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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: HUMS 365
Course Title: *American Social Policy
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Emphasis on the nature and development of American social policy, including the history of current structures of social welfare services, the role of policy in service delivery and analyses of current social policy issues including family policy, health care policy, drug policy, tax policy, and other topical issues. Cross-listed as HUMS 365. Prerequisite: junior standing.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program:

Offered Spring.

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

Foundations of Social Policy - Social Justice in Human Perspective
By Barusch, A. S. (Brooks/Cole)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Dimensions of Social Welfare Policy
By Gilbert, N. and Terrell, P. (Allyn and Bacon)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Social Policy and Social Change: Toward the Creation of Social and Economic Justice
By Jimenez, Jillian A. et al. (Sage)
Category/Comments - Core Text
The Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy
By Segal, Elizabeth A. (Cengage)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Social Welfare Policy and Social Programs: A Values Perspective
By Segal, Elizabeth A. (Cengage)
Category/Comments - Core Text
Poverty and Power: The Problem of Structural Inequality
By Royce, Edward (Rowman and Littlefield)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America
By Edelman, Peter (New Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future
By Stiglitz, Joseph E. (W. W. Norton)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
The Working Poor: Invisible in America
By Shipler, David K. (Vintage)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
The Betrayal of the American Dream
By Barlett, Donald L. and James B. Steele (Public Affairs)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
One Nation, Underprivileged: Why American Poverty Affects Us All
By Rank, Mark Robert (Oxford)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Flat Broke with Children: Women in the Age of Welfare Reform
By Hays, Sharon (Oxford)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger
By Pickett, Kate and Richard Wilkinson (Bloomsbury Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental Text
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify the values that shape American social welfare policy.
  2. Describe the process by which social policies are formulated and implemented on the federal, state, and local levels.
  3. Discuss how social policy impacts vulnerable populations.
  4. Describe the concepts of human rights and social justice in the context of social policy.
  5. Describe how American social policies are similar to and different from the social policies of other industrialized democracies.
Major Topics/Skills to be Covered:
  • Distributive justice
  • Universal declaration of human rights
  • The policy process
  • Historical perspectives
  • Funding social welfare programs - tax policy
  • The Social Security Act
  • Social insurance programs
  • Public assistance programs
  • Social services
  • Family policy
  • Poverty
  • Nutrition/hunger
  • Health care policy
  • Mental health policy
  • The drug war and drug policy
  • Child welfare policy
  • The elderly
  • Women, minorities, and immigrant policies
  • Civil rights policy
  • Sexual orientation - gay rights
  • Affirmative action
  • Native Americans
  • Policy analysis
  • Global issues and comparisons

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

Prepared by: Yngve Digernes Date: November 29, 2016
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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