2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    Aug 19, 2019  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

IDCE 358 - Advanced Topics: Policy Analysis

Development and the environment are linked by concepts such as sustainability, vulnerability, and most recently, resilience. How development and the environment come together around these concepts depends on the issue at hand - whether climate change adaptation or mitigation, conservation, or natural resource governance. Further, this intersection depends on who we are talking about - their gender, age, social rank, livelihoods, religion, etc. This course will span the academic literature, policy documents, and donor guidance frameworks to help us understand what sustainability, vulnerability and resilience reveal and obscure for contemporary development in the anthropocene. May be repeatable for credit.

FALL 2018 TOPIC- Section 1: Policy Analysis

Nonprofit and public affairs professionals are faced with finding viable solutions to increasingly complex public problems-from raising revenue to fix congested roadways to reducing poverty. To do so they rely on policy analysts to investigate problems, formulate solutions, forecast outcomes, and choose between competing policy proposals. This course introduces students to the major institutions and processes involved in the development and implementation of public policy in the United States. We will examine why some problems reach the public agenda, why some solutions are adopted and others rejected, and why some policies appear to succeed while others appear to fail. The course will also explore a selection of current issues in American public policy that can impact the work of nonprofit and public affairs professionals such as criminal justice, social welfare, immigration, education, health, and the environment. This course is designed to strengthen students’ problem-solving, analytic, and research skills in defining and crafting solutions to public problems.

FALL 2018 TOPIC- Section 2: Education and Youth in a Global Context

The human population is younger today than ever before. At the same time, education is seen as the most influential source of socialization for youth to become citizens, workers and change agents. This course, “Education and Youth in a Global Context,” is a graduate and upper level undergraduate (juniors and seniors) seminar that explores the natural synergies of youth and education from a global perspective. We will analyze the intersection of education and youth in thematic areas such as: self-discovery, identity and belonging; jobs and livelihood; vulnerability of youth; and the ways in which youth are viewed with suspicion and hope. Additionally, while acknowledging the virtues of education in youth, we also critically deconstruct how education and schooling can exacerbate some of the very conditions that challenge youth development. Consequently, we examine youth and education/schooling in the context of areas such as gender and sexuality, equity and equality, and justice in its various forms. While we use these themes as analytical frames for youth and education globally, the course also engages with their place-based and context-specific relevance.

The course aims to foster a critical and reflexive understanding of some of the most important themes and issues that emerge at the nexus of education, youth and social change by examining global educational interventions for youth. We will also engage with the impact of youth on the concept and practice of education in the context of community and global social change. The course aims to integrate practical field-based experience with classroom-based learning. Such practical experiences may take place through opportunities in Worcester and/or internationally (possibly Jamaica, Haiti or South Africa).

Anticipated Terms Offered: varied