By: Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer
The four Capital Fellows programs are a set of unique opportunities for college graduates. Fellows work for ten months as full-time staff members in the State Assembly, the State Senate, the executive branch, or the judiciary while earning graduate credit.
“I got my start in public policy as a Senate Fellow after I graduated from college,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “The experience I gained in the State Capitol changed my professional and life goals.”
Supervisor Spitzer served as a 1982-83 Senate Fellow in the office of Senator John Seymour (R-Anaheim). Chris Nguyen, a Policy Advisor in Supervisor Spitzer’s office, served as a 2007-08 Senate Fellow in the office of Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley). Their experiences writing laws, working legislation and coordinating constituent services led Spitzer to pursue his Master of Public Policy and Juris Doctor and Nguyen to pursue his Master of Public Administration. Their further education enhanced the skills they developed in the Capitol as Senate Fellows, and they each still use those skills today in service to the people of Orange County.
The Senate Fellows and Assembly Fellows programs provide placements in legislative offices in the California State Capitol. The Executive Fellows program offers placements in various executive agencies throughout the Sacramento metropolitan area. The Judicial Administration Fellows program has its placements in courthouses throughout California.
“During my six years as a State Assemblyman, five Assembly Fellows worked for me,” Spitzer said. “I was appreciative of the training they received in the six-week orientation and their weekly on-the-job policy seminars that no other legislative staffers receive.”
Each of the four programs has a separate application, but all four require at least a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and transcripts from all colleges attended. It is strongly suggested that at least one letter come from a college instructor and at least one letter come from an employer/supervisor. Applicants selected for interviews will do so in April and will be notified if they have been accepted in May.
All applicants must have their bachelor’s degrees by September 2014 and must have been born no later than October 1994. Depending on which of the four programs they are in, Fellows serve from September/October 2014 to August/September 2015.
Applications are submitted online and are due by Monday, February 10. More information can be found online about the four Capital Fellows programs at www.csus.edu/calst/programs.