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Spotlight: Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

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The Program in Public Policy at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey offers the benefits of a small program combined with the opportunities that come with being part of a major research university.

Offering both a two-year Masters in Public Policy (MPP) degree and a one-year Masters in Public Affairs and Politics (MPAP) degree, we also offer dual degrees with Rutgers’ schools of law, business, and public health; the Division of Global Affairs, and our own urban planning program.

The school prides itself on having faculty expertise in a wide variety of policy fields. There are two areas in which our program is particularly strong. The policy program physically shares space with the school’s urban planning program, ranked #6 nationally in the latest survey of the nation’s top graduate programs in urban planning by Planetizen, a Los Angeles-based planning and development network. As a result of the synergy between these two programs, our students gain an education in areas involving the convergence of policy and planning including housing policy, community development, transportation policy, and environmental policy. A new concentration in urban policy and community development will highlight this aspect of the program.

The second area in which we have a particular strength is the alleviation of inequality.  The topic of inequality is all over the news; the President has mentioned inequality; and scholars and politicians have suggested a myriad of solutions to this vexing problem.  At the Bloustein School, we have numerous faculty whose work examines the programs designed to help society’s least fortunate.  We are proud of our work in policy areas related to lifting people out of poverty, including labor policy—we are home to the nationally renowned John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development—health policy, and education policy.
 

The Program

A small but fast-growing program, students in the Bloustein School’s public policy program enjoy attention from faculty devoted to their roles both as teachers and as mentors.  As a small program in a large university—Rutgers is a member of the American Association of Universities, and recently joined the Big Ten and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation—we offer students the advantages of individualized attention coupled with many options for expanding their courses of study.  

Students with a deep-seated commitment to public service as well as sharp analytical and open minds flourish at the Bloustein School. We work with these committed students in our Master of Public Policy program to hone their skills to ensure that upon graduation, they are able to maximize their contributions to the city, state, or country that they intend to serve. Our recent graduates have found employment in New Jersey, across the United States, in Washington, D.C., and around the world in both the public and nonprofit sectors, consulting firms, think tanks, and advocacy organizations. Located a short train ride from Washington, D.C. and an even shorter ride to New York City, our students enjoy access to employment opportunities in exciting, cutting-edge organizations.

The Mission

The mission of the Bloustein School and the Program in Public Policy “pursues equitable and efficient solutions to public problems at multiple levels from the global to the local.” The complexity of the questions facing today’s policymakers has grown immeasurably; at the Bloustein School, we are committed to giving our students the knowledge to deal with these questions, preparing them to become agents of positive change, and equipping them with the tools to confidently face the myriad challenges of an uncharted twenty-first century global economy.

 

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Faculty

 

Carl Van HornVan Horn

A widely recognized expert on workforce development issues, human resources, and employment policy issues with extensive experience in public and private sector policymaking, is a Distinguished Professor of Public Policy and director of the Heldrich Center.

He is the author or editor of 17 books and over 100 scholarly articles and reports on American public policy and the U.S. labor market. As co-director of the Work Trends Series of national surveys of American workers, he and his colleagues have been at the forefront of research examining the overall job satisfaction of older part-time workers and the effects of long-term unemployment on workers and on the economy.

His group received the 2013 Policy Impact Award from the American Association of Public Opinion Research for research on long-term unemployment during the Great Recession. Though New Jersey’s job market has been slowly improving, Dr. Van Horn has found that more than 41 percent of the state’s job seekers have been jobless for more than six months. To help these long-term unemployed the Heldrich Center, with major support from the Philip and Tammy Murphy Family Foundation and other corporations and foundations, have launched the New Start Career Network (NSCN), a free service to assist job seekers through web-based advising and information resources and personalized coaching. 

Stephanie Curenton

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Associate Professor Stephanie Curenton was recently selected as a Chancellor’s Scholar, recognizing outstanding and highly promising scholars at Rutgers-New Brunswick.  She was also the recipient of a $422K grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to examine preschoolers’ oral language skills and build better training programs and professional development skills for the early education workforce.

Her research focuses on the social, cognitive, and language development of low-income and minority children within various human ecological contexts, including stress and poverty, and how those elements affect children’s future health and education success. These two awards will give Dr. Curenton the opportunity to develop her own early childhood policy skills, both domestically and globally. One of her goals is to establish connections and networks with early childhood education colleagues in Jamaica to learn more about the challenges they face as they build up the early childhood education network across the country.

 

General Information

The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers is located at 33 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901. For more information on the School of Planning and Public Policy and the graduate degrees offered visit the website.

 

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