This course will focus on the policymaking process that results in a wide array of policies affecting our daily lives. A major focus will be the impact that both citizens and elected officials have on how policies are developed, funded, implemented and evaluated. (3 credits)
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Define public policy.
- Identify the steps in the development of public policy (policy cycle).
- Describe public policy categories and associate a particular policy with one or more categories.
- Identify the various players in the development and implementation of public policy.
- Describe how an individual can influence public policy.
- Show, using examples, the role politics plays in setting public policy agendas.
- Relate specific examples of public interest and research groups and discuss their influence on public policy development
- Describe the effect the budgetary process has on the implementation of public policy. Provide example of how the media shapes development of the public policy agenda, policy adoption and policy implementation.
- Select a public policy problem on the local, state, or national level; discuss the problem; determine the players who are engaged in addressing the problem; and discuss policy options/alternatives considered or under consideration.
- Discuss the relationship between and the roles of the national, state and local governments in policy implementation.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Course Activities and Grading
Discussions (Week 1-8)
Written Assignments (Weeks 3, 5, 6)
Mid-term Exam (Week 4)
Final Paper (Week 8)
(Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore)
- Anderson, James. Public Policymaking. 8th ed. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1-285-73528-3
Readings and Exercises
1, 2, 3
Topic: Course Introduction: What is public policy and what are the steps in the public policy process.
4, 5, 6, 7
Topic: Who are the policymakers and what are their roles in the policy process?
4, 5, 6, 7
Topic: Policy formation including what are public problems, setting policy agendas, and the formulation of policy to resolve problems. Emphasis on participants in the process.
7, 9, 10
Topic: Political decision making in the adoption of public policy.
Topic: How budget decisions are made and how budget decisions influence public policy.
Topic: Study of the agencies and officials involved and the procedures they follow in implementing public policy and the political struggles that may occur.
3, 6, 11
Topic: Discussion of policy impact and a review of the policy making process.
Topic: Final Paper
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.