The study of government and political behavior has value in several different ways. First, it is important for all active citizens to learn about the political system in which they spend their lives, simply because it shapes their lives even as they participate in shaping the political future. Second, more than a passing knowledge of political systems should be acquired by anyone who expects to enter a profession in the public eye, whether that be teaching, law, law enforcement, the military or civil service, journalism, or issue advocacy. Third, political science, like its sister disciplines in the liberal arts, helps students develop reasoning, analytical, verbal, and writing skills, all of which are called upon in professional life.
The goal of the program is to provide Chatham students with the knowledge, experience, skills, and self-image needed to find employment and rise to leadership in one’s field. Therefore, political science education occurs within and outside the Chatham classroom. The program coordinates classroom work with a variety of internships, research experiences, and encounters with professionals to provide the student with essential experience as well as knowledge.
Chatham students are encouraged to explore practical and governmental careers through an active internship program. Political science students often play leadership roles within the campus community. Finally, Chatham participates in the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN), through which students can spend time in Washington, DC, learning more about our national government.