Graduate Course Descriptions

CC 500: Organization Theory and Management:

This course examines the nature and major trends of public administration, specifically in the nonprofit, criminal justice, and governmental sectors, as these sectors are understood within the context of a broad shift in governance, both in the US and internationally.  The course aims to deepen student understanding of the nature of public administration and its organizations, using both theoretical and practical lenses to do so.  Understanding the legitimacy and authority of these sectors to address collective problems requires inviting both management and policy practitioners to see the intersection between managerial practices and policy decisions and to connect the macro and micro dynamics of governance.

The course focuses heavily on the broad trends shaping the sector, predominantly in the United States, but making connections to international trends.  The goal is for students- whether they are interested in policy, finance or management- to develop their own "cognitive map" of their respective sector, so that they can identify and interpret key issues and challenges of sustainability experienced by stakeholders in their field, and consider their implication for practice.  Classes will involve a mix of brief lectures; discussion based on readings and written assignments; and guest speakers.

 

CC 505: Introduction to Graduate Statistics:
Correlation and regression analysis, probability and sampling theory, estimating population parameters, testing hypotheses.  Familiarity with descriptive statistics assumed.

CC 510: Program Planning and Evaluation:
Program and policy evaluation is an important means for policy makers, managers, and other stakeholders to learn about program and policy effectiveness and make judgments and decisions regarding those programs and policies.  While evaluation evolved from the social sciences and uses many of the same research methodologies to inform users, the different purposes of evaluation mean that the planning and implementation of evaluations require perspectives and techniques different from those used in traditional research.
 

 CC 515: Finance and Budgeting:
At a broad level, the budget is the tool governments, not-for-profits, and public sectors use to transform policies and goals into outcomes, and it determines the extent to which these goals are achieved.  At a more basic level, the budget specifies the allocation of resources among competing services and operations.  Politically and financially the budget also manifests governance more than any other activity organizations engage in.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the intricacies of budgeting and related areas of fiscal administration, including performance budgeting, budget development, budget implementation, internal controls, and cost analysis.  The course will give students a basic understanding of the concepts and skills needed to perform these tasks and to evaluate both budget processes and documents.  Budgeting is, in large part, a technical task that requires determining factors such as the cost of items, proper charges for services, and programmatic net effects.

 

CC 520: Policy and Political Analysis:

The goal of this course is to provide a greater understanding of (1) the process by which public policies are formulated, decided on, implemented, and evaluated, (2) techniques of analysis appropriate for various policy issues, and (3) substantive policy issues facing us today.
Public policies will be examined, developed, and analyzed from three perspectives: the critic, the client, the consultant. Students will learn how to act as critics who identify strengths, weaknesses and logical inconsistencies in policy ideas and analyses. As clients, students will learn to manage policy studies that yield high quality and politically relevant information related to policy issues. As consultants, students will learn concrete tools to efficiently conduct and explain policy studies.

CC 599 Internship Experience:

The course will make available to students in both in the MCJA and MPA programs an experiential learning opportunity combined with a research project in an appropriate agency setting.  It is intended only for the students who have not yet achieved full time employment in their field.  Unlike internships available at the undergraduate level, this course will require students to engage in critical evaluation of the workplace setting and to refine and enhance their own professional development skills.  In the Criminal Justice Administration program, students may choose to complete this course in lieu of one of the specialized area courses- CJ 650, CJ 660, or CJ 670.  Students seeking a master's degree in Public Administration must receive permission from their faculty advisor.

 

MPA 625 Introduction to Public Administration:
The purpose of this course is to introduce students, entering the Masters of Public Administration Program (MPA), to the discipline and profession of public service and administration.  Graduate study in public service seeks to combine the insights from classics in the field with the best of contemporary experience, literature and research.  It challenges each of us to examine and make a lasting commitment to the public service, to the solution of complex, exciting, and at times very perplexing problems that face our society today.  It also challenges us to continue to learn, to participate on a continuing basis with colleagues in professional societies, and in doing so, to share our knowledge and experience with others.

This course begins, or for some students, builds on, these ideas; it provides an overview of the development, structure and sub-areas of specialization in public affairs.  Major theories will be considered in areas such as budgeting, human resources management, public and non-profit management, policy analysis and ethics.

We will discuss current issues and the political environment in which public servants function.

 

MPA 627 Human Resources Management:
Designed for public and non-profit managers rather than human resource professionals, this course gives a broad overview of HR dynamics and responsiblilities.  We'll begin by considering different approaches to HR and placing them within the overall context of the public sector and non-profit organizations. Then we'll cover basic personnel functions including recruitment, career development, performance appraisal, providing feedback and job design.  Finally, we will explore current issues within personnel management, including diversity and identity at work and the role of unions.  The course focuses on-developing human resources rather than the traditional notion of managing personnel.  Its central theme is how HR policies and practices can enhance the learning and growth of individual employees, work teams and the whole organization, thereby ensuring high-level performance.  We will emphasize practical application through case discussions and reflection on students' experiences at work and in school.  While the course will focus on values-based organizations, it will draw on ideas and materials from the public, non-profit sectors.

 

MPA 630 Health Care Administration:

This course brings together students with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences as consumers, providers within healthcare organizations and policy makers to critically examine the organizational and management concepts that influence planning and decision-making. The emphasis is on studying the various forms of health organizations as well as administrative behaviors used in adaptation and policy development.

  

MPA 631 Values and Ethics in Public Policy:
The course is designed and delivered as an introduction to the concepts of values and ethics for professionals working in public service within the public sector.  It introduces the basic ethical values of virtue, truth and justice and explores how these values translate into public/not-for-profit corporate values, ethical principles and ethical behaviors in the areas of public policy, politics and administration.  The ethical responsiblities of leadership within the public sector are also emphasized.

 

MPA 632 Financial Resource Development:

Students will have an opportunity to deepen their knowledge regarding the trends and outside forces which impact the not-for-profit world, especially in these difficult economic times.  The course will focus on the "nuts & bolts" of grant writing, technology choices, and the ethical issues which may be encountered.  Included in this course will be a class on how to start a non-profit organization.  

 

MPA 635 Managerial Epidemiology and Statistics:

The course will provide students with an overview of epidemiologic principles and how these principles can be applied to healthcare administration/management functions.   As public administration becomes evidence- and population-based, it becomes critical to understand the impact of disease on populations of people in a service area.

 

MPA 636 Culture of Helath Care:

This course explores the impact of culture on health, and in development of culturally appropriate interventions for communities. It will build on epidemiological concepts and apply anthropological methodologies to understanding the impact of culture on health status, service utilization, and cultural conflicts between health care providers and members of ethnic communities.

 
MPA 637 Marketing and Public Relations

This course is designed to provide a broad based understanding of the principles and practices of strategic marketing and public relations as well as their applicability to public and nonprofit organizations.  It emphasizes the need for strategic planning in the marketing, not only of products, but also of programs and services.  It is intended to enable public and nonprofit managers to manage their marketing efforts strategically.

The course is designed to provide practical "hands on" experience as well as a base in marketing and public relations theory.  Class participants will be required to develop and submit a strategic marketing/public relations plan for a particular service program.

 

MPA 640 Research Methods in Public Administration: 
This course focuses on techniques most prevalent in the public and not-for-profit sectors and/or the public administration literature.  Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodology approaches are highlighted.  Topics include how to write a research question, how to review existing literature, how to conceptualize variables and operationalize research, how to gather and analyze data, and how to report interpret and make recommendations from findings.  This course requires active participation and interaction with public and/or not-for-profit organizations.

 

MPA 642 Health Care Law and Ethics: 

This course addresses legal and ethical issues frequently encountered by health care managers.  Topics include the constitutional basis for government support of health care services and constraints that the law and regulatory structures impose on the health care industry.   Bioethical theory, policy formulation, and decision making in the professional setting are also included.  Specific issues discussed are the right to health care, allocation of scarce resources, choices regarding death, liability of health care providers, and governing board and medical and health care staff responsibilities.

 

MPA 644 Capstone Seminar: 

Students begin preparing for this capstone course starting with their first course in the program.  Beginning with that course and continuing through all their ensuing courses, students lay the foundation through reading, skills development and research for two culminating capstone projects related to their job or professional field-one individual and the other collaborative.
The primary objective of the capstone course is to apply and intergrate classroom learning achieved thus far to actual and/or otherwise relevant work situations.

 

 

CJA 601 Proseminar: 

The purpose of this course is to introduce students entering the Master's program in Criminal Justice Administration to what is happening in both the professional field and in the academic discipline associated with this area of study, and to provide background which is essential for advanced study in this area.  Topics will include the history, structure and functioning of the criminal justice system in the United States and selected other countries, and the ways in which mass media and politcal fluctuations influence the system.  Attention will also be paid to the evolving managerial approach most often used by administrators in this field, and to the ethical dilemmas posed by social control efforts and research methodologoies.

 

CJA 640 Research Methods in Criminal Justice: 

This seminar will provide an intermediate level of study to the scientific method and to research designs as applied to problems of crime and criminal justice, and will provide an overview of tools available to those working and studying the field.  It will survey such topics as problem conceptualization and formulation, sampling, measurement, experimental and quasi-experimental designs, survey research, interviewing, participant observation, unobtrusive measures, methods of data management and analysis, ethical concerns of research in criminal justice, and research planning.  Consideration will also be paid to the research techniques emerging from the field of forensic psychology.  Particular attention will be paid to the problems of interpreting research findings in a practical manner.

 

CJA 645 Nature and Causes of Crime: 
This course will examine patterns and trends in crime and victimization within the United States, as well as diverse theoretical perspectives and individual theories that attempt to explain crime and delinquency.  A multidisciplinary approach will be used that examines the underlying causes and consequences of crime.  Biological, psychological, sociological, cultural, and political/radical theories will be critically examined, and recent developments in criminological approaches will be considered.  Victimology will also be explored, as a field in its own right and as a significant and contributing source of deviant behavior.  The extent to which both science and ideology help to shape the fields of criminology and victimology will be evaluated.
A basic knowledge of criminological theories is expected, along with a rudimentary understanding of statistics and the scientific nature of research methodology.  Students lacking this background should prepare themselves by reading one of the many excellent undergraduate textbooks available.

 

CJA 650 Criminal Law and Courts: 
Many are of the opinion that the criminal courts fail to properly punish and deter offenders.  This view has been a popular topic among politicians, the electorate and critics of the American Justice System.  This course will provide students with an understanding of what goes wrong and what is accomplished well.  The course begins with an examination of the nature of criminal law, tracing its development within the U.S. legal system and exploring strengths and weaknesses.  Legal procedures are then considered, along with the structure and functioning of the criminal court system and the roles of particular elements such as prosecution and defense.  Particular attention will be paid to the decision making processes of those involved in the system, and to the jury system.

 

CJA 660 Policing in Contemporary Society: 
This course will provide a close examination of the status and role of police and police institutions in contemporary American society, with the intent of critiquing the strengths and weaknesses of our present system and preparing students for the future.  The historical evolution of these police organizations will be considered, along with the social forces and events which have been influential in shaping interaction between police and diverse communities.  The legal status of police officers will be considered, along with the problems most frequently suffered by this group.  Strategies of policing and police management will also be examined.

 

CJA 670 Penology: 
The purpose of this course is to examine the history and practice of social control, and the theories which are associated with various approaches.  The changes and development of correctional philosophy will be examined, including incarceration, diversion, and community based corrections.  Public attitudes toward the treatment of offenders will be considered, along with the problems associated with reentry of this group into the community.  Some attention will be paid to the problems associated with special populations, and the larger social, economic and political environment which shape policy decisions.  While this is essentially a course in corrections, it must be emphasized that theory and reseach methodology will be emphaized.

 

CJA 680 Capstone Seminar: 
The primary objective of this seminar is to integrate the concepts and knowledge presented throughout the curriculum of the CJA program.  Students will have the opportunity to sharpen and test their analytic and critical thinking skills, and strengthen their research abilities by completing a major project.  The course will also serve as a forum for debate on some of the most critical issues facing criminal justice administrators today, and as a means of preparing students to become better leaders within their professions and in their communities.