USC Price School of Public Policy

USC Price signs MOU with City Hall Fellows Program

November 19, 2013

By Ben Dimapindan

City Hall

The USC Price School of Public Policy in October signed a memorandum of understanding with the City Hall Fellows Program to establish new scholarships to support graduate-level education and training.

The USC/City Hall Fellows Scholarship Program provides two-year funding to study at one of the Price School’s two-year master’s degree programs in public administration, public policy, urban planning, and health management and policy. City Hall Fellows who are currently completing the program, or have already completed it, are eligible to apply.

Carol Rush, associate dean for student affairs at USC Price, noted that, “the Price School is strongly committed to educating the next generation of leaders, who will help shape our communities for the better. We look forward to this opportunity to provide academic training to dedicated representatives from the City Hall Fellows Program.”

Launched in 2008, the City Hall Fellows Program aims to engage diverse, talented young people in the work of cities, empower them to be effective local change agents, and to support their development from students to local citizen leaders, explained Executive Director Michael Rocco. In 2012, City Hall Fellows became a project of Community Partners, a Los Angeles-based non-profit collaborative.

“City Hall Fellows was founded on the conviction that getting cities’ own best and brightest to return home – as well as attracting others – to tackle social problems locally was the best way to address our most pressing challenges,” Rocco said.

“The basic premise,” he added, is “smart leverage — that one talented, passionate, well-trained individual working in the right place inside government can change an agency, and that many working together can change a city.”

To date, fellows have devoted more than 150,000 hours to public service. Among their many contributions, fellows have re-designed municipal programs and streamlined municipal services; piloted public health and alternative energy programs; and updated municipal water, sewage, parks, civil service and financial systems.

According to Rocco, the goal of the collaboration between USC Price and the City Hall Fellows Program is to give “fellows the opportunity to attend a top-flight university with financial aid, based on the experience and commitment to public service” that are central to the program.

And as a result of this new partnership, Rocco said he hopes that “more fellows track to USC’s program and that we can increase the value of serving.”