By: Riley Head ~Staff Writer~
The Philosophy, Politics and the Public (PPP) Honors Program will see a major shift in the upcoming school year. A split track will be implemented for sophomores in the program.
The 2016 school year saw the largest PPP class since its creation in 2003.
“As happy as we were to see that,” Program Director Dr. E. Paul Colella said, “it created problems with class size.”
Because of this, the heads of the program have decided to separate the sophomore class into two specified tracks. The traditional one of focusing on policy and working on a campaign will remain, but a second law track will be added.
The theory and the practice of law will be covered in a 12-credit hour full-year sequence of courses from mock trial and philosophy as well as political science and will include practicing legal professionals among the faculty, according to a statement from the department.
“So many kids in this class are at least entertaining thoughts of law school,” Colella said. “So it seemed like it made sense from a curricular point of view as well as a practical point of view.”
The new classes will teach all the skills necessary to be successful in law. These skills include case preparation, legal writing and research and examining policy.
Practicing attorneys will be brought in to help teach classes, and students will have the chance to practice their skills in mock trial settings.
“As I hope to pursue a career in law like many of my peers in the PPP program, this sophomore course sequence provides an awesome foundation for prelaw students and introduces us to the role of case preparation and the role of legislation in law,” first-year Kendall Means said.
Traditionally, the program focuses on political campaigns, policy implementation and lobbying during the second year. The typically small class faces labor intensive papers and a trip to Washington D.C., to meet with representatives and push their issues.
The law track will still participate in the traditional sophomore D.C. trip by focusing on the judicial impacts of the policies discussed in the other class.
The two separate classes will reunite junior year to continue their education.