• Veterans Program for Politics and Civic Engagement

    Training program for veterans considering careers in politics

  • Our program is tailored to meet the specific needs of veterans and veteran spouses who have an interest in pursuing careers in politics. Instructors will include esteemed faculty from the Maxwell School -- the nation’s #1-ranked graduate school in public affairs, veterans with first-hand experience running for office, and experts in the field.

    "Veterans are a natural fit for public office,” says Nick Armstrong '08 MPA/'14 PhD (SSc), IVMF Senior Director of Research and Policy and Maxwell alum. “They comprise more than one-third of the federal work force and have been shown to be more likely to vote, contact public officials, volunteer, give to charity, and work with neighbors to fix problems in their community."  

    Together, we will engage participants in subjects such as the mechanics and management of campaigning, fundraising strategies, building your platform (policies and institutional reform), messaging, public communications, identifying mentors, and leveraging resources available to veterans, among others.

    Critical in all of this is providing participants the opportunity for self-assessment and reflection. What knowledge, experience, and personal character do you bring to your candidacy? What are your areas for growth? What political offices are a good fit for you?

    What You Will Experience

    • Engagement through an online learning system
    • A seven-day intensive Syracuse University campus experience
    • Ongoing support and networking opportunities as an alum of our program

    The ultimate deliverable for this program is a refined campaign plan for each program participant.

    Program Timing
    The program will launch in fall 2019 and is organized into three phases.

    Phase 1 begins the moment applicants are accepted into the program and enroll in the course, at which time are provided access to the online program learning management system. Through this system, students will find instructional videos, readings, and reference materials. In October, we will arrange weekly webinars to review specific elements of the program.

    Phase 2, the on-campus immersion, takes place November 9 – 15. A more detailed agenda will be provided in early October.

    Phase 3 starts the moment participants leave Syracuse University as graduates of the program. We will stay engaged with each participant as they seek elected office. We will provide support with the content for your campaigns as well as leverage networks that can be useful to your political success. 

    Maxwell’s long history with civic responsibility will ground participants and infuse their political aspirations with the venerable ethos of the Athenian Oath, Maxwell’s creed, to “transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.

    Immersion Location
    The immersion will be offered in residence on the campus of Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY.

    Eligibility
    A selective, rigorous and intense educational initiative, our program represents a unique opportunity for those men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom, or their family members, to take an important step toward continuing their commitment to public service through elected office. The program offers intensive training for veteran and military family members with career interests in politics.

    All veterans and their family members are eligible to apply. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Successful candidates must be able to demonstrate a strong potential for a future career in politics and an interest in running for public office.

    Application
    A completed application package will include the following:

    1. Completed application form
    2. Resume (uploaded through the online application)
    3. Proof of military service (DD214 or military ID)

    Selection will be based on the ‘whole-person’ concept, with a particular focus on an assessment of each candidate’s potential to excel not only in the program, but also upon graduation, in his or her chosen area of leadership in public office. References and interviews may be requested of finalists.

    There are two (2) required uploads in the online application portal necessary for successful completion of this application. While you will be able to to save your resume and application, please make sure that you are prepared to submit all materials shortly after beginning your application. You will only have 30 days to access your in-progress application after the first time you save your application.

    The online application will be open through July 22.

     More details will be sent to those who have requested additional information. If you have not yet done so, please request information by completing the online form.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Will the online learning in Phase 1 be live instruction?

    Instruction will be offered in a hybrid format that consists of asynchronous (on-demand) and synchronous (live video conference) materials available through a web-based learning management platform.

    Is the program self-paced or directed by a faculty member?

    The materials for Phases 1 and 3 will be available to students 24/7 through self-paced work facilitated by an instructor. The residential immersion will be directed by faculty at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.

    What is the cost of the program to students?

    Expenses related to program participation (e.g., attendance, lodging, and meals) will be covered by the program, through the generous support of JP Morgan Chase & Co, Syracuse University, and other sponsors. Candidates admitted to the program will assume costs associated with transportation to Syracuse, NY for the residential immersion.  

    Do I earn credit through Syracuse University, and do I receive a certificate or diploma on completion?

    There will be a certificate providing documentation of attendance, and the opportunity to secure a non-credit transcript detailing the course completed by Syracuse University.

    What is the application deadline? How and when will applicants be notified of the status of their application?

    Applications are due July 22; finalists will be notified by email by the end of August for the fall 2019 program.

    How competitive is admissions to the program?

    We expect to receive applications from over 100 candidates and seek to fill a class of 20-25 participants for fall 2019.

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