University of Vermont

Master of Public Administration

Spring MPA Courses

Spring 2014 Course Listings

PA 206 Introduction to Public Affairs       
CRN:11977
Catherine Finley Woodruff      1:00 – 2:15pm     Tuesdays and Thursdays                              
This course focuses on contemporary policy issues including government and the economy, the role of leadership, ethical and moral issues in public policy, and other contemporary issues impacting society.  Specific attention is paid to the roles that ideology, the communications media and education play in setting policy agendas. Credits: 3

PA 302 Organization Theory and Behavior 
CRN: 12309 
Robert Lawson and Doris Anderson 4:05 – 7:05pm   Wednesdays
This course uses organizational culture, leadership, motivation, and learning to generate innovative practices by a competent and diverse work force. Specific skill sets are included for each topic, as well as outcomes assessment.  View/download syllabus (PDF). >>                             
Credits: 3

PA 306 Policy Systems 
CRN: 11903   
Asim Zia    4:00 – 7:00pm  Mondays           
In this introductory graduate-level service –learningcourse geared toward current and aspiring public administrators, you will learn about a wide range of system-wide public policy frameworks, theories and models, such as Institutional Rational Choice Framework, the Multiple Streams Framework; Social Construction and Policy Design; the Network Approach; Punctuated Equilibrium Theory; the Advocacy Coalition Framework; Innovation and Diffusion Models, Large-N Comparative Models, Critical Theory and Complex Governance Systems. You are required to engage in critically analyzing and evaluating at least one substantive policy issue of relevant community interest by applying theoretical and policy analytical skills learned in this class. The emphasis will be placed on comparing different theories & models of public policy analysis and evaluation, and investigating how different public policy theories & models are applied in varied policy systems.

PA 312 Health Care Management
CRN: 14870
Catherine Hamilton (ONLINE)
Addresses major issues and challenges faced by health services managers relating to established and evolving social, economic, and professional policies in a context of practical problem assessment and appropriate resolution. View/download syllabus (PDF)                             
Credits: 3

PA 317 Systems Analysis and Strategic Management  
CRN:12617
Christopher Koliba  4:00 – 6:45pm  Tuesdays
Students will be introduced to systems thinking and network dynamics with a particular focus on managing across organizational and sectoral boundaries, including public-private partnerships, intergovernmental arrangements, and strategic alliances.  Tools to undertake strategic analysis and planning will be explored.  Credits 3

PA 323 Non-Profit Administration
CRN : 11979
Jane Van Buren           4:00 – 6:45pm   Tuesdays                                        
This course will review the history of the non-profit sector in the United States, examine how it is constituted and explore how these organizations work in contrast to and in concert with governmental and business institutions. Students will explore the nature of the sector, its impact of policy making, and obtain a solid introduction to the legal, financial and management aspects
of non-profit organizations. Credits: 3

PA 395 Governance at Work
CRN: 13750
Richard Cate         Hybrid On-Line Course  First class on-campus Friday, January 24, 2014
“States are as the men [and women] are; they grow out of human characters,” (Plato, circa 370 BC)
This course will focus on helping students to gain an understanding of governmental structures at all levels, the roles of the people within them, and the complex intergovernmental relationships that result in funding, services and regulations for the people that they serve. It will be offered primarily online over the standard, full-semester meeting pattern with only the first and the last class conducted face-to-face. Students will also make two “field trips” (individually, at their convenience) to public meetings of state and local governmental bodies and then report on the activities they observe.
Governments in the United States are often maligned, distrusted and sometimes despised, yet they are nothing more than the creations of the people within their boundaries, and these negative opinions are often based on the bad behavior of the elected leaders that the “people” have put into office. So, it seems that we all bear part of the responsibility and we should all be part of the solution. Let us first understand these creations called governments and then use our new found knowledge to help make life better for all of the people, whether we work in government or remain one of the masses. Credits: 3

PA 395 Capstone Project
CRN: 12636
Glenn McRae             5:10 – 8:10pm  Thursdays
The Capstone Project will provide graduating students with a summative experience that allows them to tie together what they have learned over the course of the program.  They will apply this learning to tangible projects relating to topic of community partner’s interests.  It is structured to round out and supplement the core curriculum by providing content not found in other core or elective classes.
Students in their final spring semester of the program are eligible to take this.  This course counts as the “comprehensive exam” for the master of public administration at UVM.

PA 380 Internship
CRN: 10529
Jason Duquette-Hoffman                                          
Supervised administrative experience culminating in a written report Credits: 3-6.
A requirement for the MPA.

PA 391 Master’s Thesis Research
CRN: 10530
Christopher Koliba                                                                
Research Thesis topic must be approved by faculty advisor. Credits: 6.

PA 397 Reading and Research
CRN: 10531
Christopher Koliba                                                                
Readings, with conferences, term paper, to provide graduate students with specialized knowledge in an area in which an appropriate course is not offered. Credits: 3-6

Last modified January 13 2014 09:48 AM

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