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Graduate Certificate in Public Policy

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  • Course description
    The College of Social Sciences has launched a new Public Policy Center. The mission of the Center is to enhance the quality of community life throughout Hawaii, the United States and the Asian Pacific region. The Center educates professionals for careers in public life, conducts non-partisan policy research and promotes civic engagement on issues of local, national and international significance. The vision for the Center includes:
    • Excellence in public policy education;
    • Research and;
    • Professional, community-based practice.
    Graduates will be known for their expertise in public policy, research in applied policy analysis, leadership and involvement in the community.

    Students are expected to be well-grounded in their individual disciplines, and in addition, will receive a multidisciplinary curriculum from the Center, emphasizing public policy theory, research methods, substantive knowledge, analytic skills, and practice.

    For example, students will acquire a set of methodological and quantitative skills necessary for conducting applied analytic research and develop a set of professional capabilities necessary for leadership designed to enhancing the public good.


    Structure:
    This 16-credit certificate will allow graduate students to enhance their policy and analytic skills and focus on a substantive policy issue. Each student's program may be designed and individually tailored to build upon his/her educational background and professional interests. The certificate is flexible while establishing a core of required courses from which students may build their substantive specialization. In addition, students will be required to complete a community or field based internship in policy studies, complete an integrative seminar, and a produce a policy "white paper" before graduation.

    Core Requirements (9 credits)
    All students will be required to take:

    POLS 670 Introduction to Public Policy, and
    PLAN 603 Econ Analysis/Urban Planning & Policy

    In addition, one research methods course is required.

    Partial list:
    PLAN 600 Theories of Planning / Public Policy;
    PLAN 601 Planning Methods;
    PLAN 605 Planning Models;
    PLAN 610 Community Planning and Social Policy;
    PLAN 654 GIS;
    PLAN 652 Policy Implementation and Program Evaluation;
    PLAN 620 Environmental Policies and Programs;
    POLS 602 Research Techniques and Analysis;
    SOC 606 Research Methods and Design;
    SOC/PPST 691 Methods of Demographic Analysis;
    SOC 608 Survey Research Design and Analysis;
    SOC 701 Seminar in Evaluation Research;
    GEOG 488 Geographic Information Systems;
    GEOG 455 Decision Making in Geography; or
    GEOG 693 Technology and Natural Risk Methods in Analysis.

    These three courses form the core for all students. However not all of these classes are taught every semester. Other methods courses may be approved by a faculty advisor.

    Electives (3 credits)

    Internship Requirement PPC 601 (2 credits)
    Students will be required to complete a 4 week (160 hour) internship in a policy research setting doing work related to their academic training and career interests.

    The Final Integration Seminar. PPC 602 (2 credits)
    In the final integration seminar, students will apply the methods, approaches, and perspectives studied throughout their curriculum and in their internship and produce a public policy issue paper. The paper must demonstrate individual competence in professional writing, including the ability to analyze a discrete public policy problem, the ability to collect, analyze, and integrate information from a variety of sources and perspectives, and the ability to link the analysis with potential action. This paper will be completed for an external client on an issue mutually agreed upon by the student, the client, and the course instructor.

    For students concurrently enrolled in a master's or doctoral degree in a chosen field as well as the Certificate program, the Certificate is awarded in the same semester in which the candidate receives his/her master's or doctoral degree. For working professionals with an advanced degree who are returning for this Certificate, it is awarded upon satisfactory completion of the above requirements.

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