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JU Public Policy Institute receives major scholarship donations, announces acceptance of applications for fall 2013

By Phillip Milano 

Fresh on the heels of establishing two major scholarship funds last week for JU Master in Public Policy students, the JU Public Policy Institute (JU PPI) announced Tuesday it is now accepting applications for the fall 2013 semester.

The Institute also announced that Florida Gov. Rick Scott will attend its Board of Advisors meeting Feb. 7 and will discuss public policy issues facing the state, including health care, education and economic development.

JU PPI Director Rick Mullaney

“We are privileged and honored to have Gov. Scott coming to JU PPI and addressing the board,” said JU PPI Director Rick Mullaney. “The governor is the chief executive officer of the state and its leading policymaker.”

Mullaney called creation of the scholarship funds “perfect timing” as the Institute works to attract “the best and brightest” in accepting applicants to the JU MPP program.

“We’ve studied more than 40 MPP programs nationwide to put this Institute together, including visits to the Harvard Kennedy School, Duke Sanford School of Public Policy, Georgetown Public Policy Institute and other schools, and have built a rigorous and cutting-edge curriculum,” he said.

The Institute will offer the first MPP degree in Florida, as well as the first MPP-JD (juris doctor), MPP-MBA (master in business administration) and MPP/MA-MS/MSC (marine science) joint degree programs in the state. The MPP-JD is being offered in conjunction with Florida Coastal School of Law.

Prospective students can visit ju.edu/ppi to submit an application online, or they can print application forms and mail them if they desire. The deadline for receiving priority in the application process is April 15, although submissions will be accepted after that date. No more than 20 students will be admitted.

“The JU MPP Program is one of the best values in the country in terms of affordability, and the scholarship funds being established will make this an even more competitive program,” Mullaney said.

A merit-based scholarship fund was established last week for JU MPP students.  All MPP applicants are eligible for these scholarships.  In addition, Steve Halverson, CEO of The Haskell Co. and board member of JU PPI, along with The Haskell Co., established a scholarship fund last week for Jacksonville Teach for America (TFA) corps members and alumni to attend JU PPI and obtain an MPP degree. Together, the two scholarship funds total $100,000.

“The scholarship funds for JU MPP students mean a lot and show how this community is getting behind the JU MPP Program,” Mullaney said. “Both of these scholarship funds make it possible to attract talented students to the JU MPP program.” 

Teach for America corps members are top graduates from across the country. Last year, only about 10 percent were chosen to take part in the corps from about 40,000 who applied. Once selected, they serve at least two years in public schools after obtaining their bachelor’s degrees, working with core-city and disadvantaged schools across the country, Mullaney noted.

“These TFA corps members have an average undergraduate GPA of 3.6, and more than 150 are in our area alone. My hope is that these funds will encourage Teach for America members to apply to the JU PPI, and for us to retain some of that brain trust of current TFA corps members who are in our local public schools now.”

Applicants to the JU PPI must have an undergraduate degree, submit three letters of recommendation and a resume, write an essay and submit a test score from the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Applications will be considered for overall quality; a specific GPA or test score is not required. To see all entrance requirements, visit ju.edu/ppi.

The JU MPP degree is a two-year, 48-credit program, and students are guaranteed an internship after their first year at one of a number of public, private and non-profit organizations and offices, including the Governor’s Office, Congressional Offices, Mayor’s Office, Jacksonville Port Authority, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, JEA, The Community Foundation, CSX and more. MPP graduates work in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

In addition to the merit-based scholarship funds, JU PPI announced in December that it was awarded a $152,000 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Religious, Charitable and Educational Fund. That grant will fund overall costs associated with the master in public policy (MPP) curriculum at JU.

To learn more about the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute or to apply, visit www.ju.edu/ppi, e-mail rmullan1@ju.edu or call (904) 955-1857.