Student Activities at the Cline Center
One of the main objectives of the Cline Center for Democracy is to engage students in the study of democratic principles, issues and ideas. In furtherance of this objective the Center strives to involve students attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the life of the Center. Currently students can participate in activities of the Center in five principal ways:
Participating in one of the symposia sponsored by the Center
This participation may entail simply attending the various public lectures and activities associated with these events. However, the Cline Symposium also involves students in small group discussions led by distinguished alumni. These sessions challenge students to deal with crucial public issues and understand their challenges - as well as different ways of addressing them. Students are chosen to participate in these small group sessions based upon faculty recommendations.
Enrolling in a Cline Center Research Practicum Course
Beginning in the 2009-10 AY, the Cline Center initiated a practicum series that is part of the Department of Political Science's Challenge Course offerings intended for advanced and highly motivated undergraduates. These year-long seminars offer students the opportunity to participate in the Societal Infrastructures and Development Project (SID), the Center's signature research initiative. Students are trained to use an advanced set of tools and resources developed within one of the key components of the SID project: the Social, Political and Economic Events Database Project (SPEED). SPEED is a cutting-edge, technology-intensive effort to extract and analyze vital information from the Cline Center's global news archive. Students use the information technologies embedded in SPEED to generate original data from these global news reports that bear on important and enduring issues. The practicum courses generate a final report that is posted on the Cline Center's website; a press release is issue, where warranted. Materials on past practica can be viewed, as well as those currently being offered.
Working on a Center-based research program
The Center conducts numerous research projects in furtherance of its goals and objectives. These projects provide opportunities for students to work with faculty members in conducting challenging and vital research dealing with democracy and global development. The Center routinely hires a number of undergraduate and graduate students during the academic year as well as during the summer. Often students are hired after they complete one of the Cline Center Research Practicum courses.
An internship in the Illinois in Washington Program.
The Cline Center was highly involved in the creation of the Illinois in Washington program, a Washington-based internship program aimed at familiarizing students with the inner working of American democracy at the national level - as well as enhancing their employment opportunities in the public sector. While the program is not operated by the Cline Center, it provides students with an opportunity to pursue educational objectives closed associated to those programs that are administered by the Center.