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    North Carolina Central University
  Oct 16, 2017
University Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2018

Public Policy and Civic Engagement Concentration

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While the core political science curriculum will expose majors to all subfields in the discipline, the Public Policy and Civic Engagement concentration will allow students the opportunity to do more extensive work in these special areas of study.  The concentration will prepare students for careers in policy analysis and political organizing as educators, researchers, organizers, analysts, and other professions.

Public policy and civic engagement are important pillars of American democracy and there is an inherent relationship between them.  In a democracy, public policy should reflect the interests and desires of the people that are expressed through engaging the political process in multiple ways.  Thus, public policy is the product of both institutional politics and the political participation of everyday people.  However, many public policy programs focus on the public policy process, implementation and analysis impact, giving little attention to role of civic engagement.  This concentration will address these issues as well as the impact on the policy process of substantive engagement by people throughout the citizenry.

Public policy and civic engagement are multidimensional.  Public policies take different forms and encompass a wide range of issue areas such as education, healthcare, immigration, housing, poverty and others.  Meanwhile, there are myriad modes of civic engagement, ranging from volunteerism to voting to policy advocacy.  Hence both areas are multidisciplinary.  Students in this concentration will acquire the skills to understand these complexities.  Thus, they will be prepared play a significant role in improving public policies and civic engagement to improve our democracy and the quality life of its citizens.

Key Features of the Concentration

  • Social Justice Focus.  Public policy and civic engagement are vital vehicles for the goal of improving the quality of life of people.  The pursuit of social justice is an inherent objective leading toward this goal.  This is a critical link between public policy and civic engagement that is foundational for this concentration.
  • Service Learning.  Learning through addressing an authentic community need or issues is a growing aspect of higher education.  Studies indicate that service learning is a vital part of improving the engagement by students and thus, the overall graduation and retention rates.  Consequently, service learning will be a vital part of this concentration.
  • Global Citizenship.  Public policy and civic engagement take place at the local, national and international levels.  This concentration will examine the interaction and relationship between these different levels of policy and engagement.
  • Technology.  Similar to other areas, public policy and civic engagement are impacted greatly by technology.


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