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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: PADM 315
Course Title: *American Public Policy
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

The various ways the American political system decides what issues deserve attention, how it makes policy decisions, and the implementation of those decisions. Theoretical models for decision-making are discussed as are specific examples of public policy such as environmental policy, educational policy, health care policy, and more. Cross listed as POSC 315. Prerequisites: ENGL 112, POSC 111.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):

ENGL 112, POSC 111.

Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered even Spring.

Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Any text relevant to the topic. Recommended:

American Public Policy: An Introduction
By Cochran, et. al (Wadsworth)
Public Policy: An Evoluntionary Approach
By Stewart, et. al (Wadsworth)
Public Policymaking: An Introduction
By Anderson, James (Wadsworth)
Public Policymaking: An Introduction by Anderson
By Shafritz and Borick (Pearson)
Understanding Public Policy
By Dye, Thomas (Pearson)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Outline the steps in the policymaking process.
  2. Explain factors influencing the development and implementation of public policy.
  3. Identify and define key traits of theoretical decision-making models.
  4.  Explain the policy process of American national policies, such as environmental or education policy.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:

NOTE:  A significant, intensive writing component is required for this course.  This requirement may be satisfied by a single type-written paper of 10-12 pages in length (or longer), properly cited, or by multiple paper assignments of equivalent length.

  • The policy process:  Idea development, policy making, policy implementation. 
  • Factors affecting policy development and implementation. 
  • Policy making institutions and actors
  • Theories of decision making
  • Examples of public policies, how those policies were developed and implemented, the evaluation of those policies.  Examples (a minimum of four should be covered):  Health care, foreign and defense policy, environmental policy, welfare, tax policy, civil rights and affirmative action, energy policy, crime policy, education.

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: David Roebuck Date: April 15, 2015
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course learning outcomes and cover the subjects listed in the Major Topics/Skills to be Covered section. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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