The Center offers programs intended to educate and inform the College community and the public. Examples of the Center’s educational programs and activities include:
- Workshops for decision-makers, focusing on specific issues/problems, such as transportation, school funding, etc.
- Annual symposium, focusing on specific topic of political study or public policy such as immigration and education, religion in school, etc.
- Classes (credit &/or non-credit) for community members, professionals, ACC students and others.
- Candidate forums and/or debates.
- Lecture series with guest speakers.
- Commemoration of significant historical events, such as U.S. Constitution Day, September 17th and Diez y Seis de Septiembre
- Contests which explore students’ understanding of a political issue
- The Center may sponsor annual awards for teaching excellence.
Examples of research projects and publications that the Center may conduct:
- Voting patterns among college-age students.
- Impact of electronic voting devices on voter behavior and election outcomes.
- Early voting and its impact on the political process.
- Long and short-term social and environmental implications of public agency decisions.
- Media impact on elections.
- Effects of polling on public opinion and public policy.
- An “occasional papers” series, highlighting research results.
- May sponsor Annual awards for student & faculty research.
The Center’s commitment to experiential learning provides students opportunities for personal and professional growth. Programs include:
- Internships in city/state government and or other public agencies.
- Voter Registration drives.
- Experiential learning opportunities in the community.
- Collaborative efforts with students/faculty from other institutions.
- Collaborative efforts with faculty and others on research projects.
- The Center may sponsor annual award(s) for service.
“One generation that has created great change cannot pass on to its descendants the excitement, exhilaration, fear or passion of its heady times. It may only pass on the results. However, it does have an obligation to share with those that reap the benefits of its sacrifices an understanding of the price paid for the better life its descendants live.”
The Jeffrey M. Friedman Austin Video Political History Project was brought to the Center by ACC professors who were deeply concerned about “losing” one of the critical periods in Austin’s political history because no one had recorded it accurately. They were also interested in preserving this history in a way that current and future students would find engaging. The result was “The Economy Furniture Strike” documentary.
“The Economy Furniture Strike” is a feature length documentary about a local labor dispute which resulted in the political mobilization of Mexican-Americans in Austin/Travis County. The film is produced by Paradigm Shift Multimedia and the ACC Center for Public Policy and Political Studies, and is hosted and narrated by Emmy award-winning journalist Dan Rather.
The documentary is the result of hundreds of hours of interviews of the principals of the strike and research utilizing newspapers, legal documents, and artifacts.