Over the last century, the increasingly rapid pace of change in our world has posed numerous policy challenges across social, ecological, and economic fronts. The challenges are messy and complex, and thus often go unmet. No dimension of human life or public policy can afford to remain stagnant: family, community, business, religion, energy, environment, education, recreation, international relations—all are on notice to rise to the occasion or be left behind.
The OSU Policy Analysis Laboratory (OPAL) prepares students to address the complex and interconnected public policy challenges of the present and future. Through community-based policy work, students address real-world challenges with diverse faculty and clients. Projects range from longitudinal studies to in-depth interviews depending on the nature of the challenge. These projects, and the white papers and policy recommendations that are their products, are student-designed and executed within one to two academic terms.
Our ultimate goal is to develop the capacity of OPAL scholars to leverage skills and opportunities to effect real change in the dynamic world of public policy.