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General Stanley McChrystal to Help Launch Tufts' 1+4 Bridge Year Program to Energize Civic Renewal

Will Enable Year of Service for Students Regardless of Financial Resources

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass., Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Retired General Stanley McChrystal, chair of the leadership council of the Aspen Institute Franklin Project, today will help Tufts University officially launch Tufts 1+4, a bridge year program that will offer incoming students of all economic backgrounds the opportunity to engage in a year of full-time national or international service before beginning the traditional college experience.  Tufts and its Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service will kick off the program with a 5 PM Symposium on Service and Leadership on the university's Medford/Somerville, Mass., campus at which McChrystal will be the keynote speaker.

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The event can be watched via live stream on the Aspen Institute website from 5:00-6:30pm ET at: http://aspeninstitute.org/live

Tufts 1+4 will place admitted first-year undergraduates participating in the program in selected service organizations starting in the fall of 2015, before they begin their four-year studies the following fall. The program is one of the initiatives springing from the 10-year strategic plan unveiled by Tufts in the fall of 2013.

"We are so excited about the launch of this new program at Tufts University. At a time when the desire to serve far exceeds the supply of service year positions, we need to call on all sectors of our society to be innovative and develop new opportunities to serve.  In particular, we need to integrate national service into the fabric of the American educational system, so that national service is viewed as part of students' educational success not as something distinct from it. This week, Tufts University stepped forward with a powerful new model," said Alan Khazei, co-chair of the Franklin Project.

The Franklin Project calls for making military or civilian national service a voluntary rite of passage for all young Americans and for creating one million full-time national service positions as part of a renewed commitment to engaged citizenship.

Over the last year, the Franklin Project has been working with a number of educational partners to find new and innovative ways to more formally integrate service into higher education. As part of this effort, the Franklin Project convened a Higher Education Working group of education thought leaders to think through this issue. Ideas generated as a result of these discussions ranged from the creation of new service year opportunities by universities to incentivizing students to do service to creating new programs that better allow students to integrate service years into their college experience. As a result of these discussions, the Franklin Project will be working with a number of universities to develop national service pilots over the course of the next year.

At the Tufts University symposium, which will also include talks by undergraduate students and a student service fair, McChrystal is expected to urge American higher education to join this effort and recognize Tufts' pioneering role.

"Through this unique experience, young people will develop their abilities and passions in ways that will strengthen their studies and experiences at Tufts, as well as their personal and professional trajectories. They will contribute in significant ways to solving pressing social problems while making discoveries about themselves and diverse societies," said Tufts Provost David Harris.

The program will be based at Tufts' Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, whose research and academic programs seek to infuse civic engagement and active citizenship across the university's schools and programs.

About Franklin Project
The Franklin Project is a new venture by the Aspen Institute to marshal the best case for a voluntary civilian counterpart to military service in the United States. At the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival, General Stanley McChrystal called for large-scale civilian national service to engage more Americans in serving community and country. We believe national service can and should become a common expectation and common opportunity for all Americans to strengthen our social fabric and solve our most pressing national challenges. To realize this vision, the Franklin Project engages outstanding Americans from the private sector, higher education, government, the military, the faith community, the philanthropy, and nonprofit organizations to develop innovative policy ideas and to build momentum around advancing a new vision of civilian service for the 21st century. Our goal is to create one million new opportunities for large-scale civilian national service.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoy a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.

About the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service
The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service is a national leader in civic education, whose model and research are setting the standard for higher education's role in civic engagement. Serving every student at Tufts University, Tisch College prepares young people to be lifelong active citizens and creates an enduring culture of active citizenship.

SOURCE The Aspen Institute

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