Mills College Public Policy Program: What is Public Policy?

Mills College Public Policy Program: What is Public Policy?



the goal in Public Policy Studies is to train people to use frameworks from a variety of social science disciplines particularly economics and political science but also a variety of others law ethics from philosophy and so forth to be able to use those in understanding public problems it's also a question of training people to be able to suss out what kinds of problems are problems that government or public intervention can actually do something about and what are problems that we may lament but taking some kind of action is in fact not going to do what we want it to do in a way it's kind of the culmination of policy training which is really about helping people who come in with this inclination of wanting to make the world a more just a more sustainable a more peaceful place recognize that that has to happen one small piece at a time and there going to be a lot of challenges along the way the particular contribution that we think we make is that we actually help people think about how to do that we want them to understand how hard it is and at the same time still maintain that commitment for actually doing the work and I think that that is a hallmark of our program I I heard a lovely way of putting this when I was describing the program to a colleague from another institution and I said were we're trying to equip students with a real knowledge of how systems work without discouraging them from trying to make change in those settings and he said in effect what you're doing is training warriors and I love that so that's how I think about the program now as we're training warriors one of the things that can happen to students going through policy programs and I know because I've been in a lot of policy programs is that they get discouraged and then they come out sort of thinking well now what but I don't see that in our students I see that our students grow and become more confident and are more sure of what they can do and are equally committed to wanting to make the world a better place you

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