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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: POSC 311
Course Title: *Public Administration and Policy
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Examination of growth, structure, role, methods, and policy of the national bureaucracy and its role in American government and society. Cross-listed as PADM 311. Prerequisite: POSC 111.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): POSC 111.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered odd Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Any current edition of a public administration text covering all topics in the Topical Outline. Suggested texts are:

Introducing Public Administration
By Shafritz, Russell and Borick (Pearson)
Public Administration: An Action Orientation
By Denhardt, Denhardt and Blank (Cengage)
Public Administration in America
By Milakovich & Gordon (Wadsworth)
Classics of Public Administration
By Shafritz & Hyde (Cengage)
Public Administration: Cases and Concepts
By Stillman (Houghton Mifflin)
Course Learning Outcomes
  1. Identify major trends in the development and evolution of American bureaucracy.
  2. Explain various contributions to the study of organizational theory made by Weber, Taylor, Bernard, and others.
  3. Describe various ways public personnel are hired and evaluate those methods.
  4. Explain the standard budgetary processes used by legislatures and bureaucracies in fulfilling their public trust and identify different types of budgets.
  5. Explain the bureaucratic policy-making process via rule-making and other means.
  6. Outline various decision-making models used by public administrators.
  7. Explain the regulatory process employed by public agencies.
  8. State the various forms of agency structure.
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 evolution of public administration in the U.S.
  • Differences between public and private administration
  • Organizational theory
  • Scope and structure of the federal bureaucracy
  • Federalism and intergovernmental relations and their impact on the policy process.
  • Personnel administration and management (strengths and weaknesses, personnel structure and processes)
  • Decision-making
  • Policy-making and implementation of policy
  • Budget making
  • Congressional-agency relations
  • Administrative Law
  • Deregulation

Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

Library Resources:

Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus 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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