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Department of Public Policy and Administration

Public Policy and Administration Graduate Course Descriptions

2016-2018 Catalog Requirements

PPA 5000 Survey of Public Administration (3)       

This graduate seminar introduces and examines a variety of environmental forces, including social/sociological, micro/macroeconomics, political, constitutional/ legal, that shape public administration. It discusses and analyzes the essential theories, principles, structures and trends in those areas that affect American public policy and administration, and provides a foundation for further graduate study of public administration, and provides a foundation for further graduate study of public administration. May be taken as a senior elective with department approval.       

PPA 5020 Program Evaluation (3)              

(Application of skills acquired in PPA 4010). This course deals with the application of research methods to the evaluation of social service programs, particularly in health and human service agencies. This form of research provides knowledge of and about services, identifies the intended and unintended consequences of service interventions, and contributes information for policy decisions. Furthermore, program evaluation is an action based form of research and, therefore, this course is designed as an action based learning experience. Prerequisite: PPA 4010.              

PPA 5050 Manage and Finance: The Delivery of Health Care (3)     

As a result of political and social forces, the American health care delivery system has undergone fundamental change---the caregivers, care, institutions and relationships between and among system components are being transformed. Central to understanding this change process is the concept of “managed care.” This course explores the history, current impact and implications for the future of managed care from the management and patient perspectives. The experiences of students in their local communities will be used to explore the processes of contracting, the revenue streams, authorization systems, utilization and risk management, quality improvement and other issues pertinent to administration in a managed care environment. Managed care has also had a profound effect on health policy, especially in regard to the Medicare, Medicaid, and other governmental programs. Course participants will have the opportunity to explore and discuss the dilemmas specific to a managed care environment in general and Kern County in particular. In conclusion the focus shifts to the roots of “managed care”---the systems of other nations. This course explores the roots of the transformation and the various challenges presented by the stages and the models for the financing and delivery of care. The competition among stakeholders produces a constantly changing environment requiring operational adjustments. Course participants will have the opportunity to explore and discuss the dilemmas specific to a managed care environment in general and within Kern County in particular. Once the student has grasped the fundamental characteristics of our national health care system the course will focus on the future of “managed care”, the systems of other nations, and the experiences of citizens in various states. This course develops critical viewing to enhance analytic skills and introduces the case study method for learning.

PPA 5100 Economic Issues in Health and Health Care (3)

Study of health issues using the economic perspective. Topics include lifestyle choices and health outcomes, technology and demand, health insurance, labor markets in the health professions, role of government in health care markets, role of nonprofits, international comparisons of health care systems, and reform proposals. This course is the study of health and health care issues from an economic perspective. Examined are the US national system and the health care systems of other nations. Highlighted will be the theories and analytic tools important to the manager and administrator in health care organizations. Special topics such as the role of governments in health care markets, the difference in organizations in the various economic sectors, the role of competition, and reform proposals will be introduced and explored. Cases involving actual organizations in specific health care sectors are used in the learning process. Cross-listed with ECON 3108.

PPA 5140 History and Context U.S. Health Care (3)             

Using case studies and class presentations, this graduate seminar introduces and examines the internal and external political, social, economic and legal forces that affect the organization of health service. It explores health care policy innovations, the application of management theory to current health services problems, and the future of health services. May be taken as a senior elective with department approval. This course is an in-depth exploration of the health care delivery system of the United States and the contemporary challenges to that system in delivering health care services. The purpose of the course is to foster a conceptual and contextual understanding of the system to prepare students for careers and the manager/administrator for active, reflective participation in the delivery of health care services. The social, political, and economic forces that have shaped both the traditional and alternative care systems will be examined from an historical perspective. The contemporary situation will be assessed and critically analyzed through discussion of local/state health care issues and focused examination of a current issue. The future will be approached through discussions of health policy, culture shifts, the challenges of a global society, and the dilemmas inherent in global complexity. Learning experiences include but are not limited to texts, articles, exercises, videos, movies, games, and scenarios.               

PPA 5190 Management in Non-Profit Organizations (3)      

This elective seminar will provide students with the managerial and supervisory techniques needed to administer, develop and market volunteer, nonprofit, and community- based organizations that provide health and human services at the local level.                  

PPA 5200 Fundamentals of Grant Writing (3)        

This elective seminar is designed to provide individuals with the practical skills to be a successful grant writer. Topics to be covered include: how to write successful grant proposals; gather information about potential sources (federal, state, local or foundations); evaluate your chances for success; and make agency contacts. Also, students will learn how to evaluate and develop alternative funding beyond grants, to include planned giving and fund-raising strategies.

PPA 5240 State, Local and Intergovernmental Management (3)

This seminar emphasizes state, local, and intergovernmental administration in the context of: (a) the Federal intergovernmental system; (b) the Constitutional/legal system; (c) the political and social environments; and, (d) the nonprofit sector. America's complex system of multi-layered government faces new challenges as a result of rapidly changing economic, technological, and demographic trends. An aging population, economic globalization, and homeland security concerns are among the powerful factors testing the system's capacity and flexibility. Major policy challenges and responses are now overwhelmingly intergovernmental in nature, and as a result, the fortunes of all levels of government are more intertwined and interdependent than ever before.            

PPA 5250 Administrative Law (3)               

This elective seminar surveys administrative law and government regulation, the legal functions of administrative agencies, and the legal aspects of the process by which such agencies carry out their policies. It reviews the evolution of administrative authority and Title 5 of the U.S. Code, examining delegation doctrine, rulemaking, enforcement, adjudication, and judicial review. While this course focuses primarily on the federal system, it also includes an orientation on the California State Administrative law system. This course introduces the student to the concepts and processes of administrative law and governmental regulation. It reviews the evolution of administrative authority, rule-making, enforcement, adjudication, and judicial review.

PPA 5260 Marketing in Health and Human Service (3)       

This course focuses on aligning health and human services offerings with the demands of markets, in order to maximize customer / client value and organizational competitive advantage. Course components include:  the nature of marketing function; differences in services and product markets and marketing; market analysis; fundamentals of individual and organizational buying behavior; elements of the tactical marketing mix; and marketing strategies. This course focuses on aligning health and human service offerings with the demands of markets and the development of an organizational brand to maximize customer/client value and organizational competitive advantage. Course components include: the nature of marketing and public relations, differences in service and product analysis, market analysis, branding, planning promotional materials, and integrating these activities with a business plan. Plans are generated for an actual or potential client organization. Graduates will work as individuals on projects.        

PPA 5300 Administration in Multicultural Settings (3)        

This elective seminar surveys the theory and practice of effective management in multicultural contexts. The increased presence of ethnic minorities and women within the structures of service organizations combined with increased services to multicultural communities and clients have provided challenges and opportunities to management and supervisors to reassess traditional supervisorial practices. Students will explore those facets of organizational culture, which are in this process of change.                          

PPA 5360 CQI in Health and Human Services (3)  

Quality improvement activities are now essential to the financing and management of health and human service organizations. Third party payers, accrediting agencies, reviewers and regulators at all levels require health and human service organizations to set goals and measure outcomes and processes of care. Additionally, organizations may use quality standards to market services to service recipients that are increasingly aware of the risks and benefits involved in human service activities. This course introduces the student to major quality initiatives and the specific processes of work flow management, statistical process control, patient management, clinical practice guidelines, analytic techniques and research strategies applicable to the quality improvement process. Additionally, organizations now compete rather than cooperate and collaborate and may use quality standards to market services to recipients--- patients, clients and citizens that are increasingly aware of the risks and benefits involved in human service activities. This course introduces the student to major quality initiatives and the specific processes of work flow management, statistical process control, risk management, patient management, clinical practice guidelines, and analytic techniques and research strategies applicable to the continuous quality improvement process.      

PPA 5370 Quality Initiatives: A Practical Experience (3)    

Managers in health care have a leadership responsibility in designing, implementing, and evaluating CQI Plans. This course is designed to provide organization based experience and successful completion of the course satisfies the internship requirement for the degree program. In addition the Department of Public Policy and Administration requires all students to complete a course that provides Community Service Learning or other applied experience. This course also satisfies that requirement.                          

PPA 5400 Leadership (3)

This course focuses on the concept of leadership. Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. This course looks at leadership both theoretically and practically. Topics include trait and behavior theory, contingency theory, and transactional leadership, transformational leadership, catalytic or shared leadership, leadership and change, and decision-making. The course seeks to integrate a wide range of classic and contemporary topics such as: Leadership; Public Leadership; Management; Conflict; Change; Problem-Solving; Civic Engagement; and Social Responsibility. 

PPA 5500 Contract Management (3)          

This course examines principles, practices, and issues of contract management activities within government, nonprofit, and commercial/business organizations. A comprehensive evaluation of the process addresses the fundamentals of managing the entire contract life cycle of small to large transactions in a management systems approach. Participants develop practical competencies in using different planning, development, implementation, monitoring, and close-out templates and guidelines, as well as techniques relating to critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. Federal Acquisition Regulations¿ principles are integrated into the transaction process to address an extended range of contracting complexities associated with expanded expectations, such as delivery of advanced technology systems or logistical issues involving intricate delivery schedules.              

PPA 5620 Emergency Management (3)

The focus of this elective seminar is on the broad field of emergency management and its interface with homeland security. The course surveys public and private sector responses to emergencies, disasters, and terrorism. The intergovernmental nature of both emergency management and homeland security is discussed. Particular attention will be paid to mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery; the organizational and politics of emergency management and homeland security; and the provision of homeland security in an uncertain world. The course will conclude with an emergency management/homeland security simulation.         

PPA 5710 Seminar in Administration of Justice (3)

This elective seminar emphasizes research and field investigations of current justice administrative and policy problems, which cut across the total system. Topics may vary each quarter.              

PPA 6100 Public Human Resources Administration (3)         

This graduate core seminar provides an in-depth study of the personnel and civil service systems in the federal, state, and local governments and in nonprofit and health care organizations. Review of the methods of recruitment, promotion, discipline, and termination are explored through case studies, discussion, and simulations. Contemporary issues in collective bargaining and labor relations are extensively explored.

PPA 6110 Public Finance and Budgeting (3)            

This graduate seminar provides a survey of current public policies, principles, and issues in public and healthcare finance and budgeting. Topics may include: economic functions and goals of public and healthcare entities; public and healthcare fiscal policies; revenues and taxation; debt; public and healthcare budgeting trends; and financial methods related to the management of public and healthcare institutions.

PPA 6180 Health Policy and Policy Research (3)    

This course addresses health policy issues from the public policymaking process, through a history of US health policy, to the policy research challenges faced by managers and administrators. Explored are the stakeholders, policy networks, and policy impacts---including Medicaid, Medicare, S-CHIPS, and the PPACA. The types of policy research are introduced with a focus on the methods used, especially the case study, and the stage of program evaluation.

PPA 6520 Public Management and Organizational Change (3)         

In this graduate core seminar, the student will critically examine organization and management concepts and behavior. Emphasis will be on exploring the dynamics of planned organizational change as well as models of organizational development in the public management context. Prerequisite: PPA 5000.

PPA 6530 Policy Analysis-Quan Focus (3)

This integrating MPA graduate seminar focuses on the policies in the public and health care sectors. Explores qualitative and quantitative policy models and policy analysis methodology. Selected contemporary policy areas such as energy, the environment, criminal justice, welfare, health care, and education are explored.

PPA 6610 Strategic Management in Health Care and Human Service (3)

The management of health care and human service organizations has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Management of these competitive organizations now demands strategic thinking, planning and management. Preparation for this challenge begins with this course that requires students to draw on a foundation of traditional organization theories in management, organizational behavior, leadership and organization change. However, the focus of the course is building knowledge, skills and abilities in developing, implementing, and evaluating strategic processes and practices. The course is designed as a hybrid model; seat time is reduced and IT data gathering and group and individual case preparation time is increased. Each student will participate in a community service project as well.  

PPA 6620 Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care (3)            

This graduate seminar explores legal and ethical issues in health care policy and administration. Legal aspects such as constitutional issues, laws, administrative regulations and court interpretation, and professional responsibilities are examined. Exploration of ethical issues will include an examination of moral systems, identification of ethical principles and the introduction of analytical techniques to help in choosing alternative decisions and actions. The student is expected to develop expertise in oral and written argument. This graduate seminar examines the legal and ethical issues that confront managers and administrators in health care and human service organizations. Explored will be the social, cultural, legal, economic and organizational values, paradoxes and dilemmas of our society and the laws, regulations, codes, standards and theories constructed to deal with these issues. The course is grounded in ethical and legal philosophies and examines the value-based belief systems we use individually, as a nation, and through health care and human service organizations. Participants will be encouraged to develop or further shape an ethical system through which they will manage. Methods that stimulate reflection and description are integral. Therefore, the seminar format is used. Texts, debates, newspapers, fiction, nonfiction, movies, videos, case studies, exercises, and games are some of the learning techniques that may be employed.

PPA 6770 Selected Topics in Public Policy and Administration (3)   

In-depth study of selected topic or topics not covered in regular courses. Topics vary each quarter; prerequisites announced for each topic.

PPA 6850 Individual Graduate Study (1-3)

Supervised investigation of an approved project leading to a written report. Project selected in conference with instructor in the area of major interest; regular meetings to be arranged with instructor. Department determines application and number of units.     

PPA 6860 Internship (1-3)             

An internship experience is required for all students that are considered pre-service (MPA Program) or have not had supervisory experience in a health care setting (MSHCA Program) or nonprofit organization. Requirements include at least 200 hours of supervised management level experience and leadership for and completion of an assigned project. Completion of the course follows a formal evaluation by the organization sponsor. This course is graded credit/no credit and does not satisfy the requirements of an elective.

PPA 6980 Master's Paper (3)

This course is a practicum, which demonstrates competency acquired in the masters programs. Each student will complete a thesis like project that requires the application of both theory and methods. This is the capstone course in both the MPA and MSHCA programs. It is strongly recommended that students do not enroll in other courses while taking this course. Prerequisite: PPA 5360 or PPA 6530.  Candidates for the MPA and MSHCA degrees must complete a culminating activity in accordance with Title V of the California Administrative Code. The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate competency acquired in the graduate program. This includes mastery of knowledge in the discipline and in the ability to use theory and method in the preparation of an applied research project. Candidates must complete PPA 5360 or 6530 before they may begin the culminating activity. The first and second reader must each assign a score of four or higher on both critical thinking and writing to sign the final product.      

PPA 7000 Continuous Enrollment (3)        

This graduate seminar explores legal and ethical issues in health care policy and administration. Legal aspects such as constitutional issues, laws, administrative regulations and court interpretation, and professional responsibilities are examined. Exploration of ethical issues will include an examination of moral systems, identification of ethical principles and the introduction of analytical techniques to help in choosing alternative decisions and actions. The student is expected to develop expertise in oral and written argument. This graduate seminar examines the legal and ethical issues that confront managers and administrators in health care and human service organizations. Explored will be the social, cultural, legal, economic and organizational values, paradoxes and dilemmas of our society and the laws, regulations, codes, standards and theories constructed to deal with these issues. The course is grounded in ethical and legal philosophies and examines the value-based belief systems we use individually, as a nation, and through health care and human service organizations. Participants will be encouraged to develop or further shape an ethical system through which they will manage. Methods that stimulate reflection and description are integral. Therefore, the seminar format is used. Texts, debates, newspapers, fiction, nonfiction, movies, videos, case studies, exercises, and games are some of the learning techniques that may be employed.

PPA 6770 Selected Topics in Public Policy and Administration (3)   

In-depth study of selected topic or topics not covered in regular courses. Topics vary each quarter; prerequisites announced for each topic.

PPA 6850 Individual Graduate Study (1-3)

Supervised investigation of an approved project leading to a written report. Project selected in conference with instructor in the area of major interest; regular meetings to be arranged with instructor. Department determines application and number of units.     

PPA 6860 Internship (1-3)             

An internship experience is required for all students that are considered pre-service (MPA Program) or have not had supervisory experience in a health care setting (MSHCA Program) or nonprofit organization. Requirements include at least 200 hours of supervised management level experience and leadership for and completion of an assigned project. Completion of the course follows a formal evaluation by the organization sponsor. This course is graded credit/no credit and does not satisfy the requirements of an elective.

PPA 6980 Master's Paper (3)

This course is a practicum, which demonstrates competency acquired in the masters programs. Each student will complete a thesis like project that requires the application of both theory and methods. This is the capstone course in both the MPA and MSHCA programs. It is strongly recommended that students do not enroll in other courses while taking this course. Prerequisite: PPA 5360 or PPA 6530.  Candidates for the MPA and MSHCA degrees must complete a culminating activity in accordance with Title V of the California Administrative Code. The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate competency acquired in the graduate program. This includes mastery of knowledge in the discipline and in the ability to use theory and method in the preparation of an applied research project. Candidates must complete PPA 5360 or 6530 before they may begin the culminating activity. The first and second reader must each assign a score of four or higher on both critical thinking and writing to sign the final product.      

PPA 7000 Continuous Enrollment (3) 

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