PUAD 688: Policy Practicum

This capstone course is the “culminating skills” component of the MPAP degree program. You will put to practice the material from the MPAP curriculum to demonstrate your preparedness to work professionally in the field of public administration and policy. The practicum gives you the opportunity to complete a real-world assignment on behalf of an external client; typically a government agency or a nonprofit organization selected from among the School of Public Affairs partnering organizations.

To complete the assignment over the course of the semester, you will be asked to work in small project teams using virtual collaboration and meeting tools. During that time, you will meet with your client organization on several occasions, including to receive your assignment, clarify its scope, discuss intermediate deliverables, and finally to present your work. Throughout this experience, you will have an opportunity to observe other clients and teams and network with partnering organizations.

Assistant Professor and Director of Online Programs Sonja Walti is the developer of this course. Professor Walti is an international scholar in public policy who has served in consulting, advisory, and decision-making roles at various levels of government in the U.S. and abroad, including the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Italian Agnelli Foundation, and the Quebec Commission on Fiscal Imbalance. Her research on comparative public policy and public administration, policy analysis, comparative federalism, and environmental policy has been published in several leading journals.

Course objectives: 

  • Accomplish a significant applied policy or administrative analysis project on behalf of an external client
  • Assess personal mastery of MPAP curriculum content in application to examples of professional policy analysis or management, and identify opportunities for improvement
  • Share insights and experiences and develop a joint learning environment inside and outside the classroom
  • Learn from and closely interact with practitioners
  • Improve personal understanding of how MPAP curriculum fits into immediate and longer-term career objectives 

Topics covered include:

  • Curriculum recap
  • Team formation
  • Kickoff meeting with client
  • Development of a statement of work
  • Scoping of work and development of a work plan
  • Completion of research and deliverable(s)
  • Presentation of deliverable(s)
  • Critical appraisal of project process and outcome

Learn more today. Call us at 855-725-7614 to speak to an admissions representative or request more information here.