Building civic infrastructure for more informed, engaged, and equitable Vermont communities

The Grassroots Governing Community of Practice brings together UVM students and Vermont town offices and municipal programs. Investigate the most urgent questions facing Vermont’s towns and villages today. From police budgets and changing demographics to gender bias and Town Meeting Day, we are exploring the challenges and successes of the most direct and participatory democracy in the nation to understand what’s working and what’s not.

Projects may include working directly with a small Vermont town helping with interactive media, video, web design, communications and more. Or conducting Vermont research; charts and graphics, quantitative and/or qualitative information gathering and more. Projects undertaken in this course cover a wide variety of interest areas and are customizable to students' skillsets. 

Students: Enroll in CAS 2920 B
With the approval of the chair or the director of undergraduate studies, this internship experience may be substituted for the POLS elective. Contact Peter VonDoepp to request approval.

“Without common ideas, there is no common action, and without common action men still exist, but a social body does not. Thus in order that there be society, and all the more, that this society prosper, it is necessary that all the minds of the citizens always be brought together and held together by some principle ideas.”

— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Student Experience

Student interns are matched with towns across Vermont (in all 14 counties) to provide communications support to local governments to expand access, transparency, and accountability in local decision-making. The mission: Make information about public life and local governance accessible to all, more welcoming to historically excluded Vermonters and representative of our increasingly diverse state.

Internships will take place in a hybrid model. Students are expected to visit the towns they are working with at least three times throughout the semester.

Time commitment: Students are expected to complete at least 100 hours of work for their community partner project (which is around 8 hours per week) plus weekly class time and short, contextual assignments. This program is designed to match the amount of work required of a typical academic course.

Faculty Mentor:

Corey Parent (he/him)

Corey Parent works as a consultant to town municipal governments, political campaigns, small businesses, and more. He has also served as a Vermont State Senator and as Director of Operations for St. Albans.


Contact the College of Arts & Sciences Internship Team with questions.

Credit information

The Grassroots Governing Community of Practice counts as elective internship credit.

If students' internship placements are related to their major or minor, they can request that the credit count toward their major or minor by contacting their department chairperson.