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Bridging the Curricular and Co-Curricular: The Rockefeller Center Model of Civic Engagement
Unformatted Document Text:  Center is derived from our fortuitous location, equidistant from Concord, New Hampshire and Montpelier, Vermont. Not only are these two state capitals roughly an hour away from campus, they are both part-time, nonprofessionalized legislatures, with little staff support for legislators and committees. There are seventeen states with similarly situated part-time legislatures. We suggest that colleges and universities in relatively close proximity to these state capitals would be strong candidates for the implementation of the PRS to serve state policymakers. Beyond these institutions, our recent outreach to local governments suggests that any college or university could adopt the PRS program to serve county and local governmental entities. Another unique characteristic of the Rockefeller PRS is that it is staffed entirely by undergraduate students. It is too often the case at Ph.D. granting institutions that undergraduates take a back seat to graduate students when it comes to policy-related research. There are numerous policy institutes on campuses around the country that are dominated by faculty and graduate students. Little engagement with undergraduates is pursued. We feel that this is an oversight that should be corrected. For liberal arts colleges, the focus on undergraduate education is far clearer. We believe that the PRS program is an excellent fit for undergraduate institutions, but the program should also be considered by larger institutions with formal public policy centers that serve faculty and graduate students. Finally, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program provides an alternative to leadership studies programs that exist in higher education institutions. For colleges and universities on a semester schedule rather than a term schedule, we would suggest that the fifteen-week fall term would be the most appropriate adaptation of the RLF program. With both of these programs, the curricular linkage has proven, in a relatively short period of time, to be an important means of engaging students in a wider variety of aspects of public policymaking and leadership. 21

Authors: Shaiko, Ronald.
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Center is derived from our fortuitous location, equidistant from Concord, New Hampshire
and Montpelier, Vermont. Not only are these two state capitals roughly an hour away from
campus, they are both part-time, nonprofessionalized legislatures, with little staff support
for legislators and committees. There are seventeen states with similarly situated part-time
legislatures. We suggest that colleges and universities in relatively close proximity to these
state capitals would be strong candidates for the implementation of the PRS to serve state
policymakers. Beyond these institutions, our recent outreach to local governments
suggests that any college or university could adopt the PRS program to serve county and
local governmental entities. Another unique characteristic of the Rockefeller PRS is that it
is staffed entirely by undergraduate students. It is too often the case at Ph.D. granting
institutions that undergraduates take a back seat to graduate students when it comes to
policy-related research. There are numerous policy institutes on campuses around the
country that are dominated by faculty and graduate students. Little engagement with
undergraduates is pursued. We feel that this is an oversight that should be corrected. For
liberal arts colleges, the focus on undergraduate education is far clearer. We believe that
the PRS program is an excellent fit for undergraduate institutions, but the program should
also be considered by larger institutions with formal public policy centers that serve faculty
and graduate students.
Finally, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows program provides an alternative to
leadership studies programs that exist in higher education institutions. For colleges and
universities on a semester schedule rather than a term schedule, we would suggest that the
fifteen-week fall term would be the most appropriate adaptation of the RLF program. With
both of these programs, the curricular linkage has proven, in a relatively short period of
time, to be an important means of engaging students in a wider variety of aspects of public
policymaking and leadership.
21


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