18 credits – 6 courses
Course: Introduction to Public Service Leadership
Introduces students to organizational theories and practices useful to public service managers. Teaches students how to use structural, human resource, political and symbolic perspectives to rethink public service organizations. Provides an introduction to managerial issues including workforce diversity, decision making and leadership; stresses critical thinking and writing skills.
This course will provide knowledge of ethics, values, and skills involved in organizational leadership in human/public service agencies. The focus is on the theoretical perspectives, organizational functions and structures, leadership styles, techniques and skills, and ethical and value-driven leadership needed by those who seek to specialize in human services agency administration. It examines developments in theories of human service or social benefit organizations.
Issues explored include professional and bureaucratic models of organization, sources of incompatibility, patterns of accommodation in organization-client relations, inter-organizational exchange relationships, and problems of program change/evaluation. Students complete the course understanding the context and grounding of practice and the meaning of work in a formal organization.
This course is the first required course for this degree. It draws on knowledge and theory from disciplines such as social work, education, business, human services, as well as other disciplines. Since this is a graduate course, students can draw from previous degrees and experiences to enhance and broaden their perspectives on public service and leadership.
Course: Ethical Leadership in Public Service
This course provides students with the framework for personal and professional ethical decision making applied in the context of diverse workplaces and international organizations. Through lectures on ethical theories, case studies in applied ethics, and specific assignments, students clarify their personal-professional values, assess their moral intelligence, and develop their ethical leadership integrity. Students will also study the ethics of organizations, including the formation of social norms, how they influence individual decisions, and how entire organizations can become more ethical and mindful in their operations.
This course will provide knowledge of ethics, values, and skills involved in organizational leadership in human service agencies. The focus is on the theoretical perspectives, organizational functions and structures, leadership styles, techniques and skills, and ethical and value-driven leadership needed by those who seek to specialize in human services agency administration.
Course: Foundations of Global Strategic Communication
Globalization challenges almost every aspect of communication from creating and delivering messages to spreading ideas that cross language, temporal (time)and cultural barriers. The course focuses on using strategic communication planning and management to guide communication activities in organizations.
In particular, this course delves into two areas impacting communicators’ success in the global arena: culture and technology. Through discussions, interactive activities and guest speakers, students will study frameworks, theories, models and best practices for strategic communication in a global environment and apply these lessons in team and individual projects.
Course: Program Management & Development Practice
There is increasing demand for public service workers who can work with diverse communities through program management and development using strengths and empowerment perspectives and social and economic justice principles.
This course builds on the ecological systems perspective that views program development as an arena for social change. Although rationale planning is emphasized, the course illuminates how values, needs and resources influence program design and decision-making.
As a major practice strategy used in community development, SOWK 653 offers a contingency framework that teaches students about the choices, decisions and situations for planning new or adapting programs within the context of diverse communities. It sharpens the skill set necessary for program development within the context of quality improvement and quality management. Finally, it is infused with technology applications to strengthen the collection, analysis and presentation of information for program development and other strategies used in community practice.
Course: Data, Visualization & Evaluation
Using Microsoft Excel© & Tableau©, this course introduces students to the use of quantitative data in policy, public management, and nonprofit decision-making. Topics include: causal inference, descriptive statistics, data visualization, probability, statistical inference, and regression analysis.
Students gain hands-on experience managing and analyzing large datasets and critically reviewing quantitative research conducted by others.
Special attention is given to best practices for presenting quantitative findings to diverse stakeholders. The course is specifically designed for future professionals to be able to work with commonly available software and/or software in the public domain since that will be the reality in the agencies, they work in.
Course: Design Thinking in Mitigating Complex Social Problems
This course aims at introducing students to design thinking. Design thinking is a way of working with user centered innovation to address problems where not all knowledge is available at the outset, i.e. the problem itself is an unknown (wicked problem). Design thinking rests on principles such as user involvement, problem framing, experimentation, visualization and diversity, all critical skills for management and innovation. Design thinking has gained in popularity both in industry and in governments in the last decade and is an important contrast to the more traditional linear view of problem solving. It is argued to develop the creative potential of individuals and enable them to deal with wicked problems.