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CSO Course Descriptions

CSO Core Courses & Descriptions

Course descriptions for Clinton School Online are listed below to provide a general overview of the core courses; however, the details are subject to change.

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CSO Core Courses

Foundations of Public Service • CSPS 7324 (3 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.

Communication and Social (Ex)Change • CSPS 7303 (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.

Field Research in Public Service • CSPS 7335 (3 credit hours)

This course introduces students to the concepts and principles of field research. 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.

Data Analysis • CSPS 7315 (3 credit hours)

This course provides an overview of statistical methods and hands-on application of statistical tools to managerial decision-making in public service. Understanding statistical analysis and being able to work with data are important competencies of professionalism in public service. Prerequisite: CSPS 7335 - Field Research in Public Service.

Leadership in Public Service • CSPS 7323 

Leadership in public service requires strong interpersonal skills, both to direct an organization effectively and to work successfully with other individuals/organizations in the public, private and non-governmental sectors. This course provides the foundation of theory and practice of administrative leadership. It is designed to increase students’ knowledge of leadership concepts and best practices, provide opportunities and experiences that improve leadership skills and techniques, and enhance capabilities in organizational management.

Program Planning and Development (3 credit hours) • CSPS 7333 (3 credit hours)

This course provides students with the analytical tools to enhance their skills and competencies to effectively diagnose problems and formulate solutions within organizations and communities. Emphasis will be placed on models, theories, methods and processes used to systematically plan public service interventions that contribute to the wellbeing of communities and organizations. Topics covered include identifying and assessing needs and assets, setting goals and objectives, researching best practices, developing a feasible and sustainable plan for change, and assessing how well the plan is likely to effect the change envisioned. Underlying values of social justice and collaborative problem-solving provide a benchmark for discussions on these topics. Prerequisite: CSPS 7335 - Field Research in Public Service.

Seminar in Program Evaluation • CSPS 7334 (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. Prerequisite: CSPS 7333 - Program Planning and Development

Advocacy in Public Service • CSPS 7314 (3 credit hours)

This course examines the role of public discourse in constituting (molding, shaping, and even distorting) publics, public decisions, and ultimately public life. Specifically, it considers persuasion (human communication designed to influence the autonomous judgments and actions of others) and advocacy (the use of propositions, evidence, reasons, and the general rhetorical strategies to promote and advance one’s public or civic interests) and their influence on democratic processes and public policy.

Philanthropy Leadership and the Nonprofit Sector • CSPS 7326 (3 credit hours)

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.

Capstone Proposal • CSPS 7322 (3 credit hours)

In this course students plan and develop their Capstone project which they implement in the CSPS 7320 Capstone course. The completed Capstone project demonstrates students can apply the knowledge, skills, and values from the UACS program to a real world problem or challenge; engage with complex systems; and produce a paper or a deliverable that exemplifies, in its product, the knowledge, skills and values of the UACS curriculum.

Capstone • CSPS 7320 (3 credit hours; grade of at least a C in all core courses)

Note: If a student has an incomplete in a core course before Capstone enrollment, her or his enrollment in CPSP 7320 may be delayed until the course work is complete and the student has received a passing grade.

The Capstone is the culminating field course, designed to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate their expertise. The Capstone employs an independent study format primarily overseen by a UACS faculty advisor. Through the Capstone students: (1) apply the knowledge, skills, and values from the UACS program in a sophisticated way to a real-world problem or challenge; (2) understand, engage, and seek to transform complex systems; and (3) produce a deliverable that meets an identified community need and exemplifies, in its product, the knowledge, skills and values of the UACS curriculum. Students have three (3) semesters to complete Capstone once they enroll in the course.

Clinton School Online Electives

Ethical and Legal Dimensions of Public Service • CSPS 7325 (3 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.

Grant Writing for Public Service • CSPS 7326 (3 credit hours)

Survey, theory, and practice of grant writing. Topics include, but are not limited to, finding and researching a foundation, finding and using resources for each stage of the grant writing process, developing a problem statement, creating objectives and goals, creating a budget, and working with foundations.