Participants in BPSS are not only involved in public service activities but also are actively seeking opportunities to develop skills that will make them better prepared for that public service and more useful to their community partners. In order to successfully complete the program, participants must complete and log at least four approved skills trainings.
BPSS has identified the following 10 skill areas as important to effective and responsible engagement in public service:
- Advocacy and community organizing
- Diversity and cultural awareness
- Effective communication
- Ethics and leadership
- Evaluation and applied research
- Financial management
- Fundraising, grant writing and philanthropy
- Planning and assessment
- Service-specific training
- Social entrepreneurship and innovation
In order to be approved for BPSS, a skills training must relate to one of these skills areas. A skills training may be on or off campus and can take the form of a workshop, a conference or non-academic course. The training must be interactive, activity-based and designed for participants to build and practice skills. Events where students simply learn information or gain awareness (such as through a lecture, panel or presentation) would not count as a skills training for the purposes of BPSS. Academic and professional conferences should count only as one skills training rather than a series of separate trainings.
Like service hours, skills trainings must be logged by the BPSS participant in the Buckley Portfolio by the last day of class in the semester that they occur or by the announced early fall deadline for summer skills trainings.
BPSS Graduate assistant Skills Trainings
To provide more opportunities for BPSS participants to find appropriate skills trainings, the Carolina Center for Public Service hires UNC graduate assistants to offer skills trainings to undergraduate BPSS participants each year. In the past, BPSS graduate assistants’ workshops have covered topics including:
- Grant Proposal Basics
- Grant Writing for Social Change
- DisABILITY Awareness and Advocacy
- Engaging Culturally Diverse Communities: Advocating for and Working with Refugee Families
- How to Communicate with Passion and Win Support for Your Cause
- Grassroots Organizing: Building Community for Social Change
- Ethics in Service-Learning
- Get the Help You Need: Finding and Coordinating Great Volunteers
- Transformational Leadership
- Building Effective and Diverse Teams
BPSS participants can register for CCPS-sponsored skills trainings such as those led by BPSS graduate assistants within the Buckley Portfolio but must also still log their attendance in the same way they would log any other skills training.
Learn about the BPSS graduate assistant program here.
Other examples of skills trainings
The majority of skills trainings that BPSS participants attend and log in their Buckley Portfolios are not sponsored by CCPS. Some examples of other on-campus courses, trainings and conferences that have met the skills training requirements in the past are:
- Carolina Green Event Certification Trainings
- EcoReps Skills Trainings
- HAVEN (Helping to Advocate Violence Ending Now) Training
- Launching the Venture
- OneAct Trainings
- Safe Zone Trainings
- SCALE’s Read. Write. Act. Conference
- STRETCH Conference
- The Leadership Foundation Workshops (a division of Carolina Leadership Development)
- UNITY Conference
For more ideas and information on BPSS skills trainings, be sure to sign up for and read the BPSS participant listserv.