The MPS degree is 40 credit hours, including 23 core credits, 11 field service credits and 6 elective credits. The course descriptions below provide a general overview of the core courses; however, the details are subject to change.
CSPS 7333 – Program Planning and Development (3 credit hours)
This course provides students with analytical tools that enhance their skills in diagnosing problems and formulating solutions within organizations and communities. The underlying premise is that well prepared public service leaders can increase their effectiveness in contributing to the well-being of their communities by equipping themselves with these analytical tools. Instruction will focus on evaluating community assets as a balance to assessing community need. Underlying values of social justice and collaborative problem-solving provide a benchmark for these activities.
CSPS 7223 – Foundations of Public Service (2 credit hours)
This course covers the history, contexts and practices of public service. Students will define public service in a global context and reflect on their past and future roles as public servants. The course will explore the various roles public servants play and the various contexts in which they practice public service.
CSPS 7334 – Field Research in Public Service (3 credit hours)
This course introduces students to the concepts and principles of field research and is taught in conjunction with their first semester of Practicum. Topics include the key components of collaborative field research, ethics in field research, developing a research focus and research question, conducting a literature review, gathering data and data management, and analyzing data and reporting.
CSPS 7303 – Communication and Social (Ex)Change (3 credit hours)
Being an effective public service professional requires having the knowledge and skills to act in situations in positive and productive ways that allow for authentic participation by those who may be affected by policies, processes and actions. This course focuses on the constitutive nature of communication to create and maintain equitable social worlds. Students will explore various theories of democracy, civic participation, and public issue and policy formation, analyze case studies to understand the complexities of creating and maintaining equitable social worlds, and engage in exercises to develop effective facilitation skills.
CSPS 72201 – Ethical and Legal Dimensions of Public Service (2 credit hours)
Ethical and legal considerations shape every aspect of effective public service. This course will provide an overview of the primary ethical principles and legal concepts that guide difficult decisions in the public realm. Traditional academic study of ethical and legal theory will be combined with practical approaches to problem solving. Students will explore issues of economic, political, and social justice through case studies of current issues. Students will construct cases that are relevant to their own fields and present them to the class, identifying ethical and legal constraints on decision-making and implementation.
CSPS 7331 – The Theory and Practice of Global Development (3 credit hours)
This course provides an overview of three intersecting institutions, which will be useful when conducting public service in the global south, and democratizing societies. These institutions include the State, the market and civil society. The course examines the interventions from colonialism to globalization assessing the efforts of Northern States, multilaterals and non-governmental organizations as they attempt to solve the challenges of poverty, disease, conflict, famine, and gender inequality in the Global South.
CSPS 7334 – Seminar in Program Evaluation (3 credit hours)
This course builds on the skills students gain in Program Planning and Development and Field Research in Public Service. The primary objective is for students to learn and apply tools that are frequently used to determine whether public policies and programs at local, national and international levels are achieving their intended objectives. In this course, students learn how to use appropriate research methods to evaluate public and not-for-profit programs and entities (e.g., non-profit organizations, foundations, NGO’s), how to develop strategies for doing evaluation, and how to manage evaluation projects. Prerequisites: CSPS 7333: Program Planning and Development and CSPS 7334: Field Research in Public Service.
CSPS 7115 – Professionalism in Public Service (1 credit hour)
A career in public service requires a personal dedication that leads to building stronger relationships, stronger communities and a more workable and responsive world. This seminar is designed to help students gain knowledge and experience to further their public service careers in the areas of nonprofit, governmental, political, volunteer or private sector work. The material in this course builds upon the knowledge and skill sets learned in the other courses and compliments the students’ ongoing fieldwork. The seminar will draw upon a wide variety of resources and activities in an effort to enhance the students’ personal and professional growth.
Social Change Option (3 credit hours)
To earn these credits, students will have the option of several courses related to the dynamics of social change. Current offerings include:
Option 1: CSPS 7313 – Dynamics and Complexities of Social Change
The purpose of this course is to help you understand the dynamics and complexities of social change processes, in both domestic and international contexts. We focus on the key theoretical undercurrents, strategic frameworks, debates and dilemmas, applications and case studies. Specifically, we examine contemporary praxis in organizing for social change in order to serve the public good, and reflect on the role of personal change and transformation in making such happen.
Option 2: CSPS 7310 – Philanthropy Leadership and the Non-profit Sector
Philanthropic intuitions often aim giving toward major societal issues including environmental justice, quality education, race relations, immigration, health care and public health with the goal of helping individuals and communities in need. More foundations are widening their focus from just meeting needs to building sustainable local change. This course will explore community philanthropy as the giving and sharing from within communities that is characteristic of positive change and lasting development. It will examine the principles, standards and practices of community philanthropy and study the leadership role of foundations and nonprofit organizations in creating social change.