Rethinking Political Science: Introducing Public Service and Nonprofit Leadership
In partnership with UNH’s Carsey School of Public Policy, the University of New Hampshire at Manchester has launched a new Bachelor of Arts in Public Service and Nonprofit Leadership.
With an emphasis on interdisciplinary and applied learning, the hands-on Public Service program explores the ways that leaders and citizens work in and around government and civic organizations to address today’s complex societal problems. The program focuses on providing students with the skills and knowledge to move into careers in the public and not-for-profit sectors or to pursue advanced study in public administration, public policy, community development and more.
Stephen Pimpare, senior lecturer in American Politics & Public Policy and coordinator of the new program, says the experience-driven program not only boosts students’ résumés—it also focuses on developing the in-demand skills that employers look for.
“Public Service majors will develop essential, transferable skills in critical thinking, problem solving, community engagement, communication, research and data analysis, teamwork and leadership,” Pimpare said. “These are highly marketable skills that can open up doors in many professional fields—fields in urgent need of well-trained, committed young people.”
Rooted in experiential learning, Public Service majors must complete at least one semester-long internship as well as independent research projects on urgent issues facing the Granite State. These experiences closely align with the program’s coursework on matters of national, state and local politics and policy-making and with practical learning about the range of organizational, management, human resources, financial and political challenges that public and civic organizations face.
This new undergraduate program draws upon the existing expertise at UNH’s Carsey School, which will open up some of its Manchester-based graduate courses to advanced Public Service students. Thanks to this innovative partnership, Public Service undergraduates can take their final courses alongside Carsey School master’s students—and those courses will count toward their undergraduate degree and toward a UNH Carsey School master’s degree in Public Administration or Public Policy.
“We’re pleased to be partnering with our colleagues on the Manchester campus on this promising new program. An undergraduate degree in Public Service and Nonprofit Leadership is a perfect start for those interested in careers in working towards the public good,” said Daniel Bromberg, director of academic programs for the Carsey School. “This major will provide students with the skills and tools necessary to be a successful leader in the public and nonprofit sectors, and put them on a path to have a stable and productive career serving their fellow citizens.”
The program’s home base at UNH’s dynamic campus in Manchester creates a wealth of opportunities for internships in state and city government, leading not-for-profit service providers, law practices, lobbying firms and more. Students with interests in national politics and policy can also receive credit for internships in Washington, D.C. thanks to an ongoing partnership with the Washington Center.
“Public Sector jobs offer dependable wages, good health and retirement benefits, job security and clear paths for promotion and upward mobility, and the not-for-profit sector is vital to the health—including the economic health—of our communities,” Pimpare said. “This is important work, especially as we think about the ongoing crisis of addiction and other challenges we face, and there’s a real need for talented workers and leaders. We hope UNH’s Manchester campus will be able to help provide smart, well-trained problem-solvers to governmental and nonprofit organizations throughout the Granite State and beyond.”