The VPPCE prepares veterans and military-connected individuals with the skills, knowledge, and tools to launch a successful and meaningful career in politics. Veterans with first-hand experience running for office, experts in the field, and esteemed faculty from the Maxwell School — the nation’s #1-ranked graduate school in public affairs, deliver instruction throughout our programs.
The program engages participants in different stages of their political journey in campaign topics such as fundraising, public communications, social media, identifying mentors, building your platform, and leveraging resources available to veterans, among others.
Together, we provide participants the opportunity for self-assessment and reflection. What from your military experience can you bring to your candidacy and public office? What are your areas for growth? What political office should you run for?
Due to the evolving situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and to best protect members of our community and our guests, we are preparing to provide an online learning environment for VPPCE Fall 2020. Please check back frequently for updated information. We are still accepting applications and you can apply below.
Annual Program | October – November 2020
Better known as PHASE II, this program offers three-weeks of online, asynchronous learning through Syracuse University’s Blackboard platform and one-week of on-campus training that takes place during Veteran’s Day Week. The focus of the training is to help participants determine which district or level of office they should seek to run, their political goals, understanding the essential components of a campaign, and building a usable campaign plan. IVMF staff and Maxwell School faculty facilitate course instruction, including topics such as campaign management, political leadership, getting on the ballot, campaign finance, among other topics. Participants are expected to complete online assignments and complete group work during the online and on-campus portion of the program.
Learn more below in the section labeled PHASE II.
Phase I: Ideation
Should you consider a career in politics? Suited for veterans and family members interested in politics that are unsure where to start, the ideation phase provides participants with shortened online engagement and training opportunities to identify and define political aspirations and start planning for a successful bid for public office. Goals of the phase include understanding resources available to veterans, what it takes to run for office, and refining the participant’s political interests through meaningful dialogue facilitated by Maxwell faculty and written coursework. This program operates once a quarter on a rolling basis, based on interest.
All veterans and members of their family may apply. Candidates must be an active member in their community, with a specific interest in running for office or organizing around issues pertaining to politics or civic engagement.
There is no cost to participants.
Phase II: Planning (Signature Program)
This is an annual program that offers three-weeks of online, asynchronous learning through Syracuse University’s Blackboard and one-week of on-campus training that takes place during Veteran’s Day Week. All learning is facilitated by IVMF staff and Maxwell School faculty. Course topics include basic campaign management, political communications, engaging social and traditional media, political leadership, and getting on the ballot, among other campaign topics. Participants are expected to complete online assignments and complete group work during the online and on-campus portion of the program. Segmented short courses will be available throughout the year on a rolling basis.
Fall 2020 Program Details
- Application Dates: April 20, 2020 (opens) – June 12, 2020 (deadline)
- Class Selection: Mid-July 2020
- Training Dates
- Online immersion: October 12, 2020 – October 30, 2020
- On-campus immersion: November 7, 2020 – November 13, 2020
What You Will Experience
- Online learning and virtual engagement with faculty
- A seven-day intensive Syracuse University campus experience
- Continued support and networking opportunities as program alumni
The main deliverable for this program is a tailored campaign plan for each program participant.
All veterans and members of their family may apply. Candidates must be committed to civic engagement, running for office, or improving their skills/knowledge while holding public office. We are looking for roughly 25 participants to fill the class.
Programming, lodging, and meals provided to students are free, however participants are responsible for travel expenses.
Phase III: Active Candidate Training
A training designed for active political candidates, our team provides learning and networking opportunities in tandem with the specific campaign needs of participants. From creating your voter universe and effectively communicating with your voter block to learning how to manage your campaign committee, IVMF staff, Maxwell faculty, and experts in the field are there to help you streamline the learning curve of the campaign process. Separate federal, state, and local government focused trainings will be offered based on interest.
Open to the public and veterans and members of their family. Candidates must have an active campaign committee filed with their local elections committee and or Federal Elections Commission, campaign manager, and campaign plan.
To be determined based on size of the class. Discounted pricing for veterans.
Phase IV: Elected Official
Pinnacle of VPPCE, this phase offers in-person professional leadership training for elected veteran or military-connected individuals. Learning objectives consist of effective transition into office, assembling a team, relationship building, and public sector leadership and management. Trainings will take place prior to the inauguration in January.
Open to the public and veterans and members of their family. The program candidate must be an elected official within the United States on the local, state, or federal level.
No cost for veterans.
Will the online learning be live instruction?
Instruction will be offered in a hybrid format that consists of asynchronous (on-demand) and synchronous (live video conference) materials available through a web-based learning management platform.
Are program self-paced or lead by a faculty member?
Materials for all courses will be available to students 24/7 through self-paced work facilitated by an instructor. Phases with residential immersion will be directed by faculty at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.
What is the cost of programming to students?
All trainings except for Phase III will be of no cost to participants. Expenses related to program participation (e.g., attendance, lodging, and meals) will be covered by the program, through the generous support of JP Morgan Chase & Co, Syracuse University, and other sponsors. Candidates admitted to the program will assume costs associated with transportation to Syracuse, NY for all residential immersion.
Do I earn credit through Syracuse University, and do I receive a certificate or diploma on completion?
There will be a certificate providing documentation of attendance, and the opportunity to secure a non-credit transcript detailing the course completed by Syracuse University.
What is the application deadline? How and when will applicants be notified of the status of their application?
The deadline to apply to Phase II: Planning will be June 12, 2020. The application will be made available the week of April 20, 2020. We are currently accepting inquiries for all program phases.
How competitive is admissions to the program?
We expect to receive applications from over 100 candidates and seek to fill a class of 20-25 participants for fall 2020.