School of Policy Studies

School of Policy Studies
School of Policy Studies

QSPS Extended Learning Beyond the Classroom

At Queen’s School of Policy Studies, we believe in the value of experiential learning and strive to incorporate the practical application of skills as a major component of the learning experience. During orientation, we immersed our students in Kingston’s policy world. For two days, students explored some of the challenges that the City of Kingston faces, showcased some of the amazing innovations and forward thinking taking place here and gained insights into how governing institutions work at a municipal level.

  • Our MPA students on the steps of Kingston City Hall after a tour.

  • Taking the ferry to Wolfe Island

  • An introductory lesson to Ontario’s Green Plan at Trans-Alta, the Wolfe Island Wind Facility

  • In the gym touring the Boys and Girls Club of Kingston facility

  • Explaining the challenges and realities of running a community non-profit organization [Boys and Girls Club]

  • Ron Shore [Stone City Ales] on the policy realities of operating a small craft business

  • Lunch break

From meeting with the Mayor to the Deputy Chief of Kingston Police Force and the Warden of Collins Bay Institution, students also got to observe different styles of leadership.

Study tours are invaluable learning experiences that enrich policy studies and benefit students in many ways. For our graduates to be effective in the workforce, they need not only strong policy skills, but also a keen awareness of how policy interventions require collaboration across public, private and voluntary sectors. The study tour program is multidisciplinary and experiential, bringing together elements of culture, economics, politics, finance, and management.  It encourages students to be directly involved in a learning experience rather than being recipients of ready-made content in the form of lectures. These experiences outside the classroom are integrated with the goals and objectives of our policy curriculum. Outcomes for students include personal growth, a broadening of personal perspective and empathy with respect to different sectors, and even better performance in regular academic settings.

Study Tour Program Objectives are to:

  • Broaden horizons – immerse students in a new policy environment; hear different perspectives; share observations and thoughts, and be open to new ideas and attitudes
    • Develop Cross-sectoral Intelligence: the ability to look at policy issues from different sectoral perspectives and a deeper understanding of policy interdependence between the public, private and voluntary sectors
  • Understand better how decisions are made and things get done
  • Discover how governing institutions operate within a municipal, provincial and federal environment
  • Observe styles of leadership
  • Build confidence and learn to value the skills and techniques needed for personal and team success