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PA 602 Seminar in Public Affairs
Bergrud, Erik O.


COURSE SYMBOL AND NUMBER: PA 602

COURSE TITLE: Seminar in Public Affairs

TERM COURSE BEING TAUGHT:  FAP 2004

NAME OF FACULTY MEMBER: Erik Bergrud

TITLE OF FACULTY MEMBER: Graduate Adjunct Instructor

FACULTY OFFICE HOURS: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. US Central Time (M-F); 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. US Central Time (M-R)

FACULTY OFFICE TELEPHONE NUMBER: (816) 891-2490

FACULTY PARK EMAIL ADDRESS: erik.bergrud@pirate.park.edu

OTHER FACULTY EMAIL ADDRESS: ebergrud@swbell.net

DATES OF THE TERM:  8/23/2004 – 12/19/2004

CLASS SESSIONS DAYS: Online Course

CLASS SESSION TIME: Online Course

PREREQUISITE(S): 21 hours academic credit and completion or enrollment in PA 601

CREDIT HOURS: 3

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

 

VISION STATEMENT

Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: A seminar aiming at correlation of the academic and practical experiences of the degree candidates. Each student will prepare a series of papers emphasizing various expectations to be faced in professional work, such as analysis, critique, evaluation, implementation, and research.

 

FACULTY’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: The goals of this course are to provide a meaningful conclusion of the study of public affairs on the master's level and to provide the students with approaches related to future professional work.  Recognizing that the class is comprised of adult learners, the instructor facilitates intelligent discussion of key issues rather than lecturing in a traditional sense.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, students should:

  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze, critique, and evaluate current issues in public affairs;
  • Demonstrate the ability to research potential answers to such issues and how to implement those answers;
  • Improve the ability to raise meaningful questions in a succinct fashion;
  • Encourage critical attitudes toward the views of authorities and of other students;
  • Demonstrate the ability to write critically and effectively;
  • Build awareness of the ethical dimensions of public affairs.

COURSE TEXTBOOK(S): Eugene Bardach, Getting Agencies to Work Together, Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8157-0797-5.

Robert B. Denhardt, Janet Vinzant Denhardt, & Maria P. Aristigueta, Managing Human Behavior in Public & Nonprofit Organizations, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2002, ISBN 0-7619-2474-4.

Alex Pattakos, Prisoners of Our Thoughts, San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler, 2004, ISBN 1-57675-288-7.

Terrel L. Rhodes, ed., The Public Manager Case Book, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2002, ISBN 0-7619-2327-6.

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY: “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”

 

PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism—the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”

 

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

 

LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS: Each week's work must be completed by the end of that week. Remember, a week is defined as beginning at 12:00 a.m. US Eastern Time Monday morning and ending at 11:59 p.m. US Eastern Time Sunday night. There will be no credit for work turned in after the week, unless you have contacted me beforehand and explained any "special" circumstance. Deadlines not met during the week will mean your grade will be lowered one-third of a letter grade for each day late (e.g, from A to A-).

 

COURSE ASSESSMENT: Class participation, analysis papers

CLASSROOM RULES OF CONDUCT: A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday. The first week begins the first day of the semester and ends midnight the following Sunday. Assignments scheduled for completion during a class week should be completed and successfully submitted, or postmarked, so that they are in my hands on the due date. This applies to mailed assignments and papers submitted online. Note: Because this is an online course designed to obtain feedback on assignments to you directly via the Internet, you must make prior arrangements with me before submitting a paper via fax or the postal service. If you ever have problems transmitting your assignments to me, telephone me immediately, and we will get the problem solved.

Ground Rules for Online Participation
  • Students should use e-mail for private messages to the instructor and other students. The weekly discussion threads are for public messages. Students may use the BREAK ROOM to socialize with classmates.
  • Students are expected to complete 5-6 hours per week of conferencing or other appropriate on-line activities, including sending/receiving e-mail and navigating and conducting research over the World Wide Web.
  • Each student must participate and respond weekly to threaded online discussions. Conventions of "online etiquette," which include courtesy to all users, will be observed. During issues discussion students must be able to express themselves with complete sentences in order for them to get a full credit. "Yes/no" or "I agree" must be justified otherwise your answers to the discussion will not be accepted. All discussions must be within the limit of the topic under consideration; and to be able to do so, students must be able to understand the topic. If you do not understand the topic, feel free to contact me for further explanation.
  • Students may get assistance with computer-related problems through the instructor.
  • Assigned papers may be submitted via the postal service or fax only if arrangements are made with the instructor beforehand.

Policy #1: If you experience computer difficulties (need help downloading a browser or plug-in, you need help logging into the course, or if you experience any errors or problems while in your online course, please contact Park’s School of Online Learning for assistance.

Policy #2:  Back up: every piece of work you complete. This will ensure that a computer glitch, or a glitch out there in cyberspace won't erase your hard work.

Policy #3:  Communicate: If you are experiencing any confusion over course material, technical difficulties that are not being resolved and are preventing you from completing your assignments, or general questions about the course, let me know and refer to Course Policy #1.

Policy #4: Please check the FAQ threaded discussion area before you ask general course questions.  If you don't see your question there, then please post your question.  Posting them in the threaded discussion area will allow your fellow students to benefit from your questions.  And remember, there are no stupid/silly questions.  We are all here to learn!

Policy #5:  E-Mail Procedures and Submitting

General e-mail: When sending e-mail other than assignments, you must identify yourself fully by name and class in all e-mail sent to me and/or other members of our class.

I will check my e-mail frequently. I will respond to course related questions within 24-48 hours (unless I notify you previously if I will be unavailable).

When files are sent attached to an e-mail message (with advanced permission), the files should be in either Microsoft Word XP (or lower), Microsoft Excel XP (or lower), Microsoft PowerPoint XP (or lower), RTF, ASCII, txt, or PDF file formats.

Policy #6  Late Work: Each week's work must be completed by the end of that week. Remember, a week is defined as beginning at 12:00 a.m. US Eastern Time Monday morning and ending at 11:59 p.m. US Eastern Time Sunday night. There will be no credit for work turned in after the week, unless you have contacted me beforehand and explained any "special" circumstance. Deadlines not met during the week will mean your grade will be lowered one-third of a letter grade for each day late (e.g, from A to A-).

Policy #7  Online Etiquette: All your online communications need to be composed with fairness, honesty and tact. Your online writings will be graded. Here are a couple of online references that discuss writing online http://goto.intwg.com and netiquette http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html . NOTE: If you disagree with a point in someone's assignment, please be diplomatic in presenting your opposing point of view. It is important to be sensitive to how your words might be interpreted by the other student especially in front of the class. Boundaries need to be maintained about attacking the other person's intelligence. It is important to stay focused on the specific idea you disagree with and provide supporting information from text or other web sites that validate your point of view. It is not acceptable to say that you disagree and leave it at that.

Policy #8  Attendance: Attendance in this online course is determined by your keeping up to date with conference discussions and assignments. You are required to participate in threaded discussions weekly and to turn in assigned work when due. Failure to "show up" for the weekly work will be considered an equivalent of one class-time absence. Two class-time absences will result in your final grade being lowered by one grade. Computers do crash. This is not a legitimate excuse to "miss" class.  It is your responsibility to notify me by phone, or to find another means (e.g., at a public library or Kinko's) to submit your work.

Policy #9  Courtesy Code: I expect you follow rules of common courtesy in all your e-mail messages and your critiques. If I deem any of them to be inappropriate or offensive, I will forward the message to the appropriate Park University official and the Online administrators and appropriate action will be taken.

DISABILITY GUIDELINES: Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance.  These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal.  It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply.  Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: www.park.edu/disability

 

COURSE TOPICS/DATES/ASSIGNMENTS:

Week

Date

Topics/Assignments

1

8/23 – 8/29

a) Introduce yourself to your classmates by posting a message in the BREAK ROOM.
b) Read Denhardt et al, Chapters 1-3

2

8/30 – 9/5

a) Read Denhardt et al, Chapters 4-6
b) Answer the Week Two discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."

3

9/6 – 9/12

a) Read Denhardt et al, Chapters 7-10
b) Answer the Week Three discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."

4

9/13 – 9/19

a) Read Denhardt et al, Chapters 11-14
b) Answer the Week Four discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."
c) Please complete the Analysis Paper.  Your paper must include the following sections:
(1) CENTRAL THEME.  What is the central theme of the Denhardt et al book?  This segment of the paper may not exceed one typewritten page in length.
(2) IMPLICATIONS. How does this book assist you in understanding your professional experiences and involvements?
(3) UTILIZATION.  How would you use the analysis of this book in your future professional activities?

5

9/20 – 9/26

a) Read Bardach, Chapters 1-2
b) Answer the Week Five discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."

6

9/27 – 10/3

a) Read Bardach, Chapters 3-4
b) Answer the Week Six discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."

7

10/4 – 10/10

a) Read Bardach, Chapters 5-7
b) Answer the Week Seven discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."

8

10/11 – 10/17

a) Read Bardach, Chapters 8-9
b) Answer the Week Eight discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."
c) Please complete the Critique Paper.  Your paper must include the following sections:
(1) CENTRAL THEME.  What is the central theme of the Bardach book?  This segment of the paper may not exceed one typewritten page in length.
(2) CRITIQUE. Did you agree with the author's point of view?  Why or why not?
Note: Additional sources (research) agreeing or disagreeing with the textbook and/or the presenter have to be included.

9

10/18 – 10/24

No class

10

10/25 – 10/31

a) Read Rhodes, Chapters 1-2
b) Answer the Week Thirteen discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."

11

11/1 – 11/7

a) Read Rhodes, Chapters 3-4
b) Answer the Week Fourteen discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."

12

11/8 – 11/14

a) Read Rhodes, Chapters 5-6
b) Answer the Week Fifteen discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."

13

11/15 – 11/21

a) Read Rhodes, Chapters 7-8
b) Answer the Week Sixteen discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."
c) Please complete the Practice Paper.  Your paper must include the following sections:
(1) CENTRAL THEME.  What is the central theme of the Rhodes
book?  This segment of the paper may not exceed one typewritten page in length.
(2) IMPLICATIONS. Which of the cases contained in this book was the most relevant for you?  Why?
(3) UTILIZATION.  How would you apply the cases found in this book in your future professional activities?

14

11/22 – 11/28

a) Read Pattakos, Chapters 1-4
b) Answer the Week Ten discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."

15

11/29 – 12/5

a) Read Pattakos, Chapters 5-8
b) Answer the Week Eleven discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."

16

12/6 – 12/12

a) Read Pattakos, Chapters 9-11
b) Answer the Week Twelve discussion question: "Identify a central theme from this week's reading assignment and relate it to a concept you learned during a previous MPA course."
c) Please complete the Evaluation Paper.  Your paper must include the following sections:
(1) CENTRAL THEME.  What is the central theme of the Pattakos book?  This segment of the paper may not exceed one typewritten page in length.
(2) EVALUATION. Identify a weak or controversial aspect in this book.  Why did you select this aspect?  
(3) PUBLIC AFFAIRS IMPLICATIONS.  Public affairs is understood by the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs to be the field of study which shows the interrelationships between the activities of government (on all its levels) with other elements of the social and economic systems.  What impact might the selected aspect have on your understanding of public affairs?

17

12/13 – 12/19

Please complete the Research Paper, adhering to these procedures:

(1) Select a narrow topic within the emphasis area of your study (Public Management, Government/Business Relations, Nonprofit and Community Services Management, MIS, or Health Management).
(2) The selection is up to the student, but the instructor may be consulted.
(3) Prepare an annotated bibliography of research sources on the selected subject using at least:
  (a)  a textbook used in one of your emphasis classes,
  (b)  two other books,
  (c)  two professional articles (e.g., from a professional journal),
  (d) one additional source.
(4) Write a research report according to the outline below.

Your paper must include the following sections:
1. A paragraph length statement of the RATIONALE for the topic selection.
2. An ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY of the sources used.  Remember that possibly only parts of any sources may be used and that this has to be indicated.  Watch the proper order of bibliographical listings.
3.  Statement of the CENTRAL THEME found in the sources used.
4. A discussion of the possible UTILIZATION of the results of this report which must include at least 2 (two) properly identified footnotes (or endnotes) referring to the bibliographical entries.

 

GRADING PLAN:

The following weights will be assigned to the course requirements:

Participation in discussion - 25%
Research paper - 25%
Analysis paper - 12.5%
Critique paper - 12.5%
Evaluation paper - 12.5%
Practice paper - 12.5%

Grading Scale

Final grades will be computed based on the following point scale:
90-100: A
80-89: B
70-79: C
60-69: D
0-59: F