LBJ School launches leadership program
In an effort to cultivate a diverse pool of future public leaders, the LBJ School is launching a Summer Leadership Scholars Program (SLSP) in May that is aimed at students of color who are interested in public service careers. Funded by the Inman Foundation and the LBJ Foundation, the six-week program begins on May 30. The application deadline is March 6.
“The Summer Leadership Scholars Program is designed for Texas college and university students who are entering their senior year or have at least one semester left before graduating,” said Program Director Stephanie Hill. “Students selected to participate in the program will be brought to the LBJ School, where they will explore careers in public service and prepare for graduate study leading to public service careers.”
By participating in the program, the students will acquire six hours of undergraduate academic credit that can be transferred to their home institutions. Participants will receive full financial support, which includes all tuition and fees, housing and meals, and a $1,000 stipend. In addition, SLSP participants who subsequently apply to the master of public affairs graduate program at the LBJ School will receive an application fee waiver and priority consideration for admission and financial support.
LBJ School Professor Pat Wong, who helped organize the program and has been involved with minority recruitment and teaching at the School since 1988, said the SLSP will benefit both the participating students and the LBJ School.
“This program is important from the participants’ point of view because it will give them a flavor of what graduate public policy study is like, and, hopefully, that will enhance their interest in applying to a graduate public affairs program in the future,” he said. “From the School’s point of view, it is important not only because it will allow us to get acquainted with a small group of young, bright prospective students, but also because it will help us network with other universities in Texas through the nomination process.”
According to Wong, the ideal candidate is an “intellectually curious” college student who is interested in current affairs and who is actively looking into professional career options. “Current academic major does not matter,” he said. “Nor is it important to have a stellar GPA. It is more important to have a rigorous, well-rounded coursework background and demonstrated ability to perform at a decent level in all subjects.”
Wong added that the School is looking for individuals who wish to broaden their perspective, ask questions “outside the box,” keep up with current events, are involved in the community and have a special passion for one or two specific issues.
The program is composed of three parts: academic preparation in quantitative methods and policy analysis; leadership training; and career mentoring.
As part of their academic training, the students will enroll in two LBJ School undergraduate courses—Quantitative Foundation for Public Policy and Global Issues in Public Policy. The purpose of the courses is to provide a foundation in quantitative analysis and to expose students to current policy issues and approaches.
The LBJ School’s Center for Ethical Leadership will offer a series of workshops exclusively for SLSP participants. The workshops will include discussions on a variety of topics related to ethics and leadership, guest speakers, and field trips to Austin community groups and government agencies.
Each program participant will be paired up with an LBJ School alumnus or current student who will continue to serve as a mentor after the participant returns to his or her home institution. Mentors will provide information and advice about career opportunities, graduate program options, the graduate school application process and other related matters. Faculty members will also provide advice as needed.
For more information about the program and the application process, visit www.utexas.edu/lbj/slsp, or contact SLSP Director Stephanie Hill by phone at 512/471-0801 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
21 January 2006
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