on state and federal issues.

Students attended legislative and policy conferences, networked with students and faculty from other colleges and actively fought for policy changes to increase support and funding to community colleges in California and across the country.

The students learned campaign, organization, advocacy, persuasive speech and communication skills, while successfully spreading the message of community college needs on behalf of other students.

Many thanks to the students and facilitators for another strong year. We look forward to next year's class and program!

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