Center for California Studies


The Center for California Studies (CCS) is a unit of the CSU whose mission is to bridge academia and government in the service of strengthening California’s democracy. Central to this mission is the administration of a number of fellowship, internship and other programs, which include:

  • The Assembly, Executive, Judicial and Senate fellowship programs annually provide experiential education on the policy-making process to 64 college graduates from across the state. At the same time, the fellows provide valuable professional service to the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of state government. Fellows also take graduate classes on California government issues, leading to a graduate certificate in Applied Policy and Government from Sacramento State.
  • The LegiSchool Project provides high school students a hands-on opportunity to connect with the state Legislature and to participate in debates on issues that directly affect them. The LegiSchool Project also holds a number of contests that encourage high school students to think about how they connect with the California and Californians.
  • The Sacramento Semester Program provides undergraduate students from throughout the state with internship opportunities in a variety of state government and legislative positions in Sacramento. Participants earn six units of internship credit plus six units in an accompanying seminar course in state government and politics, which integrates the internship experience with academic work.
  • The Faculty Research Fellows Program provides for directed faculty and staff research on topics requested by the Legislature and/or executive branch agencies. Faculty from throughout the CSU system are eligible to receive research grants under this program, and projects result in papers, conference presentations, symposia and similar public service activities.
  • The Education Policy Fellows Program (EPFP) is administered jointly by the Center for California Studies and the Education Insights center at Sacramento State. The EPFP is a professional development program for mid-career professionals involved with education policy in California.
  • ​The Federal/State Relations (Washington DC) Fellowship, which used to place fellows in Washington DC to work on state-federal issues, has been suspended during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 fiscal years, due to a number of logistical and supervisory obstacles.

Budget Background. The Center’s budget covers a range of costs, including: staff salaries and benefits; stipends, benefits and graduate tuition for 64 Capital Fellows; d​​irect grants for the Faculty Research Fellows program; conference and symposium expenses; and miscellaneous other costs.

In January, 2020, due to a change in the federal government’s definition of who is eligible for overtime, the Center had to increase the monthly stipends for all Capital Fellows, from $2,794 to $2,964. The difference of $170 per month, once applied to the entire class of 64 fellows, for the 10.5-11-month duration of the fellowship, equates to approximately $118,000 per fiscal year. The inclusion of benefits and operating expenses brings the total cost to $156,600. Although the Center has not received an increase in funds to pay for this additional cost, it has been able to pay for this increase from miscellaneous prior- and current-year savings.

Following is a summary of the Center's current year budget:


​Center for California Studies
​​Budget Act of 2020, 6610-002-0001 Appropriation1​


(a) Assembly Fellows Program​

(b) Senate Fellows Program​​958,000

(c) Executive Fellows Program​​887,000

(d) Judicial Fellows Program​​601,000

(e) Sacramento Semester Program​​100,000

(f) LegiSchool Project​​130,000

(g) Faculty Research Fellows Program​​96,000

(h) General Center Operations​816,000

(i) California Education Policy Fellowship Program​​100,000
​CSU 2020-21 Final Budget Allocations2

​Center's 2020-21​ General Fund Total

1 Benefits increases for the Center's staff.

For the budget year, adjustments for the Center (to be determined) will be shown in Item 6610-002-001 of the State Budget Act of 2021.