Public Organizations and Management

This course introduces students to the study of organizations and management in the public sector. It is a required course and a building block for subsequent courses in management and policy implementation. It covers key management competencies such as strategic planning, performance management, incentives and human motivation, collaboration, and decision making. [syllabus

Nonprofit Management

This course introduces students to the rich history of the nonprofit sector and modern management challenges that nonprofit organizations face.  The course will cover theories that guide research on nonprofits, important themes in nonprofit governance and leadership, and some specific case studies of nonprofit sectors such as international development and the environmental movement.  The course builds a foundation for future employment in the sector. [ syllabus ]

Data and Statistics

Data-Driven Management in Public Organizations

This course introduces students to the field of performance management and the practice of data programming. It is a practical, tools-based course designed to build the foundations for strong data analysis as part of the performance management process. We will cover basic data operations, graphics, programming fundamentals, text analysis, and the creation of user interfaces. As part of the class students will work in a team to build a model performance management system that includes a data collection process, an analytical framework, and a dashboard to report key performance indicators to stakeholders.  [ COURSE WEBSITE ]

Program Evaluation

Program evaluation is a vast field that encompasses many different research traditions including case studies, process tracing, stakeholder analysis, causal modeling, and cost-benefit analysis.  The emphasis of this course will be on the quantitative modeling of program impact.  As such, the theme of unbiased results will be prominent throughout the course.  Students will learn how to think through causal modeling using correlation analysis (regression), and applying the appropriate techniques to limit bias (panel methods, instrumental variables, propensity score matching, regression discontinuity design, and natural experiments).  The course will also present a variety of research designs that allow for the isolation of program impacts from other factors that contribute to variation in program outcomes. The objective of the course is to give students the tools that they will need to be responsible producers and consumers of program evaluations. [ COURSE WEBSITE ]

Public Policy

Urban Policy

Urban policy is an important topic that touches on many aspects of public policy because most people live, work, and play in cities or their surrounding suburbs. This course is designed to give a theoretical and policy context for students that wish to work in local government, the nonprofit sector, economic development, real estate, or related fields. The course covers: the social and economic benefits of urban regions, key causes and implications of urban sprawl and the urban / suburban divide, tools of urban policy and economic development, and spatial analysis. As part of the class students complete GIS labs to build a basic competency in spatial analysis. [ syllabus ]   [ COURSE WEBSITE ]