This is an introductory course in the very broad field of public policy analysis. It will provide the student with an overview of various approaches to the study of public policy. Different concepts, theories, policy models, as well as the processes and techniques used in policy analysis, are examined. Students will be exposed to many different public policy issues. Students will have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the course to a specific public policy issue during the semester.
- ECO 101: Microeconomics
- ENG 101: English Composition 1
- ENG 102: English Composition 2
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Upon completion of this course, students should have gained insight and be able to demonstrate considerable knowledge in the following areas:
- Knowledge of the study and practice of public policy.
- An understanding of the historical and structural context of public policy making.
- A comprehension of the official actors and their roles in the public policy process.
- A comprehension of the unofficial actors and their roles in the public policy process.
- Be able to describe the agenda setting process, power, and influence of special interest groups.
- Knowledge of public policies in general, as well as specific types of public policies.
- Understanding the application of public policy design and public policy tools.
- Be able to articulate how public policies are implemented, and why some fail.
- The application of different models used in the public policy process.
- A thorough understanding of all aspects of the public policy setting process.
- Knowledge of public policy analysis, and its applications.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Course Activities and Grading
Below is a listing of the graded assignments, along with the applicable week that each assignment is due, the course points for each activity, and the weight given to each type of graded activity. It should be noted that the instructor will read all papers for content, grammar, and spelling, as well as appropriate documentation. The instructor will also check each student’s responses to the case studies on a weekly basis. The grading criteria for discussions, case studies, and policy paper are also show below.
Class Participation/Discussions (Weeks 1 –8)
Public Policy Paper (Week 7)
Final Examination (Week 8)
Number (a minimum of 3 quality posts per graded topic per week)
Quality (at least 50-75 words per post directly related to the graded topic)
* Per discussion topic.
Public Policy Paper
|Public Policy Paper||Points||Weight|
(Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore)
- Birkland, Thomas. An Introduction to the Policy Process: Theories, Concepts, and Models of Public Policy Making. 4th ed. M.E. Sharpe, Inc, 2015. ISBN-13: 9780756546620
- Bardach, Eugene. A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving. 5th ed. CQ Press, 2015. ISBN-13: 9781483359465
(not available through bookstore)
The following book is recommended reading for this course:
- Larry Gerston, Public Policy Making: Process and Principles (M. E. Sharpe, 2004).
The weekly schedule for this course, along with student learning outcomes, readings and exercises, and the supporting assignments, are highlighted below.
|Week||SLOs||Readings and Exercises||Assignment(s)|
Public Policy Paper
Students will be required to complete between an 8 to 10 page policy brief analyzing a public policy issue of their choice according to the “Eightfold Path” model described in the Bardach book. This assignment will let you put into practice what you have learned in the assigned readings. You will be required to analyze a public policy using an acceptable methodology, common to the public policy field. For example, see Appendix A in the book, pages 107 through 121.
This paper should be designed to inform an elected leader (appropriate for the issue selected) of why the selected issue is of importance, and analyze the public policy issue selected according to the following “Eightfold Path” methodology:
- Define the problem
- Assemble the evidence
- Construct the alternatives
- Select the criteria
- Project the outcomes
- Confront the trade-offs
- Decide what to do
- Tell your story
Papers should be double spaced, 12-point Arial or Times-Roman font, with full reference lists and citations in an acceptable APA format (i.e., citations in parentheses within the text, or the citations shown as footnotes, either at the bottom of the page or at the end of the paper). All citations to Internet sources should be fully and properly cited consistent with APA guidelines. Papers are due by Monday of Week 7.
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.