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In response to a call to action from Tom Brokaw of NBC Nightly News in 2014, ASU sought to establish the first undergraduate program in the nation to integrate cross-sector and civilian-military experiences to develop collaborative leaders of character. The resulting Public Service Academy has two tracks: Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), the existing university-based program to commission officers into the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Next Generation Service Corps (NGSC), a new program for service-oriented students from all majors to become civilian service leaders.
The four-year experience emphasizes civic engagement opportunities through seven leadership courses, a series of summer internships in nonprofit, government and private organizations, annual retreats and field training experiences with ROTC cadets and midshipmen. The cross-sector nature of the program is a recognition that civilian service and military service are really just two sides of the same coin; both make us stronger as a nation.
Starting with the academy’s first year pilot program in the fall of 2015, approximately 100 students per year will be admitted into the Next Generation Service Corps, and approximately 480 students across all four years of the various ROTC programs will participate. Contingent on funding, the Public Service Academy aims to have 1,300 students in the two programs annually – approximately two percent of the undergraduate student body. Currently, the NGSC is made up of Corps Members from 65 different majors, every ASU campus, 29 different states and international students.
Design Aspirations: Transform Society, Enable Student Success and Fuse Intellectual Disciplines