Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

MGMT 311: *Public Administration & Policy

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  Course Description

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

Prerequisite: POSC 111

Proctored Exams: Final


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  Holzer, Marc and Richard Schwester. (2016). Public Administration: An Introduction (2nd ed). New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.  eText


  •  American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed).  eText

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

Welcome to the study of contemporary public administration. You are about to be introduced to a comprehensive look at the theory and practice of governmental and non-profit sector management, to include an examination of leadership, bureaucracy, ethics, organizational theory, budgeting, human resources management and the politics involved in the administration of such organizations. You will also be introduced to concepts such as the role of technology, performance measurement, knowledge sharing and training, quality management, efficiency and effectiveness.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Objectives

  • To introduce the subject of bureaucracy in American government.
  • To survey major areas of study in Public Administration.

  Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Identify major trends in the development and evolution of American bureaucracy.
  • Evaluate the various forms of agency structure.
  • Explain the bureaucratic policy-making process via rule-making and other means.
  • Explain the standard budgetary processes used by legislatures and bureaucracies in fulfilling their public trust and identify different types of budgets.
  • Explain the regulatory process employed by public agencies.
  • Understand various ways public personnel are hired and evaluate those methods.
  • Explain various contributions to the study of organizational theory made by Weber, Taylor, Bernard, and others.
  • Explain the fundamental differences between public and private administration.
  • Identify various decision-making models used by public administrators.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 450-500 90-100%
B 400-449 80-89%
C 350-399 70-79%
D 300-349 60-69%
F 0-299 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 100 20%
Scholarship Paper 100 20%
Practical Exercises 75 15%
Midterm Exam 75 15%
Final Exam 150 30%
Total 500 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introductions 4 Saturday
Discussion 1A 6 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 1B 6
Practical Exercise 1 15 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2A 6 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 2B 6
Scholarship Paper Topic N/A Sunday
Proctor Information N/A

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3A 6 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 3B 6
Scholarship Paper Outline N/A Sunday
Practical Exercise 2 15

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4A 6 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 4B 6
Midterm Exam 75 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5A 6 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 5B 6
Practical Exercise 3 15 Sunday

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6A 6 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 6B 6
Practical Exercise 4 15 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7A 6 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 7B 6
Scholarship Paper 100 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8A 6 Wednesday/Saturday
Discussion 8B 6
Practical Exercise 5 15 Thursday
Final Exam 150 Saturday
Total Points: 500

  Assignment Overview


Weekly discussions are graded academic exercises. Student postings should be original, relevant, nondiscriminatory observations on the assigned topic(s). Students are expected to read the posts of their fellow classmates and respond to at least two other student postings for each discussion question. Simply rephrasing another student’s post is not acceptable. While discussion postings are informal, they should be intelligible and effectively communicate the student’s ideas. Please pay attention to use of capitalization, misspellings, incomplete sentences, and other violations of grammatical rules.

Each discussion topic will be started by the instructor. You must participate in all discussion topics in order to receive full credit, and your participation will be considered holistically by the instructor. The total possible points for participating during the session equals 100, or a maximum of 12 points per week, except for the first week when an additional four points are added for your Introduction. The key to these posts is quality, not quantity! All initial posts are due by Wednesday of the corresponding week. All responses are due by Saturday of the corresponding week at the 11:59 p.m. deadline.

Scholarship Paper

The Scholarship Paper provides each student with the opportunity to develop research and writing skills as well as synthesize knowledge about an important subject related to Public Administration.  Such topics include but are not limited to: politics and administration, ethics in the public sector, inter and intra-governmental relations, public budgeting, human resources management and merit systems, privatization, public-private partnerships, public organizational theory, public sector decision making, myth and reality in public sector management, the growth of bureaucracy, the impact of technology, and  performance measuring. The paper must be at least 10 pages of narrative in length excluding title page, abstract, pictorial inserts, tables and charts and reference pages. You will be required to submit a Topic by the end of Week 2 and an Outline, which includes your abstract, by the end of Week 3.  Your Scholarship Paper is due by the end of Week 7.  Submit all assignments related to the Scholarship Paper via the Dropbox. Failure to submit a topic or to write on a topic that is not approved will result in an automatic failing grade for the paper. The format to be used is the 6th edition of the APA manual of style.

Practical Exercises

These exercises are based on resources in the text and will be due in weeks 1, 3, 5, 6 and 8. Each exercise is worth 15 points. They will be submitted as dropbox assignments.

Midterm Exam

The Midterm will cover material from Week 1 through Week 4 of the course. It will consist of short answer and essay questions. It is not a proctored exam, meaning you will be allowed to use your resources to answer the questions presented on the exam. There will be a two-hour limit on the exam from the time you begin.

Final Exam

The Final Exam is worth 150 points toward your final grade. The comprehensive, computerized exam will consist of short answer/definition style questions as well as several essay questions covering the period from Weeks 5 through 8 in the course. NOTE: You will be supervised by a proctor. You will have two hours to take the exam, and you will not be allowed to use books, notes, flash drives or any outside websites.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

  • Review the Content area for information about the course, initial activities, obtaining exam proctors, resources available for technical assistance, and guidance for the Scholarship Paper.
  • Review the Supplemental Resources you will find in the Content area.
  • Find a suitable proctor and schedule a time to complete your Final during Week 8.  Be prepared to submit your Proctor information by 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday of Week 2.
Chapter 1
  • In the Introductions posting in the Discussions area, tell the class something about yourself.
Discussion 1A
  • After reading Chapter 1, how would you define public administration?
Discussion 1B
  • Practical Exercise 1 deals with the myths related to government bashing. Why do you think these myths are so prevalent?
Practical Exercise 1
Complete Practical Exercise 1, located in the Week 1 Content area. This exercise is based on the information found on pp. 32-40 in Chapter 1 of your text. Submit your assignment to the appropriate dropbox no later than 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday.
  • Review the course home page and Content area for News and information about the week’s activities.
Chapters 2-3
Discussion 2A
  • What types of organizational structures that you have been involved in would best fit the organizational theories described in the reading?
Discussion 2B
  • According to the authors, what are the most important aspects of human resource management? Which one do you feel should be the highest priority? Please support your answer.
Scholarship Paper Topic
Post your Scholarship Paper Topic in the appropriate topic found in the Discussions area by 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday.
Proctor Information
Submit your proctor form to the appropriate Dropbox folder by the end of the week. Remember to “Save” the form before placing it in Dropbox. See the Content area for more information.
  • Review the course home page and Content area for News and information about the week’s activities.
  • Chapters 4-5
  • Read/watch “The Road to Abilene,” found in the Week 3 Content area.
Discussion 3A
  • Do you think it is possible to keep politics and administration separate? Why or why not?
Discussion 3B
  • Which decision making models described in the reading seem the best, the worst, and in your experience, the most common? Have you ever been on the “Road to Abilene”?
Scholarship Paper Outline
Submit your Scholarship Paper Outline via the Dropbox by 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday.
Practical Exercise 2
Complete Practical Exercise 2, located in the Week 3 Content area. This exercise is based on the theoretical models of decision making found in chapter 4. Submit your assignment to the appropriate dropbox no later than 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday.
  • Review the course home page and Content area for News and information about the week’s activities.
  • Complete the non-proctored midterm exam.
  • Chapters 6-7
Discussion 4A
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of privatization and intergovernmental and intragovernmental competition?
Discussion 4B
  • What is the purpose and focus of total quality management? What are the social factors that influence organizational performance? Are there any that you believe are more important than others?
Midterm Exam
Complete the non-proctored midterm exam located in the Quizzes area.
  • Review the course home page and Content area for News and information about the week’s activities.
  • Chapters 8-9
Discussion 5A
  • What are the pros and cons of using surveys to evaluate programs? What is the significance of involving stakeholders in the evaluation of programs? What ethical concerns must be considered?
Discussion 5B
  • What types of budgeting models exist, and according to the authors, what are the pros and cons of each type?
Practical Exercise 3
Complete Practical Exercise 3, located in the Week 5 Content area. This exercise is based on the resources found on p. 280 in Chapter 9 of the text, specifically Exercise 9.2. Please submit your assignment to the appropriate dropbox no later than 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday.
  • Review the course home page and Content area for News and information about the week’s activities.
  • Chapters 10-11
Discussion 6A
  • After reading about the examples of leadership and the various models of good leadership, which ones do you feel have been successful in your own experience, and which would appear to work best in the public sector?
Discussion 6B
  • Can a person truly lead a public sector organization without following an ethical path? Please explain your answer.
Practical Exercise 4
Complete Practical Exercise 4, located in the Week 6 Content area. This exercise is found on pp. 293-294 in Chapter 10 of the text, specifically Exercise 10.2. Please submit your assignment to the appropriate dropbox no later than 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
  • Review the course home page and Content area for News and information about the week’s activities.
  • Chapter 12
Discussion 7A
  • What impact has technology had on the operation of public sector organizations? Is this impact always positive? Why or why not?
Discussion 7B
  • What are the similarities and differences between the duties of a CIO and a CTO in the public sector?
Scholarship Paper
Submit your Scholarship Paper no later than 11:59 p.m. CT Sunday to the appropriate dropbox.
  • Review the course home page and Content area for News and information about the week’s activities.
  • Chapters 13-14
Discussion 8A
  • Have you read anything in these chapters that would alter your perspective of public sector employees either positively or negatively?
Discussion 8B
  • Discuss your impressions and observations of the 5 practical exercises in this course.
Practical Exercise 5
Complete Practical Exercise 5, located in the week 8 Content area. This exercise is based on the reading found in Chapter 14 of the text. Please submit your assignment to the appropriate dropbox no later than 11:59 p.m. CT Thursday.
Final Exam
You must complete the computerized Final Exam with a proctor by 11:59 p.m. Saturday. The exam is located in the Quizzes area.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, all required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

There will be a 10% deduction for each 24 hours that an assignment is late ~ up to 48 hours (for example 10% of available points will be subtracted for a paper turned in 1 to 24 hours late, 20% for papers turned in from 25 to 48 hours late). After 48 hours there will be no credit given on assignments. No assignments will be accepted after the close of class on Saturday of week 8.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

Proctor Policy

Students taking courses that require proctored exams must submit their completed proctor request forms to their instructors by the end of the second week of the session. Proctors located at Columbia College campuses are automatically approved. The use of ProctorU services is also automatically approved. The instructor of each course will consider any other choice of proctor for approval or denial. Additional proctor choices the instructor will consider include: public librarians, high school or college instructors, high school or college counseling services, commanding officers, education service officers, and other proctoring services. Personal friends, family members, athletic coaches and direct supervisors are not acceptable.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.