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ASU downtown Phoenix campus

Welcome from the Dean

It is an honor to welcome you to our community at Watts College of Public Service & Community Solutions. Whether you are a new student, faculty, staff or community member, we are pleased to have you join this committed group of people who work collaboratively to advance solutions to address challenging issues facing our society. Our college includes four schools and over twenty centers that work with, not for, the community. Our mission is to build more healthy, vibrant communities and we do this in three ways.

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First, we are preparing the next generation of public servants through relevant undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminology, social work, public administration, nonprofit studies, parks and recreation, emergency management and a variety of other areas where students learn from nationally and internationally recognized experts in their respective areas. All of our undergraduate students are inducted into our Community Solutions Cooperative and work with faculty, staff and community members to develop, implement and test evidence-based policies and practices. Our students contribute well over 500,000 of community service hours every year – if you are a student in our college, you do not have to wait to graduate to make a difference.

In addition to preparing public servants to work in the public and/or private sectors, we conduct cutting-edge, community-embedded research to address a variety of social problems. Although our faculty contribute to the literature base across a longlist of important issues, we have particular expertise in advancing innovative solutions seeking to eradicate homelessness, to assess and respond to family violence, to conduct evidence-based, problem-oriented policing and incarceration, to enhance community development, and to evaluate social policy to offer new perspectives regarding childcare, education, and racial and gender equity. Rather than working in siloes, we work across disciplines and with the community, to ensure our efforts are timely, creative and innovative.

Moving beyond our educational and research goals, we partner with alumni and practitioners in our local communities to advance vibrant continuing education programs in several areas including nonprofit leadership, public management, child welfare, and policy and administration. We also offer exciting educational opportunities for older adults. At ASU, we are creating master learners and consider education as a lifelong pursuit – and many of our programs in Watts College align with this important goal.

I am proud to be a part of ASU and this college. Please know you are joining a mission-driven college that works hard to make the world a better place. Join us and you, too, can #BeTheSolution!

Cynthia Lietz
Interim Dean