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Public Affairs 

Schedule

Summer 2017

Summer 3 : May 22 – August 18

MPA6400- Public Affairs Internship/Strategic Capstone
Internship/Capstone & 1-on-1 meetings with the Director of the MPA Program

There are two subsets of students- pre-service and in-service. Pre-service students are those who are “coming straight from their undergraduate institutions.” These students do not hold full-time employment in the public or nonprofit sector and are looking to equip themselves appropriately to succeed in an agency upon completing their degree. In-service students are often either looking to further themselves in their current full-time positions or make a shift to a new type of work.

The purpose of the Internship/Capstone course is to provide pre-service/4+1 MPA students with: first-time, hands-on experience in their desired professional field of employment; the opportunity to build a professional network; and apply their developing MPA classroom skills in a tangible way. The project/capstone will be “internshipcentric” for this group of students. Students will work with the Director to find a placement in an organization in a public affairs field. They will complete an average of 20 hrs/wk in their new assignment.

Those students who are currently employed full-time (minimum 35hrs/wk) (in-service) in an organization in a public affairs field, may petition the Director to have the fieldwork hours waived. They can apply their current position to fulfill the fieldwork hours, and will be assigned a Strategic Capstone project- an in-depth analysis of their current profession which can be used to further their career enhancement/career development.

The Internship/Capstone course thus allows in-service students to complete an alternate project or study in lieu of the fieldwork hours. In-service students with fieldwork hour waivers will complete this alternative assignment not required of their pre-service classmates. In-service students will receive an assignment focused on a particular aspect or additional short-term function in their current position and complete it under the supervision of a faculty member. For this group of students, the project/capstone will be “academic/theoretical centric”.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of the Director

Summer 1: May 22 – June 30

MPA6570- Immigration Policy
Hybrid course – Mondays & Wednesdays 6PM – 10PM (Taught online on alternating days each week)

This course studies shifting immigration policy in the United States over history, with a focus on the modern era and the challenges of crafting immigration policy in an increasingly global world. The course is taught from an interdisciplinary platform, considering the philosophical, political, economic and social foundations that have inspired various policy trends as well as the effects and outcomes of policy on both the host country (the United States) and home country (country of origin). Students will also consider the various distinctions between categories of those entering the United States. The focus of the course in on immigration and human movement as it relates to the United States, although the course will also give attention to international dynamics in the current world.

Summer 2: July 10 – August 18

MPA6580- The Public Executive
Wednesdays 6PM – 10PM & Saturdays 9AM – 1PM

This is a graduate level course which draws on the material from the foundation level courses in the Masters of Public Affairs program. The focus is on enhancing executive level decision making and leadership skills. The context is executive level management of local government and nonprofit organizations, but lessons learned will have broad applicability for mid-level and senior managers in all government agencies and other public service entities. The course will provide the student with an in-depth perspective into the environment, challenges, and responsibilities of a public sector executive.

Fall 2017 Courses: September 5 – December 19

MPA6100- Foundations of Public Affairs
Mondays – 6PM – 10PM

This course focuses on the role of public agencies in contemporary American politics. Over the course of the semester we will consider some general questions of how public agencies interact with their political environment and influence the policy making process. We will examine several specific public policy problems that have become contentious policy issues, such as affirmative action, immigration, internet regulation, and cyber-space security.   Special attention will be given to various areas of government regulation and economic stabilization policy.

MPA6200- Research Methods and Evaluation
Tuesdays – 6PM – 10PM

This course is designed to provide the essential tools for conducting and evaluating quantitative analysis. Students will acquire and practice the basic skills necessary to make and assess causal claims, culminating in a research project featuring original analysis of data using statistical software. Emphasis is placed on different types of data, both experimental and observational, and the appropriate methods of analysis in order to evaluate claims. The course covers a variety of topics including research design, concept operationalization, descriptive statistics, bivariate and multivariate analysis and effective communication and presentation of research findings.

MPA6400- Public Affairs Internship/Strategic Capstone
Internship/Capstone & 1-on-1 meetings with the Director of the MPA Program

There are two subsets of students- pre-service and in-service. Pre-service students are those who are “coming straight from their undergraduate institutions.” These students do not hold full-time employment in the public or nonprofit sector and are looking to equip themselves appropriately to succeed in an agency upon completing their degree. In-service students are often either looking to further themselves in their current full-time positions or make a shift to a new type of work.

The purpose of the Internship/Capstone course is to provide pre-service/4+1 MPA students with: first-time, hands-on experience in their desired professional field of employment; the opportunity to build a professional network; and apply their developing MPA classroom skills in a tangible way. The project/capstone will be “internshipcentric” for this group of students. Students will work with the Director to find a placement in an organization in a public affairs field. They will complete an average of 20 hrs/wk in their new assignment.

Those students who are currently employed full-time (minimum 35hrs/wk) (in-service) in an organization in a public affairs field, may petition the Director to have the fieldwork hours waived. They can apply their current position to fulfill the fieldwork hours, and will be assigned a Strategic Capstone project- an in-depth analysis of their current profession which can be used to further their career enhancement/career development.

The Internship/Capstone course thus allows in-service students to complete an alternate project or study in lieu of the fieldwork hours. In-service students with fieldwork hour waivers will complete this alternative assignment not required of their pre-service classmates. In-service students will receive an assignment focused on a particular aspect or additional short-term function in their current position and complete it under the supervision of a faculty member. For this group of students, the project/capstone will be “academic/theoretical centric”.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of the Director

MPA6500- Public Administration
Wednesdays – 6PM – 10PM

This course is designed to allow students to develop an understanding of public administration as a field of academic study and an area of professional practice. This course is considered to be the one of the “foundations classes” for the MPA program. Specifically, it focuses on the evolution of public administration as an academic discipline and a profession in the real world, the context in which public administration takes place, the meaning of public service in a democratic society, and the importance of personal and professional ethics. The course will be conducted as a seminar. Students must be prepared to discuss reading assignments and participate in analysis of case studies.

MPA6590- Urban Government and Politics
Tuesdays – 6PM – 10PM

Urban Government and Politics is a course designed to introduce students to the complex, and often challenging environment of public policy development in metropolitan institutions. This course will provide an overview of the degree in which urban residents can govern themselves in communities, and the key challenges historically faced by contemporary cities. This course will focus on urban areas throughout the country, while looking at urban policies and politics. This course will also introduce the interrelationships between the structure of urban government, and the activities of major actors (mayors, city managers, council members, interest groups, political parties, and community activists) in urban settings. Finally, the course will ask students to understand specific urban concepts or urban characteristics-economic, social, political, and psychological-that are common to all cities, and metropolitan areas.

Take it to the next level - the graduate level - at Merrimack.