Gannon University will be adding the School of Public Service & Global Affairs to the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (CHESS) this fall.
The new school will introduce the Public Service & Global Affairs (PSGA) program and take seven undergraduate programs and two graduate programs under its wing.
According to a Gannon University press release, under the umbrella of the School of Public Service & Global Affairs will be foreign languages and cultures, history, political science, legal studies, women’s studies and interdisciplinary studies.
The two graduate programs include master’s in public administration (MPA) and the Ph.D. program of Organizational Learning and Leadership (OLL).
Linda Fleming, Ph.D., dean of CHESS, said that the new school’s proposal team reached out to current students and alumni to gauge interest in the idea, and to see if it was a valuable pursuit.
One of the goals of the new school is to give students real-world experience and learning in their particular field, which is why they are required to have an internship and global experience through studying abroad or alternative break service trip (ABST).
According to Fleming, the new school gives students the opportunity to explore a field that is growing globally and nationally.
“The students in this program will be prepared for a variety of careers and experiences such as working in NGOs, international development, the State Department, teaching English abroad, International student offices/study abroad offices in universities or preparation for graduate school, Teach for America or Peace Corps,” Fleming said.
Students enrolled in the new school will be in a traditional four-year program with the opportunity for additional learning if they elect to apply for graduate school.
Jeffrey Bloodworth, Ph.D., department head of history and archaeology, helped champion the new school sitting on the proposal committee and he was the primary author of the 100-page proposal.
He also oversaw the creation of the new school on various committees.
Bloodworth’s involvement stemmed from the desire to help students find their place in the world through the field of humanities.
“I know for a fact that there are lots of lucrative and exciting careers in international affairs and public service,” Bloodworth said. “The path to these jobs seems hazy, but we will illuminate the path.”
The introduction of new classes such as Plagues and Pandemics and History of Human Rights in the history department coupled with real-life experience prepares students for life after graduation.
Fleming said she thinks the students will benefit from expo sure to the reality that each part of the world is connected to one another.
“Changes in one part of the globe affect other areas because we are so integrated technologically and economically, and it is critical that our students graduate with an understanding of the complex interconnectedness,” she said.
Bloodworth wants the new school to address the misconception that a humanities degree does not always lead to a fulfilling career.
“If we want students to study these subjects it is up to us to create majors in the humanities that have viable and knowable career paths,” Bloodworth said.
After three years of planning, the team is seeing its vision come to life and Bloodworth gave kudos to Fleming for support and seeing it through. Various people he has talked to in the field expressed jealousy because they did not have this opportunity in college.
“When I tell entry-, medium- and senior-level folks in DC who have jobs in public service and global affairs about the PSGA major and the school every single person exclaims, ‘I wish my university would have had that degree.’”