PA502 Public Affairs Methodology

for SPP 2013

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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 502 Public Affairs Methodology


SPP 2013 DLA


Ellis, Lana J.


Adjunct Faculty



Office Location


Office Hours

By Appointment Only

Daytime Phone



Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours


Required Text:Douglas A. Lind, William G. Marchal, and Samuel A. Wathn, Statistical Techniques in Business & Economics, Hardcover with CDROM, 15th Edition (New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2002). ISBN-139780073401805. Megastat statistical software is included in the CD.

Other Readings for the Course:In addition to the required textbook, I will load all supplementary readings to the course web site.

Additional Resources:

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.
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FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
PA 502 Public Affairs Methodology: A study of the theoretical background of various analytical techniques of social science research, with emphasis on application to problems of administration in business, industry, government, and nonprofit organizations. Prerequisite: PA 501

Educational Philosophy:
I believe education is an interactive process in which my role is to help guide students as they develop substantive knowledge and critical thinking skills. In addition to developing substantive knowledge and skills, homework assignments let me know how the class is doing as we go along so I can better assist students in learning the material. I am available to provide additional assistance and to answer any questions you have.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Collect, present, and describe data using appropriate statistical techniques
  2. Apply fundamental concepts of probability
  3. Apply sampling methods and the central limit theorem
  4. Estimate population parameters using sample statistics
  5. Conduct tests of hypotheses
  6. Apply linear regression and correlation, nonparametric methods, and time series and forecasting techniques .

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

 Each student is responsible for: 

  • Completing weekly reading assignments
  • Participating in weekly online discussions
  • Completing simulated exercises and problems as assigned 
  • Completing three progress comprehensive examinations

Typical weekly assignments will include the following: 

  • Online Threaded Discussions.  A number of discussion questions will be posted online weekly in a thread titled Online Discussion Questions - Week #.  Each student is required to select a question that has not been answered, develop a complete answer, and post it in the thread. In addition, each student is required to post a short response or comment to another student's answer. On some weeks there may be more students than discussion questions, if this occurs, please choose one already answered. The purpose of these questions is to force you the student to confront the material and to further demonstrate your understanding of the material. I simply want you to put more time on task in order to learn, what is for most students, difficult material. They are straightforward and to the point by design and will elicit peer responses that mainly validate that the student's post are the correct answer or interpretation. You are to use your materials to help you answer the question, and only our course materials (no Wikipedia or outside sources) in the construction of your responses. Please refrain from excessive length or brevity and if your post merely is a quotation from the textbook you will not receive points as I expect graduate level work in this course.
  • Weekly simulated exercises and problems.  The instructor will provide an Excel data file or problem from the textbook containing measurements of several variables.  Each student will be required to use the data, as instructed, for the purpose of applying various methodological techniques during the semester using the MEGASTAT software with Excel.  Specific assignments will be provided by the instructor.  Additional simulated exercises and problems will be assigned as homework during the semester.  Information will be posted in the under related weekly menus.
  • Three progress examinations and accompanying instructions will be posted online in the Documents Sharing area of the classroom. These will be self-administered comprehensive tests and will be scheduled as follows:
    • Exam 1 covering Meier & Brudney Reading and Douglas A. Lind, William G. Marchal, and Samuel A. Wathn chapters 1-4 Due at End of Week 6
    • Exam 2 covering Douglas A. Lind, William G. Marchal, and Samuel A. Wathn chapters 5-9 Due at End of Week
    • Exam 3 covering Douglas A. Lind, William G. Marchal, and Samuel A. Wathn chapters 10-11, 13-14, and 17-18 Due at End of Week 17



Application Assignments (9 x 20 points each) = 180 points

Weekly Online Discussion Questions and Peer Responses (13 x 15 points each) =195 (15 points week 1, 10 points per question, 5 points per peer response weeks after). Responses and peer responses to online discussion questions will be evaluated as follows: 

15 points:  Complete and specific response / substantive, not a simple "I agree with you" peer response posted.

10 points:  Complete and specific response / no peer response posted.

10 points:  Minimal and general response / substantive, not a simple "I agree with you" peer response posted.

5 points:  Minimal and general response / no peer response posted.

7 points:  Extremely minimal and general response / substantive, not a simple "I agree with you" peer response posted.

2 points:  Extremely minimal and general response / no peer response posted

Exam 1=100 points

Exam 2=100 points

Exam 3 =150 points

Total points= 725
Grading Scale

A =  652.5 - 725 points
B =  580 -  652.49 points
C =  507.5 - 579 points
D =  435– 507.49 points
F =  below 435 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:
All assignments and exams are due on the specified dates.  There will be penalties for late work.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

 You should have thoroughly read all required materials for the scheduled discussion topic. In addition, students are expected to think critically about the readings and lectures and to share your perspectives with the class throughout the semester.
You are required to work through all the practice exercises and to utilize Excel and use MEGASTAT software not base Excel nor a calculator to do the statistical calculations.

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 2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Page 21-22


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

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 course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools. Park University 2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Page 26

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:1/2/2013 10:44:04 AM