Next Generation Service Partnership Prepares Undergraduates for Public Service

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The new national initiative, jointly launched by the Volcker Alliance and Arizona State University’s Watts College, aims to educate the next generation of public servants

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"We believe that Schools of Public Service have a unique and powerful opportunity to engage a broader group of motivated undergraduates eager to make change in the world,” said Thomas W. Ross, president of the Volcker Alliance.

The Volcker Alliance and the Arizona State University Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions have launched the Next Generation Service Partnership (NextGen Service), a national initiative that seeks to expand public service learning experiences for undergraduates.

“International protests and outrage over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans at the hands of police officers, along with society-wide measures required to contain the coronavirus pandemic, make clear that our nation is in crisis. Just as clear is that we need government to be able to respond effectively to crises—now and in the future,” said Thomas W. Ross, president of the Volcker Alliance. “Government’s preparedness requires a concerted effort to develop the next generation of public leaders. We believe that Schools of Public Service have a unique and powerful opportunity to engage a broader group of motivated undergraduates eager to make change in the world,” said Mr. Ross.

The Next Generation Service Partnership will meet the demand to elevate undergraduate student engagement as a national priority for Schools of Public Service—including Schools of Public Affairs, Administration, and Policy; expand the reach of educational strategies that work for undergraduates; foster collaborative planning and learning between Schools of Public Service and other academic departments across their campuses; and provide technical support to help Schools of Public Service accelerate the implementation of effective undergraduate programming.

“We have seen at ASU and around the country how committed our country’s young people are to positive social impact,” said Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University. “NextGen Service will give universities around the country the guidance and resources they need to better support their undergraduates’ drive to make a difference in careers of public service.”

The Public Service Academy (PSA) at ASU’s Watts College is an esteemed, innovative approach to undergraduate engagement that helps students from more than 150 different majors across the university develop the skills, networks, and experiences they need to take on the most complex challenges of our time.

“Leveraging the knowledge and experience of our amazing PSA team at Watts College, the NextGen Service initiative will offer an opportunity for Schools of Public Service to actively explore or design new strategies for engaging undergraduate learners,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of ASU’s Watts College.

NextGen Service offers two tiers of engagement for interested schools. In the first tier, Watts College and the Volcker Alliance will offer a series of webinars and interactive forums, open to all interested attendees, to share information about ASU’s Public Service Academy model and other approaches to undergraduate public service education. In the second tier, interested Schools of Public Service may be selected to participate in a more intensive one-year “planning cohort.” Schools joining the cohort will have access to a range of support to inform and accelerate their planning and implementation efforts.

The first three schools to participate in the NextGen Service planning cohort are The Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College of the City University of New York, the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, and the School of Public Administration in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

For more information on the Next Generation Service Partnership, visit volckeralliance.org.

The Volcker Alliance advances effective management of government to achieve results that matter to citizens. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization is inspired by the legendary public service of our founder, Paul A. Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, and his vision of a public sector workforce with the experience, preparation, and commitment to ensure that government is accountable and delivers with excellence. Visit volckeralliance.org to learn more. Follow us on social media @VolckerAlliance and subscribe to the Volcker Alliance newsletter for the latest news and developments. The Volcker Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it. Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions is made up of four schools and more than 20 research centers—all with a shared goal of advancing research and discovery of public value, and furthering the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities that we serve.

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