PA602 Seminar in Public Affairs

for S1P 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Hauptmann School for Public Affairs Mission Statement
The Hauptmann School of Public Affairs offers a citizen-centered, professional program of graduate study that is grounded in the liberal arts tradition.  As participants in HSPA's vibrant academic community, faculty and students consider, with the coursework, the larger issues of democracy, stewardship, and technology.  In so doing, HSPA seeks to prepare students for the courage and discernment to act for the common good in the global context.  Going beyond competence, students develop knowledge, skills, and values requisite for leadership and service in and across all sectors of society, including government, business, and nonprofit.  HSPA cultivates public affairs as a life-long passion that is fundamental to citizenship in a free society.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.

Hauptmann School for Public Affairs Vision Statement
The Hauptmann School for Public Affairs will serve the common good by graduating leaders who exercise authority responsibly, make ethical decisions, act with moral courage, and advance human dignity world-wide.


PA 602 Seminar in Public Affairs


S1P 2012 GSV


Box, Richard C.


Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours


Box, Richard C. Public Administration and Society: Critical Issues in American Governance, 2nd ed. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2009. King, Cheryl Simrell. Government is Us 2.0. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2011.

Additional Resources:

Video of mock Jefferson-Hamilton debate, available from C-SPAN at

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
PA 602 Seminar in Public Affairs: PA 602 is the capstone seminar of the MPA program. Conducted as a graduate seminar, this course addresses correlation of the academic and practical experiences of the degree candidates to their responsibilities as professionals in a democratic society. Each student prepares a series of papers and/or presentations that emphasize various expectations to be faced in professional work, such as case analysis, critique, evaluation, implementation research and proficiency in U.S. Constitutional issues. Prerequisite: 27 hours academic credit, including completion of PA 501 and 502

Educational Philosophy:

The content and structure of the course are designed to further Hauptmann School values related to preparing public service leaders for the 21st century. The professor's role in the course is to provide a conceptual framework and facilitate learning rather than solely to deliver factual material to passive learners. The professor hopes that each student will gain increased appreciation for the American democratic setting and her or his role in shaping the future.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate the ability to analyze, critique, and evaluate current issues in public affairs;
  2. Communicate one's views clearly and civilly, and offer substantiation for those views;
  3. Demonstrate the ability to articulate and argue opposing sides of issues;
  4. Differentiate between personal beliefs and sound public policy in a pluralistic society.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to write critically and effectively;
  6. Participate productively in teams;
  7. Articulate clearly one's responsibilities as professionals and citizens in a free and democratic society, and in the world.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Key Ideas

Description.  In each of six weeks of the course with assigned readings, class members post discussion of three “key ideas.” The key ideas assignment is intended to encourage reflective reading and informed discussion.

A key idea addresses what the student finds to be an important or useful concept. Each key idea entry describes the key idea, then may assess its importance, strengths and/or weaknesses, practical application, or points of interest or confusion. It can be useful to illustrate key ideas by briefly linking them to news events, societal conditions, or personal experience.

Key ideas are about specific concepts from a portion of a reading, though sometimes they are central to an entire reading. Key ideas entries do not summarize entire assigned readings or the posted course notes for the week. Key ideas should usually be chosen from different readings, or from different chapters within a reading. Students should avoid repeating ideas from weekly materials posted by the professor.

Posting and Format. Key ideas for the week are typed or pasted as a single entry into a weekly discussion thread, no later than 11 p.m. Central on Thursday. Each key idea should be discussed in approximately 150-200 words of narrative (not including quotation or lists), separated into paragraphs where appropriate. An example of a key idea entry is given at the end of the syllabus.

Each key idea is labeled with the name of the key idea, author of the source reading, and page number(s) of the key idea (for example: “Hamilton or Madison, human nature, pages 55-56; or, “Mostel, lessons learned, page 155”).

Neither parenthetic citations with author and date nor a bibliography need be included with the key ideas entries, except to cite sources from outside the readings. However, parenthetic citations for page numbers must be given for quotations and to show locations of ideas from the readings (showing location is not necessary if the key idea appears on only one page). Excessive quotation and lists should be avoided; concepts should usually be summarized in the student’s words.

When appropriate, the professor will offer substantive comments or suggestions for improvement in format or discussion of key ideas.

Weekly Discussion Questions

In each of the six weeks with assigned readings, class members post a response to a question in a threaded discussion forum. Responses are posted no later than 11 p.m. Central on Thursday. The initial response to a question should be 5-8 lines in length. The professor will comment on those responses for which an additional thought or clarification would be appropriate.

Class members should post thoughtful and substantive replies to at least two other class members in the forum each week. These replies are due by 11 p.m. Sunday. Additional dialogue posts are welcome.


Participation at the ASPA Conference

Class members will attend a portion of the 2012 conference of the American Society for Public Administration, meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada. They will attend receptions and concurrent sessions, discussing the experience during class meetings before and after the conference activities. Class members will: arrive at the conference in time to participate in the pre-activities course meeting on Saturday, March 3, at 5 p.m.; attend conference sessions as assigned; attend the welcome reception Saturday evening; attend the Park University reception on Monday evening, March 5; and participate in the post-activities course meeting on Tuesday morning March 6.  

            The grading criteria for the ASPA experience are active attendance at required activities and concurrent sessions, and thoughtful participation in class discussion about the conference experience. For the post-activities meeting on Tuesday morning, students should be ready to make a short presentation on what they learned from the conference experience.


Personal Assessment Essay

This project asks class members to assess the potential effects of course concepts on their careers. It is not expected that sources outside course materials will be used. Papers should address how specifically identified course materials from the readings (show full parenthetic citations), items from course materials or threaded discussions, and or the ASPA conference experience have contributed to modification of the student’s thoughts about public service (or they may not have, which is also worth discussing), and ways the student might apply concepts and lessons from the course.

Papers will not exceed three single-space pages in length. At the top appear student name, the date, and assignment identification (Personal Assessment Essay). Section headings (and sub-sections if needed) are used as appropriate (section headings are centered on the page and sub-section headings begin on the left border). Parenthetic citations and a reference list are in Chicago format. The essay is posted as a single Word file in the Dropbox by 11 p.m., Sunday, March 11.





Grade points are assigned as follows: A=5, A-=4.5, B+=4, B=3.5, B-=3, C=2, D=1, F=0. Course grades of “incomplete” are discouraged and are given only when a specific part of the required course work from the later part of the course remains unfinished. There will be 100 points possible in the course, with grade ranges as follows: A, 91-100; A-, 81-90; B+, 71-80; B, 61-70; B-, 51-60; C, 34-50; D, 17-33; F, 0-16.

All grades are shown in eCollege, with a cumulative total. Grades for each week’s work are posted in eCollege during the following week. Grades for other assignments are posted when materials are returned with comments and grades.

The course grade is the final cumulative total applied to the ranges given above. Individual course grades may, at the professor’s discretion, be adjusted based on improvement or decline over the semester. Available points by assignment are given below.

- Key ideas, 5 points/week, total 30 points.
- Responses to discussion questions and replies to class members, 5 points/week, total 30 points.
- Participation at the ASPA conference, 15 points.
- Personal assessment essay, 25 points.


Exceeds expectations (5 points for Key Ideas or Weekly Discussion Questions; 22-25 points for the Personal Assessment Essay (“A” range)):

·       Thoroughly addresses required elements of the assignment

·       Written clearly and logically

·       Appropriate length

·       Parenthetic page citations or full author-date-page citations are provided where appropriate

·       Reference list in correct Chicago format is provided where required

·       Largely error-free writing

Meets expectations (3 or 4 points for Key Ideas or Weekly Discussion Questions; 16-21 points for the Personal Assessment Essay (“B” range)):

·       Addresses required elements of the assignment; some entries may not be well developed

·       Reader can follow the logic of the writing

·       Appropriate length

·       Some parenthetic citations missing (not an issue if the key idea is on one page only)

·       Where a reference list is required, there are several errors

·       A few difficulties with sentence structure, grammar/punctuation, or clarity of meaning

Does not meet expectations (0, 1, or 2 points for Key Ideas or Weekly Discussion Questions; 0-15 points for the Personal Assessment Essay (“C” or below)):

·       Addresses required elements of the assignment in a fragmentary, inadequate manner

·       Logic or organization is difficult to follow

·       Length is too short or too long

·       Parenthetic citations are inadequate

·       Where a reference list is required, there are multiple errors and/or parts are missing

·       Multiple difficulties with sentence structure, grammar/punctuation, or clarity of meaning

Work Standards. Success in the course depends on timely participation and maintaining work standards. A failing course grade will be assigned should a class member:  

·       Fail to complete all activities during two or more weeks without making other arrangements;

·       Receive a grade of F for any of the four grading categories (key ideas; responses to discussion questions and replies to class members; participation at the ASPA conference; personal assessment essay); or,  

·       Fail to write in a manner appropriate to a professional graduate program.



Late Submission of Course Materials:

Due Dates/Deadlines. Assignments are due by 11:00 p.m. Central time on the day specified (follow-up postings in addition to the assignment may be made at any time). If you may have difficulty submitting material on time, please contact the professor as soon as possible. Assignments that are posted late in the absence of prior arrangement with the professor or serious and unanticipated emergency are not read or graded for credit. The professor cannot with fairness to others distinguish between postings that are a few minutes late and those which are hours late, so late is late.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Communication. Class communication will be through eCollege unless otherwise indicated. It is the responsibility of students to check frequently for messages or announcements and to ensure they are able to send and receive text attachments in Word, correctly reading the professor’s editing marks in red-colored font. Problems with spam filters, over-quota email accounts, and so on, are the student’s to resolve and it is the student’s responsibility to immediately notify the professor if materials have not been received. 

The professor would like to be available 24/7 by email, but that is not always possible. If you have not received a response within 24 hours, resend your message. If it is an emergency, call the home office number in the syllabus heading.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Course Schedule

[PAS = Public Administration and Society and GIU = Government is Us 2.0. Key ideas will not be written for introductions to sections, though a concept from a section introduction may be included in a key idea entry.]

Week 1. PAS, Part I     

Week 2. PAS, Part II; mock Jefferson-Hamilton debate [1 key idea from the video]

Week 3. PAS, Parts III and IV

Week 4. PAS, Part V

Week 5. GIU, Parts I and II

Week 6. GIU, Parts III and IV

Week 7. Attendance at the ASPA conference.

Week 8. Personal Assessment Essay due Sunday, March 11.

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21


Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

Attribution and Plagiarism. When writing about, paraphrasing, or quoting the work of others, students must give proper attribution in the form of parenthetic citations, a bibliography, and quotation marks around directly quoted phrases or sentences, using the parenthetic citation and bibliographic style of the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Failure to do so is plagiarism. Plagiarism is not allowed and fabricating quotations that do not appear in source material is also unacceptable. While plagiarism can occur through carelessness or ignorance, Park University's Graduate School policy on this matter is severe. Students who have questions about this should contact the professor.
For online guidance with Chicago style, see this website from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Library,
and the Purdue Online Writing Lab,
           In weekly discussion, page number citations should be given to indicate locations in source materials. Full parenthetic citations with reference list entries are only needed when referring to works other than those assigned for the week.

Attendance Policy:

Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 25

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 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case 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: .


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Last Updated:12/20/2011 2:03:49 PM