The major seeks to provide you with concepts and skills in community-centered analysis and action research and to help you better understand the impact of local, regional, national, and global structures, and institutions on social change. The Public Policy and Community Service major at Emory & Henry enables you not only to understand change but to become an agent of change.
The program involves a systematic and rigorous study of many central conceptual themes: citizenship, community service, religion, public ethics, diversity, public policy, globalization, social justice, and social change. The principal goal of the major is to provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to become fluent in these themes in both academic and practical dimensions.
In addition to acquiring knowledge of the policy-making process and models of social change, you will learn skills in community building, participatory research and leadership development. Shaped by the assumption that thought and action are inseparable elements of education, the PPCS major emphasizes critical thinking, analytic writing, communication skills, public problem solving, a significant reflection and analysis component, and a strong field component. Emory & Henry’s Appalachian Center for Community Service coordinates instruction and oversees service-learning opportunities for the program.
Planning a Course of Study
You may choose one of the following focus areas: Appalachian Studies, Church and Community, Environmental Studies, International Studies, Human Services, Political Economy, Recreation, Spanish, or Women’s Studies. You may also create your own focus area in consultation with your advisor. An associate program in Human Services is a good background for transferring students desiring a major in Public Policy and Community Service.
All core courses have community service components. For example, the introductory course requires 25 hours of one-on-one service outside of the classroom. Other core courses include community organizing, which requires a group community service project; politics and public policy; applied civic methodologies; race, class, gender and sexuality; and sustainable community development. Seniors take a three-course (nine hours) practicum related to their focus area, and a senior seminar, which involves working on a major project with the agency they worked with during the practicum.
Major and minor areas which relate well to the PPCS program are psychology, sociology, political science, religion, environmental studies, international studies, economics, Spanish, history, and mass communications. Challenging service placements and opportunities to attend regional and national conferences and workshops enhance the program. Additionally, students majoring in Public Policy and Community Service are often called upon to give leadership in a number of service activities on campus and in the surrounding communities. Several of our majors also benefit from Bonner, AmeriCorps, and Appalachian Center Associates scholarships that carry with them community service components in exchange for financial support.
Post-Graduate Educational and Career Opportunities
The Public Policy and Community Service major may lead you to a career with a nonprofit organization, volunteer agency, political campaign, or a human services agency. Or you may choose to attend graduate school to further study public policy, political science, sociology, social work, or community development, or to attend law school.
Listed below are Emory & Henry graduates who have found careers in fields related to the Public Policy and Community Service program.
- Gina Kelly, ’08, program services assistant, ForKids, a non-profit agency serving homeless children, Norfolk, Va.
- Lisa Evans Bourne, ’07, coordinator for public education policy partnerships and programming, Emory & Henry College, Emory, Va.
- Darren Rock, ’07, firefighter/EMT, Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department, Roanoke, Va.
- Christian Miller, ’06, teacher, Pulaski County High School, Dublin, Va.; M.A. in Public School Administration, Radford University.
- Katie Summers, ’06, instructor, The Camelot Therapeutic Day School, Pulaski, Va.
- Laura Weaver, ’05, community educator and volunteer coordinator, The Crisis Center, Bristol, Va.
- Ashley Anderson, ’05, program coordinator for Programs in Latin America and Spain at IFSA-Butler, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Travis Proffitt, ’04, field coordinator, LifeWorks Learning Partnerships, Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, N.C.; graduate degree in theology and social justice, Loyola University, Chicago, Ill.
- Rachel Dunne, ’04, volunteer with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, Western Region; graduate degree in public policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Amanda Bohon, ’03, counselor, instructor and coordinator of the Virginia Appalachian Center for Higher Education, Southwest Virginia Community College; graduate degree in community counseling, Radford University, Radford, Va.
- Terri Jo Kegley Totten, ’03, school counselor, Sugar Grove Combined & Atkins Elementary Schools; graduate degree in counseling education, Radford University, Radford, Va.
- Lindsey Guynn Utt, ’03, Child Protective Services, Department of Social Services, Carroll County, Va.
- Rebecca Ashwell Crouse, ’02, services supervisor, Department of Social Services, Grayson County, Va.
- Amanda Dye Melniczek, ’00, area director, Boys and Girls Club of the New River Valley, Christiansburg, Va.; graduate degree in corporate and professional communication, Radford University, Radford, Va.
Below are Emory & Henry Public Policy and Community Service graduates who are currently pursuing advanced degrees:
- Sarazen Haile, ’08, master’s degree in fine arts, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
- Lauren Musick, ’08, master’s degree in public administration, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, Ky.
- Chris Baker, ’06, master’s degree in education, Milligan College, Milligan College, Tenn.
- Sheri Opetaia-Williamson, ’06, master’s degree in social work, Radford University, Radford, Va.
- Buford Blevins, ’05, master’s degree in public affairs, George Mason University, Washington, D.C.
- Julie Taylor, ’01, Ph.D. program in the School of Social Work at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.