The UNC Public Policy Capstone is geared towards senior public policy majors and provides students with a unique opportunity to apply all of their academic training in a real-world policy environment. Student teams choose projects from government agencies or non-profit organizations looking for policy research or analysis. Students meet with the clients, develop work plans, research the policy issues, provide analysis and produce a final professional level product. The Clinic, an outgrowth of the Capstone, is open to undergraduates from range of other majors in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Examples of recent past clients and projects include:
- North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association: identified policy issues likely to arise for North Carolina counties and cities seeking to adopt and implement a template ordinance for solar installations.
- NC Center for Voter Education: researched which counties and populations in North Carolina have the most significant gaps in voter registration, and identified ways to assist in increasing voter participation. The project also included students designing an outreach strategy to increase voter participation by eligible young adult voters (college and community college students and non-college young adults).
- Beaufort County, NC: identified local assets and best practice examples in support of a regional river-based ecotourism initiative for Beaufort County and its adjacent jurisdictions.
- Rwanda Legal Aid: aimed at increasing the likelihood that conflicts are handled through the courts and not the streets by developing a mediation network created out of the structures in place for truth and reconciliation after the Rwandan genocide.
The Capstone and Clinic offer students an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills in real world environments beyond the classroom.