Want to learn more about the worlds of public policy, civic engagement, and public affairs as an undergrad? Check out our undergraduate course offerings below! Full course information can be found at ClassInfo.
PA 1401: Community Organizing Skills for Public Action (3 credits)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:00–2:15 p.m.
Instructor: Dennis Donovan, National Organizer, Public Achievement
This is a hands-on introduction for students wanting to develop skills, confidence, and knowledge to become empowered citizens of change by examining key concepts of citizenship, politics, and democracy. Hands-on experiential learning in problem solving and team work within the framework of Civic Studies develop the skills to address the challenge of collective action in a world of often radically different ethical frameworks.
PA 3001: Changing the World: Contemporary Public Policy (3 credits)
Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00–2:15 p.m.
Instructor: Brian Harrison (Ph.D., Northwestern University) has taught at numerous universities and is a specialist in American politics, political communication, public opinion, political behavior and attitude change, and LGBT politics. Prior to graduate school, Brian was a White House appointee to the Department of Homeland Security.
Foundation for understanding the what, who, where, and how of public policy making. These components are explored from different perspectives while delving into questions such as: What is public policy good for? Who decides policy priorities? What effect does public policy actually have in solving public problems? How can we improve public policy making? After successfully completing this course, students will understand the process, structure, and context of policymaking; identify who, how, and what influences the policy process; and apply knowledge of public policy and the policymaking process to a specific policy issue.
PA 3002: Basic Methods of Policy Analysis (3 credits)
Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00–2:15 p.m.
This course is designed for students who share an interest in quantitative techniques to analyze issues of public policy. This multidisciplinary course is appropriate for students from various undergraduate majors, including economics, political science, business and other social sciences. In particular, this introductory course provides a firm academic and technical background for students preparing for graduate studies and careers in public and nonprofit organizations at the local, state, national and international levels.
PA 3003: Nonprofit and Public Financial Management (3 credits)
Wednesdays, 4:00–6:30 p.m.
Instructor: Nishank Varshney, Public Affairs PhD candidate, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
This course explores concepts and tools for project/budget planning, program analysis, interpreting financial reports, and identifying/resolving organizational performance issues using case studies and real-world exercises.
PA 4101: Nonprofit Management and Governance (3 credits)
Tuesdays, 5:30–8:15 p.m.
Instructor: Kabo Yang, strategic services consultant, Propel Nonprofits. Previously the executive director of the MN Women's Consortium, Yang has served on nonprofit boards and in other community organizations for the past decade.
This course explores the theories, concepts, and some real-world examples of how to manage nonprofit organizations. Students will study governance systems, strategic management practices, the effects of different funding environments, and management of multiple constituencies.
PA 4200: Urban and Regional Planning (3 credits)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:00–5:15 p.m.
Instructor: Frank Douma, Director, State and Local Policy Program, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
This course is geared toward upper-division undergraduates who are curious about a career in urban and regional planning, or simply want to know how planning works and affects our lives. It provides an introductory overview of planning theory and practice, with primary attention to current issues in planning practice in the U.S. The content covers land use, urban design, transportation, community development, housing, and environmental planning problems within the broader context of the historic development of cities, political processes, and regional and national economic forces.
PA 3969: Survey of Election Administration (3 credits)
Instructor: Amy Wilson is currently the Training Coordinator for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. She has written more than two dozen online elections courses and classroom trainings for the Colorado Election Official Certification Program, one of the most comprehensive and innovative training programs in the country. Amy has worked in the field of elections for more than 20 years, including as Election Director for the state of Utah, where she oversaw HAVA implementation and was a leader in the National Association of State Election Directors. She also worked as the Elections Manager in Arapahoe County, Colorado, for several years, where she helped the county transition from polling place voting to mail ballot voting.
Survey of building blocks of election administration, from voter registration to recounts.
PA 3973: Strategic Management of Election Administration (2 credits)
Instructor: Larry Jacobs, Humphrey School faculty member
Strategic management for election administrators in the political environment. This course covers the distinct phases and hurdles of the policy process and skills, tools, and challenges for election officials to enact new policy. This course also covers the role of the lawmaking process in budgeting and organizational planning.
PA 3982: Data Analysis for Election Administration (2 credits)
Instructor: Tamara Patrick, Senior Advisor, Elections, Democracy Fund
Evidence-based election administration. Collection and analysis of quantitative data to solve problems and identify opportunities for improvement. Emphasis on pre-election forecasting for planning purposes and post-election auditing of election results.
PA 3985: Physical Election Security (2 credits)
Instructor: Judd Choate, Director, Division of Elections · Colorado Department of State
U.S. Homeland Security designated election security as a “critical infrastructure” after threats from foreign governments, and collaborates with states in detecting and responding to foreign interference. This course will provide students with a deeper understanding of the current security context and best practices and processes for physically safeguarding elections based on 2016 and 2020. Students will learn the difference between physical and cyber threats to U.S. systems; tangible steps to protect election offices and their equipment; the use of audits to ensure the accuracy of elections; the integration of security into vendor relationships; and the connection between physical election security and citizen trust in elections. Content will be explored through readings (including government documents and studies), videos, discussions, and writing assignments.
For more information about Election Administration classes, please contact Lea Chittenden at [email protected].