From the beginning, President George Bush emphasized the importance of public service and leadership as key components of a Bush School education. The leadership program is intended to explicitly reinforce our founder’s commitment to educating principled leaders for careers in government and public service. The program staff continues to work with experts in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to find effective ways to provide student-centered leadership education and development.
The Bush School’s Public Service Leadership Program is tailored for students of public and international affairs. One guiding idea is that leadership education is integrated into the two-year program. The Bush School emphasizes leadership and team work starting with its admissions process and candidate interview weekend, and during new student orientation week. Every master’s student takes a core, graduate-level, leadership course. These activities early in the Bush School experience help establish class identities and reinforce a commitment to personal and professional leader development.
The program also emphasizes individual learning and leader development and recommends that students design their course work to provide a base of knowledge and skills as a foundation for their desired career paths. These efforts are guided by coaching from faculty advisors, and supplemented with the opportunities to interact frequently with a diverse group of experienced practitioners, faculty experts, and visiting speakers. The students’ final core course is a team-based CAPSTONE research project under faculty direction for a real-world client.
In addition to coursework, the Bush School also emphasizes two additional developmental areas. The second area includes experiential learning through leadership positions in the student government association, public service organization, intramurals, internships, and community service. The third area includes personal development or self study. The program’s Assistant Director runs an assessment center that includes a menu of tools for improving self-awareness, such as assessments of personality profiles (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), individual learning styles, management skills, personal values, and emotional intelligence.
The Bush School has been in existence for over ten years now, so our graduates will soon start to enter positions of middle and senior level leadership and management. And we are confident that the effectiveness of the program will be evident in the next few years as Bush School graduates reach the top ranks of their chosen professions. When that happens, we will know that we are fulfilling President Bush’s vision of educating principled leaders for public service.