- Last Updated on Thursday November 14, 2013
"The purpose of education in a university is not only to develop the mind, but to nurture the heart–to prepare students for a life of constructive citizenship and leadership. This means giving back their time, their talents and their resources to improve their communities and society."
- Wallace D. Loh, President of the University of Maryland
Public Leadership provides students with an interest in public service the opportunity to address pressing social, political and economic problems. Public Leadership Scholars are informed and engaged citizens who provide ethically-based leadership from the local to the global level. Students who start their college career as part of the Public Leadership program emerge with a solid foundation to develop their leadership potential in any field.
The program explores leadership and citizenship as well as contemporary approaches to the theory and practice of civic engagement in both democratic and non-democratic societies. Through small classes and discussions, active learning, and living together in the shared community of Centreville Hall, the Public Leadership program prepares students with a set of skills that will serve them in every aspect of their adult lives. In particular, students in the Public Leadership Program:
- Be informed citizens able to reason critically and persuasively about public matters.
- Be aware of diverse approaches to leadership and citizenship in a multicultural society.
- Explore and assess personal values, beliefs, and purpose as they develop their own leadership potential.
- Form an ethical vision and utilize effective leadership tools to pursue it.
- Learn and practice effective means of improving communities from the local to the global level.
Students have numerous opportunities to engage in experiential- and service-learning through field trips, service-learning projects, internships, guest-speaker events and leadership retreats. In the fall of their first year, Public Leadership Students lay the intellectual foundations and improve their competencies for the spring semester’s community-based learning (CBL) projects on campus, in Prince George’s County and throughout the DC metro area. These projects give Public Leadership students the opportunity to build and develop partnerships with local as well as global organizations such as The Davis Moon Project, Girls Excelling in Math and Science, Anacostia Watershed Society, Junior Achievement, Capital City Public Charter School, and a program founded by a former PL Scholar called Books Across Borders, which sends books to educational institutions and literacy projects in Africa. Public Leadership also offers a study abroad opportunity in Morocco that exposes students to Morocco's culture and human rights movement through the lens of public leadership.
Located near the nation's capital, the state capital, and a large international diplomatic community, the University of Maryland is an ideal setting for examining and growing public leadership. Public Leadership is sponsored by the School of Public Policy.