The following is an excerpt of a column published in The State Journal-Register on Jan. 29, 2023 that was written by UIS Public Affairs Reporting Director Jason Piscia.
"Today, 50 years since that class graduated, PAR remains a signature program at the University of Illinois Springfield. The 10-month program begins with a semester of classwork followed by an internship where students cover the Illinois legislature and other aspects of state government for a professional news outlet.
This year’s class started internships earlier this month and has already seen significant action, including the debate and signing of the assault weapons ban.
A recent survey by the University of Vermont’s Center for Community News shows PAR is among just 17 collegiate programs that place student journalists in U.S. statehouses. We’re also the oldest, launched in 1972."