Published On: Wed, Nov 19th, 2014

Advanced Campaigning Program at FAU

image1Florida Atlantic University has a new program that is making waves. The university is offering an intensive campaigning program that is training students for jobs working in and running political campaigns. It is one of the first programs to focus on the training and knowledge that make a career in politics possible for students.

“There is an increasing amount of money in politics, and that means there are a growing number of jobs,” said FAU Campaigning Professor Kevin Wagner. “We want our students to be trained and prepared for go right into this industry.”

The Advanced Campaigning course, which is an offering from the political science department at FAU, covers campaign techniques, strategy, and tactics with emphasis on recent technological developments. Along with lessons from professor, the students meet and learn from political strategists, national campaign consultants and current political leaders.

“We don’t just want them to have book knowledge,” said Wagner. “We want our students to understand the nuts and bolts of running a campaign. We want them to meet and network with leading people in the industry.”

To help lead this effort, Wagner teamed up with Craig Agranoff, a leading authority on cutting edge campaigning and voter outreach. “Craig Agranoff is a great asset to our program,” said Wagner. “Not only can he speak to the students about real campaigns, as such a leader in the use of technology, he allows us to give our students training that many people in the industry don’t yet have.”

The course consists of group seminars and campaign simulations used to develop and refine a participant’s ability to coordinate a successful political campaign. There are also several exercises and the development of a campaign plan. Groups of five to six students work jointly on the development and presentation of a single campaign plan for an actual upcoming race. The plans are presented to current elected officials and leading campaign managers for judging.

“So many people complain that the social sciences are not giving students preparation for jobs,” noted Wagner. “We are proving that not only is that false, but we can and are placing our students in not just jobs, but careers with a fast growing and increasingly important industry.”

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