MPA Course Descriptions

MPA Course Descriptions

PA 400: Public Administration Theory (moved to PA 401)

PA 401: Public Administration Theory. 3 or 4 Hours.  . Development of public administration as a professional and scholarly area of knowledge and practice, focusing on the theoretical and intellectual roots of the field. The theories and concepts presented cover topics relating to ethics, bureaucratic discretion and accountability, administrative power, and organizational decision-making and communication.  3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor. Must be taken in first semester in the program. (old PA 400)

PA 402: Principles of Data Analysis. 3 or 4 Hours. Syllabus. Topics and methods of analyzing information relevant to the administration and management of public and non-profit programs and organizations. Includes causation, univariate statistics, significance testing, correlation, regression, and an introduction to research and experimental design, and surveys.  3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor. Must be taken in first semester in the program. (old PA 407)

PA 403: Economics for Management and Policy. 3 or 4 Hours. Syllabus Basic economic tools and methods relevant to public administration and current policy: opportunity cost, supply and demand, rational choice, production costs, competition versus monopoly, and economic efficiency versus equity, market failure, public goods, and externalities. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor. Must be taken within first 3 semesters in the program. (old PA 410)

PA 407: Data Analysis for Public Administration (moved to PA 402)

PA 410: Economics for Public Administration and Policy Decisions (moved to PA 403)

PA 421: Public Management  (dropped)

PA 422: Project Management, 4 Hours.  A comprehensive review of project management practices and techniques necessary to successfully manage projects in government and non-profit organizations.  Rooted largely in Project Management Institute (PMI) standards and practices, this course will include an overview of the various tools that are used in project management as well as the latest trends and innovations. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA Program or consent of the instructor. (old PA 462)

PA 431: Civic Technology, 2 Hours.  An overview of the application and use of technology in order to enhance and improve operations and service delivery in government and nonprofit organizations as well as to strengthen civic engagement, collaboration, and participation.  Topics include the latest trends in technology and data use; the innovation process; the latest communications tools and practices; the concepts of open government and open data; and the use of data to make better decisions. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA Program or consent of the instructor. (old PA 463)

PA 432: Management of Information Technology. 2 Hours. The management of technology in government and nonprofit organizations, including typical organizational models; technology roles, skills, and leadership; integration of technology with business operations; and common technology challenges and as well as opportunities in government and nonprofit organizations. Prerequisite: PA 431; and Admission to the MPA Program or consent of the instructor. (old 461)

PA 433: Data Management. 2 Hours. An overview of the use and leveraging of data in order to allow government and nonprofit organizations to make better decisions and improve operations.  Topics to be covered will include the concepts of data management and governance; the latest trends in terms of data-related technologies, tools, and practices; current challenges such as privacy and security; and developing data capacity and awareness. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA Program or consent of the instructor. (first half of old PA 460)

PA 434: Data Analytics. 2 Hours. An introduction to data analytics concepts, including the latest practices for gaining better value from data.  An emphasis will be placed upon hands-on use and application of data analytics techniques. Prerequisite: PA 433; and Admission to the MPA Program or consent of the instructor. (second half of old PA 460)

PA 435: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Public Managers. 4 Hours.  Fundamental GIS tools and applications as well as the challenges in implementing and sustaining a GIS function in the public setting. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA Program or consent of the instructor. (old PA 465)

PA 447: Survey Planning and Design (dropped)

PA 460: Data Management (moved to PA 433 and PA 434—course split into two 2-hour courses)

PA 461: Management of Information Technology (moved to PA 432)

PA 462: Project Management (moved to PA 422)

PA 463: Introduction to E-Government  (moved to PA 431)

PA 465: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Public Managers (moved to PA 435)

NEW – PA 468: Topics in Management and Leadership in Public Organization. 3 or 4 Hours. Examines governance and leadership issues through experiences of current and former public managers, political appointees, elected officials, and other key public leaders. Emphasis on topics from Illinois and Chicago metropolitan region. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Admission to the BA in Public Policy program or MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 490: Field Experience in Public Administration. 4 Hours. Syllabus Students work in an organization such as a governmental agency, community group, or non-profit organization. Students are required to submit written work and meet with professor on periodic basis to review work experience. Students who have no prior work experience in the public or nonprofit sectors are strongly recommended to register for this course. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated for credit. A maximum of 4 hours of credit may be applied to the MPA program. Prerequisite:  Admission to the MPA Program or consent of the instructor.

PA 494: Special Topics in Public Administration. 3 or 4 Hours. Syllabus May be repeated for a maximum of 12 hours of credit. Students may register for more than one section per term. Consideration of timely or enduring issues in public administration not available in regularly offered courses. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 502: The Legal Context of Public Administration.  (moved to PA 525)

PA 503: Public Personnel Management.  (moved to PA 531)

PA 504: Principles of Financial Management and Budgeting. 4 Hours. Syllabus Processes and methods relevant to government finances and fiscal health:  revenues, taxation, budget formulation, operating budgets, cost analysis, planning and performance, budget reform, politics, capital budgeting, roll of budgeting in management. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor. Must be taken within first 3 semesters in program.

NEW – PA 505: Public Management Practices. 4 Hours.  Current issues and challenges in public management as embedded in the disciplines of organization theory, economics, psychology, ethics, and law. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor. Must be taken within first 3 semesters in program.

PA 506: Public Policy Development and Process. 4 Hours. Examines the process by which public policies are formulated, decided on, implemented, and evaluated. Students learn techniques to appropriately structure, analyze, and communicate policy issues, as well as the economic rationale for public policy, the political context of policy analysis, and policy process frameworks. Prerequisite: PA 402 and 403; Admission to the MPA Program or consent of the instructor. Must be taken within first 3 semesters in program.

PA 521: Strategic Management: Planning and Measurement. 4 Hours. Strategies and issues relating to the strategic management of public and quasi-public organizations. Topics include strategic planning and performance measurement processes within organizations. Prerequisite: PA 505, and Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 522: Ethics and Accountability. 2 Hours.  Better government through institutionalizing ethics and accountability. Effectiveness of boards of ethics, Inspector General, codes of ethics, and educational programs. History of ethics within the Western intellectual tradition. Prerequisite: Graduate or professional standing; or consent of the instructor. Admission to the MPA Program or consent of the instructor.

PA 523: Intergovernmental Management. (moved to PA 561)

PA 524: Leadership in Public Organizations. 2 Hours. Theories and practices of leadership in public sector organizations. Global, political, social, and organizational contexts of public sector leaders and interface between administrators, appointees, elected officials, etc. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 525: The Legal Context of Public Administration. 4 Hours.  Legal basis and statutory framework for administrative agencies and actions in government. Relationship between courts and public agencies, rulemaking and adjudicative powers of public agencies, and impact of specific laws on government. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor. (old PA 502)

PA 526: Public Policy Analysis. 4 Hours. Foundations, theories, practices and methods of policy analysis and regulation. Topics covered include cost benefit analysis, decision analysis, multi-objective programming and risk analysis. Prerequisite: PA 402 and PA 403; and Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 529: Change and Reform in Public Organizations. 2 Hours. Examines how large, bureaucratic organizations change how they do business. Can improved efficiency and effectiveness result from such change? What techniques are being applied by public organizations to achieve such change? Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 530: History and Theory of the Nonprofit Sector. 4 Hours.  (moved to PA 572)

PA 531: Human Resource Management in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors. 2 Hours. History and current innovations in managing personnel and other areas of human resources. Compensation, classification, affirmative action, performance appraisal, labor relations, and unions. Statutory and court decisions affecting government personnel issues. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA Program. (old PA 503)

PA 532: Labor Management Relations in the Public Sector. 4 Hours. Skills and knowledge to manage labor relations in government. Constitutional influences on public employment, rights of public employees, management and labor unions; civil service laws and regulations, collective bargaining practices, and non-discrimination, and equal opportunity. Prerequisite: PA 531 and Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 533: Managing Workplace Diversity. 2 Hours. Examines discrimination and diversity in public sector workplaces along several dimensions including race, ethnicity, sex, age, sexual preference, and physical ability. Prerequisite: PA 531; and Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

NEW – PA 535: Conflict Management, 4 hours. Students learn the skills of interest-based negotiation through readings as well as role playing and simulation. Topics covered include resolution techniques, mediation, arbitration, fact finding, early neutral evaluation and facilitation. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 536: Financial Management and Fundraising in Nonprofit Organizations. 4 Hours.  (moved to PA 573)

PA 537: Local Government Management. 4 Hours. (moved to PA 563)

PA 538. Nonprofit Management. 4 Hours. (moved to PA 571)

NEW – PA 539: Public Procurement and Contracting, 2 Hours. Public procurement practices and theory, including the history of public procurement and purchasing, objectives, ethical issues, forms of procurement including no-bid contracts, social requirements, requests for proposal and qualifications, specification and benchmarking, contracts, partnerships and performance. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of instructor.

PA 541. Advanced Data Analysis I. 4 hours.Elements of matrix theory; introduction to the theory of estimation; hypothesis testing; logit and probit models; factor analysis; and principal components analysis. Application of techniques to public administration research. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing; and PA 540 or equivalent or approval of the instructor.

PA 550: Advanced Topics in Financial Analysis and Management. 4 Hours. Advanced topics in financial analysis and management in government and nonprofit organizations, including cost analysis, revenue structures, fiscal health/distress, financial risk, management of short-term resources, and internal controls. Students will use financial reports and data to assess the fiscal condition of state and local governments.  Prerequisite: PA 504; and Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 551: Accounting for Public and Nonprofit Organizations. 4 Hours. Introduction to major concepts, principles, and objectives of governmental accounting (including fund accounting) and budgetary control systems for local and state government. Designed for students with little or no background in accounting. Prerequisite: PA 504; and Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 552: Capital Budgeting and Finance. 4 Hours. Syllabus This course examines governmental capital budgeting processes, linkages between the capital budget and capital improvement plan, and methods and techniques of financing capital projects including debt financing. Prerequisite: PA 504; and Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 553: State and Local Public Finance. 4 Hours.  Analyzes expenditures and revenues of state and local governments and public sector responses to market failures. Examines state and local revenue sources and discusses governmental provision of services. Prerequisite: PA 504; and Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

NEW – PA 555: Advanced Topics in Public Budgeting. 4 Hours. A project based course focusing on advanced topics in public budgeting, including revenue forecasting, resource allocation, budgeting theories and reform of the budget process. Students will work on projects for hands-on experience in public and nonprofit budgeting. .Prerequisite: PA 504: and Admission to the MPA program or consent of instructor.

PA 561: Intergovernmental Management. 4 Hours. Constitutional, political, fiscal relationships among federal, state and local governments; management of public policy problems requiring cross-boundary solutions and overlapping programmatic, regulatory and fiscal responsibilities. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA Program or consent of the instructor. (old PA 523)

PA 563: Local Government Management. 4 Hours. Operations of local governments, including council-management relations; budget and finance, service delivery, infrastructure, economic development, and public engagement. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor. (old PA 537)

NEW – PA 564 Civic Engagement. 4 Hours. Analytic frameworks and practical strategies for encouraging and utilizing public participation in government and community decisions. Investigates interactions between civic participation and efforts to improve administration of programs and develop new public policies. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 567: Topics in Political Communication. 4 Hours.  Intensive study of selected aspects:  organizational communications in public institutions, urban political communication patterns, communication elites.  Independent research using a variety of community research techniques. Same as COMM 567 and POLS 567. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor.

PA 571. Nonprofit Management. 4 Hours. Key topics in nonprofit management including steps to incorporation, governance roles and responsibilities, ethics, accountability, liability and risk management, resource generation, managing staff and volunteers, marketing and public relations, performance measurement/program evaluation, advocacy and policy/social change strategies, and managing partnerships and collaboration. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of the instructor. (old PA 538) PA 572: Nonprofit History and Theory of the Nonprofit Sector. 4 Hours. An overview of U.S. nonprofit sector, highlighting the unique and distinct roles nonprofits perform in our society. Examines the history and evolution of the U.S. nonprofit sector, along with an overview of the scope and functions of tax-exempt organizations, various theories that explain the existence of the nonprofit sector and why the sector continues to grow, the blurring of sectoral distinctions, first looking at issues of state-nonprofit relations and nonprofits’ blurring with government, followed by the blurring of for-profit and nonprofit roles and the increasing trend toward commercialism in the nonprofit sector, and an exploration of contemporary topics and trends that pose both challenges and opportunities in nonprofit management.  Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of instructor. (old PA 530)

 PA 573: Development and Fundraising in Nonprofit Organizations. 2 Hours. Sources of financial support for nonprofit organizations, the importance of building a diversified funding plan, techniques for developing comprehensive fundraising plans, conducting prospect research and cultivation, leading campaigns for various types and vehicles of giving, writing grants, developing enterprise strategies, using technology to facilitate resource development, implementing creative approaches to fundraising, ethics and appropriate stewardship, as well as some basic elements of managing, financing, and evaluating the fundraising process. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA program or consent of instructor.  (old PA 536) (Financial management is covered in PA 550 and dropped in PA 538 to eliminate program duplication.)

PA 575: Survey Planning and Management. 2 Hours. (dropped)

PA 576: Applied Survey Sampling. 2 Hours. (dropped)

PA 577: Survey Questionnaire Design. 3 Hours. Syllabus Concepts and strategies for developing survey questionnaires for various modes of survey data collection. Same as CHSC 577. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA or PhD in Public Administration program or consent of instructor.

PA 578: Surveys, Public Opinion, and Public Policy. 4 Hours. Addresses the nature of the relationship between public policy and public opinion and the role that surveys play in that relationship. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA or PhD in Public Administration program or consent of the instructor.

PA 579: Practicum in Survey Methodology. 2-6 Hours. Students learn about survey research by participating in the process of conducting a survey or surveys. Prerequisite:  Admission to the MPA or PhD in Public Administration program or consent of the instructor.

PA 580: Survey Nonresponse. 2 Hours. (dropped)

PA 581: Cross-Cultural Survey Research Methods. 2 Hours. (dropped)

PA 582: Survey Data Collection Methods. 4 Hours. The impact of data collection methods on survey response and data quality. Prerequisite: Admission to the MPA or PhD in Public Administration program or consent of the instructor.

PA 583: The Psychology of Survey Measurement: Cognitive and Social Processes. 2 Hours. (dropped)

PA 584: Internet Surveys. 2 Hours. (dropped)

PA 585: Survey Research Ethics. 2 Hours. (dropped)

PA 586: The History of Survey Methodology. 2 Hours. (dropped)

PA 587: Seminar on Special Topics in Survey Methodology. 2 Hours. This seminar is for special topics in survey methodology not covered in the other elective courses. Prerequisite: Admissions to the MPA or PhD in Public Administration program or consent of the instructor.

PA 588: Applied Survey Sampling and Analysis. 4 Hours. Syllabus An in-depth overview of available procedures and standards for applied survey sampling, and complex sample design data analysis activities. Prerequisite: Admissions to the MPA or PhD in Public Administration program or consent of the instructor.

PA 590: Public Administration Capstone. 4 Hours. Syllabus Integration of classroom learning with practical experience. Students will work in groups to solve real problems for public and nonprofit organizations. Extensive collaboration required among group members outside of class time. Students should expect significant field work at their assigned organizations. Students are responsible to the course professor and to the project supervisor in their assigned organizations. Because the coursework is team-based, students are not allowed to drop this course once teams are created. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor and enrollment in the MPA program. Must be taken in the last two semesters in the MPA program.

NEW- PA 591: Managing Your Career. 1 Hour. Syllabus Preparation of a personalized strategy to optimize MPA program outcomes Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. Perquisite: Enrollment in the MPA program. Must be taken the first semester in the MPA program.

NEW – PA 592: Public Administration Portfolio. 1 Hour. Preparation of a student portfolio based on work completed in other courses to demonstrate competencies gained in MPA program. The portfolio will also contain a reflective essay on the role of the program in meeting the student’s individual profession and career goals. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. Perquisite: Enrollment in the MPA program. Must be taken in the last semester in the MPA program.

 

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