BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs has joined a new national initiative that seeks to expand public service learning experiences for undergraduates on the Bloomington campus. The O’Neill School has been selected to join the NextGen Service Active Planning Cohort, a small group of schools of public service that are committed to implementing new undergraduate public service programs.
Led by the Volcker Alliance and Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, the NextGen Service aims to elevate undergraduate student engagement as a national priority for schools of public service; 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 them technical support to accelerate the implementation of effective undergraduate programming.
The primary objective of NextGen Service is to assist schools like O’Neill to actively explore or design new strategies for engaging undergraduate learners.
“Students at the O’Neill School are renowned for their passion for creating positive social change,” said R.J. Woodring, associate dean for educational programs. “This partnership will help expand some of the leadership and public service opportunities we’re already proud to offer to an even wider audience.”
The partnership provides the O’Neill School with seed funding, strategic planning, and project implementation support to further expand the school’s development of next-generation leaders. The school’s existing programs, such as the Civic Leaders Center, the Washington Leadership Program, and the Indiana Leadership Program, already provide opportunities for undergraduate students to develop and grow their leadership abilities. The initiative was fast-tracked in the wake of several public policy issues that have garnered international attention.
“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.
About the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
The O’Neill School is a world leader in public and environmental affairs and is the largest school of public administration and public policy in the United States. In the 2021 "Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs" by U.S. News & World Report, the O'Neill School ranks first in the country. Four of its specialty programs are ranked in the top-five listings, including nonprofit management, ranked first.