The Center for Public Service (CPS) at Anderson University is an honors program for outstanding students interested in public service. The program began during the 1973-74 school year as an avenue to encourage students to focus their skills toward public service and address pressing societal needs. The major aim of the program is to bridge the gap between formal education and career for students showing a strong commitment to public service. CPS provides valuable learning opportunities through the university’s relationship with public service professionals.
Through on-campus and off-campus experiences, students prepare for careers directly meeting critical societal needs in such areas as law, education, government, research and applied sciences, medicine, social services, communication arts, and Christian service.
Application & Forms
Each year, CPS accepts a limited number of applicants to become Fellows in the program. Since CPS opportunities are challenging and time-consuming, Fellows must be highly motivated and have academic abilities and career goals that meet the center’s requirements.
- Download the Application [DOC].
- Download the Involvement Plan [PDF].
Opportunities & Experiences
After admission into CPS, a program group is assembled for each Fellow. This group includes an on-campus advisory Fellow — a faculty member from the Fellow’s academic department — and an off-campus advisory Fellow — a public service professional who is currently involved in an area that interests the student. An advisor can play a key role in opening doors to internships, conferences, seminars, and other off-campus learning experiences that significantly contribute to the Fellow’s career preparation. Formal meetings are scheduled at least once a semester for each Fellow’s program group. CPS sponsors monthly luncheons with a variety of featured speakers, including community leaders, off-campus advisory Fellows, service organization representatives, and faculty members. These speakers address a broad range of public-service issues, emphasizing the needs and opportunities that exist.
CPS also provides assistance to Fellows in meeting expenses for off-campus travel, housing, and registration fees. CPS Fellows have enjoyed a variety of experiences throughout the United States and around the world, traveling to England to study the British culture and political system, Honduras to work with medical missions, Russia to help lead a women’s conference, and France to intern at an international not-for-profit organization. In addition, CPS Fellows have attended conferences and conventions in Seattle, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Boston to enhance their academic pursuits. These experiences expand professional contacts and often lead to employment opportunities. On the local level, CPS Fellows participate annually in a variety of service projects that address immediate needs in the Madison County community.
In 1971-1972 Anderson College history professor Dr. Larry Osnes conceived of the idea of a new kind of honors program. Osnes tapped into the strong service orientation of the Church of God and Anderson College to encourage students to focus their skills toward public service to address pressing societal needs.
Through a sizable grant from the Lilly Endowment, the Center for Public Service was born in 1973 and the new program anticipated that its students would develop a public service ethic, increased awareness of societal needs and firsthand knowledge of their career before graduation, and that CPS would bridge the academic world and public service sectors.
The original Honorary Board of Directors included such notables as Indiana Governor Otis Bowen, U.S. Senator Vance Hartke, and U.S. Senator Birch Bayh, as well as the balance of the entire Indiana Congressional delegation. In 1976 Dr. Doug Nelson took over as Director of CPS and ably administered the program for the next thirty-two years until the summer of 2008, guiding CPS fellows to professional mentors, conferences and professional associations, and internships.
Since the 1973-74 academic year hundreds of talented Anderson students have gone through CPS and have gone on to distinguished careers in public service.
Anderson University prepared me for a career in public service through the countless resources and opportunities I was given. Career for Public Service (CPS) on campus allowed me to attend conferences and internships that otherwise would not have been an option for me. I was able to serve as a student leader on campus and serve the community of Anderson in programs such as Operation Foundation. Anderson was the backbone of my growth and movement towards where I am now.
Jessica Thaman BA ’17, Global Studies