AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Higher Education Internships

The AFT represents more than 200,000 higher education professionals, including full-time and part-time faculty members, professional staff, and graduate employees. The higher education department’s mission is to help our affiliates and their members prosper in the face of political, economic and technological forces challenging the most basic assumptions about the union's role on campus. Issues we are actively working to address include:

  • The loss of full-time faculty positions and the continued exploitation of contingent faculty and graduate employees;
  • The erosion of faculty participation in the governance of institutions;
  • The continual disinvestment in public higher education and rising cost of higher education.

These and other issues are requiring campus unions to adopt new bargaining and political strategies. The higher education department carries out its mission and assists AFT affiliates in a variety of ways, including:

  • Providing research and publications on key issues;
  • Assisting with collective bargaining and organizing information;
  • Developing and providing current news and data for locals via our websites and blogs;
  • Holding various conferences and meetings including the Higher Education National Issues Conference, the Special Leadership Conference, as well as various constituency-specific meetings;
  • Working with other AFT departments on higher education-related issues (such as the legislation, public affairs, and editorial departments);
  • Responding to direct inquiries from current and potential AFT members.

Interns in the higher education department participate in the breadth of departmental work and gain valuable experience in the areas of research, public policy development and communications. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: researching and evaluating higher education data; drafting reports for review and recommending AFT policy; assisting in conference planning and execution; gathering information from locals, other unions, governmental agencies, and other education groups; generating content for the higher education Web pages. Interns may also be asked to engage in organizing and political action work in the field.

Candidates should be interested in the issues that affect higher education and public policy in general and be committed to the union’s role in higher education. Strong written and oral communication skills are required; basic computer skills required, with additional skills such as knowledge of databases and Web production software a plus; some background in public policy and/or unions helpful.

Application details for internships in this department are found on the main internship page.