UNLV students will have an opportunity to learn from the nation’s premier think tank this spring under a new academic minor that links UNLV and The Brookings Institution, a Washington D.C. nonprofit public policy organization.
Brookings Mountain West, a join initiative between Brookings and UNLV, will design a new minor in public policy starting January 2012. The program will be coordinated through the UNLV College of Urban Affairs.
This marks the first time Brookings and a university have partnered on an undergraduate academic degree program. The new minor centers on local, national and global themes and introduces students to Brookings’ scholars and experts – most of whom work with and advise federal government, national and foreign policy leaders.
“UNLV students who obtain a Brookings Curriculum Minor in Public Policy will possess a credential available nowhere else in the nation,” said UNLV President Neal Smatresk. “This program allows us to extend our relationship with Brookings and to offer courses that better inform and educate undergraduates on the critical public policy issues that drive our nation and world.”
University faculty and Brookings scholars will collaborate on the curriculum, with Brookings scholars regularly visiting to interact with students and lecture on topics related to issues of the day. The UNLV program is available to all undergraduates with up to 50 accepted into the minor each semester. Brookings Mountain West is the only Brookings office in the U.S. outside of Washington D.C.
Students must complete 18 credits, including “Think Tank 101,” an introductory course on global and national public policy. Students select four courses from a list of offerings that parallel Brookings’ five major research programs: governance studies, economic studies, foreign policy, global economy and development, and metropolitan policy.
“The Brookings Institution is excited to launch this unique effort with our UNLV colleagues to expand upon the classroom engagement of Brookings scholars with UNLV faculty and students,” said William Antholis, managing director of The Brookings Institution. “The partnership with UNLV that created Brookings Mountain West continues to exceed our expectations. We see this kind of direct contact with the next generation of leaders as another way we can help UNLV have real impact in the community.”
According to Antholis, the program will also allow participants to see how local, national and global dimensions operate together.
“UNLV is out in front in seeing how to connect those dots,” Antholis said.
Courses will be taught in tandem by UNLV faculty and Brookings scholars and are designed to help students understand how policy is created as well as its importance to geography, economics, international security, political science, environment, history and science.
In a capstone course, students will work under the supervision of a UNLV faculty member and Brookings scholar to complete a research paper based on the format of a Brookings Policy Brief.
“The opportunity to bring Brookings experts and scholars, who regularly advise and brief federal, state, and local leaders on the full range of public policy issues, into UNLV classrooms, is truly exciting,” said Robert Lang, director of Brookings Mountain West. “We hope that many UNLV faculty colleagues will explore ongoing partnerships with Brookings scholars.”
For more information on the Brookings Minor, visit the Brooking Mountain West web site.
About Brookings Mountain West
Brookings Mountain West brings high-quality, independent, and impactful public policy research to Las Vegas and the surrounding region, drawing on the expertise and insight of Brookings Scholars and UNLV faculty to address policy, infrastructure and quality of life challenges facing the Mountain West States (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah). Brookings Mountain West started in 2009 and includes experts from all five Brookings policy programs, but in particular builds upon the work of the Metropolitan Policy Program which helps metropolitan areas like Las Vegas grow in robust, inclusive and sustainable ways.
About The Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., which conducts independent research and provides innovative, practical recommendations to advance public policy. The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program – the nation’s premiere research and policy institution dedicated to promoting the productivity, sustainability, and inclusivity of U.S. metropolitan areas – chronicles the dynamic demographic, economic, social, and cultural forces sweeping the country and interprets what these forces mean for cities and metropolitan areas. Brookings’ other four programs – economic studies, foreign policy, global economy and development, and governance studies – also are regularly ranked as leaders in each of their respective focus areas.
UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of more than 27,000 students and 2,900 faculty and staff. Founded in 1957, the university offers more than 220 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs. UNLV is located on a 332-acre campus in dynamic Southern Nevada and is classified in the category of Research Universities (high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.