Carleton University to Create Canada’s first Political Management Master’s Program

Clarke-Graduate Program

Carleton University Announced on June 2nd it is creating Canada’s first political management master’s program.

Carleton University announced June 2nd it will create Canada's first political management master's program.

Carleton received $15 million, the largest single donation in its history, to create Canada’s first master’s program in political management June 2.

The donation by Calgary businessman Clayton Riddell, founder and CEO of Paramount Resources Ltd., aims to create a program to improve governance across Canada by providing graduate level training for political staff, campaigners and office-holders.

“I am delighted to invest in an innovative academic program that will provide a deeper understanding of how our country works and how good public policy is developed,” said Riddell in a press release.

Roseann Runte, Carleton’s president, praised Riddell’s generosity.

“Our history of scholarly excellence in the fields of public policy and administration, communications and public affairs, coupled with our location in Ottawa, makes Carleton the best place for this one-of-a-kind program in Canada,” she said.

The one-year full-time program will be similar to other programs currentlyoffered at Fordham University, George Washington University and the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The first class of 25 students is expected to begin in September 2011 and will be housed in Arthur Kroeger College within Carleton’s faculty of public affairs, pending approval by the Ontario Council of Graduate Studies.

“When we start admitting students to the Clayton H. Riddell graduate program in political management, we will be helping to equip political staff with the skills and experience they need to improve our political processes, policy-making, their implementation and theirmanagement at all levels of government,” Runte said.

The requirements for this program have not been finalized but are likely to be similar to the requirements needed for the master’s of journalism program. Accepted students will take communications and campaign management courses, as well as courses that will introduce them to the relationships between political staff and the public, and the transformation of public policy ideas into legislation.Students will also complete an internship.

“We are hoping to build something that is going to be nationally and internationally recognized as a high quality program that produces conscientious graduates that go on to positions of responsibility and authority in the political realm,” said Chris Dornan, director of Carleton’s Arthur Kroeger College of Public Affairs.

Once graduated, students will be equipped to work as legislative assistants, strategists, campaign managers, senior government advisers and policy liaison officers for civil society and non-governmental organizations, among other professions.

The idea for the program was originally proposed to Carleton by Preston Manning, president and CEO of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy, with the goal to improve the quality and effectiveness of democratic governance in Canada.

“For the past five years we have been seeking to have a program such as this launched in a major Canadian university,” said Manning in a press release.

Riddell, who had no previous affiliation with the university, said Manning convinced him Carleton was the best university to house this new program.

“The university was recommended to me by Preston Manning. We respect Carleton’s commitment to public policy and public affairs, its outstanding faculty, its record of academic excellence and its innovation. Coupled with its location in Canada’s capital, these factors make Carleton the best university for this program.”


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