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University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service – Master of Public Service Degree Program

The Clinton School of Public Service promotes a vision of world leaders who work with others to build healthy, engaged and vibrant communities. Its mission is to educate and prepare individuals for public service, incorporating a strategic vision, an authentic voice, and a commitment to the common good. www.clintonschool.uasys.edu

Core Course Descriptions

The course descriptions below provide a general overview of the content; however, the details are subject to change.

Analysis for Decision making in Public Service (3 hour)

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. Students, working in teams, will be challenged to apply their skills to cases related to affordable housing, poverty elimination, and homelessness.

Leadership in Public Service (3 hours)

Leadership in public service requires strong interpersonal and management skills, both to direct an organization effectively and to work successfully with other individuals and organizations. The course is designed to increase students’ knowledge of leadership concepts and best practices, provide opportunities and experiences that improve their leadership skills, and enhance capabilities in organizational management. Students will explore four areas: societal context for leadership in the public sector; general leadership of an organization; specific considerations for public sector organizational leadership and preparation; and self-knowledge for leadership roles. Using case studies, students will learn the environmental and organizational contexts for leadership, creating strategies for initiating and managing change. Throughout the course, leadership assets will be assessed and strengthened. At the end, students will have developed a personal action plan to match their public service career goals, and they will have identified resources to move them towards those goals.

Communication Processes and Conflict Transformation (3 hours)

Citizens across the globe are increasingly polarized across lines of ideology, religion, race, political partisanship, geography, and age, increasing the potential for breakdowns in civic discourse. Leaders and public servants are needed who can help find a common public ground for the discussion of the issues that divide us. This course will focus on the potential of conflict within public spheres to transform interpersonal relationships, social structures, and public policy. More specifically, the course uses a social constructionist perspective to explore the communicative processes that help form and influence the public spheres involved in addressing community issues.

Dynamics of Social Change (3 hours)

The course deals with the elements of social , economic, and political change in a global society. The notion of “social change” is meant to address the ways that Clinton School graduates, as social change agents, can work to achieve society’s best interests. Leaders in social change ordinarily adhere to the principles of development, where the word is used to include such broad concepts as urban and/or rural development, economic development, political development, community development, and the like. Three major components make up the course. First, a variety of methods can be found for promoting or discouraging social change, and the class will explore some of the most common theories and approaches through readings and discussions with change leaders. Second, social change frequently is engineered through governmental, nonprofit, and/or for-profit organizations, and sometimes change occurs accidentally by huge societal disruptions such as war and natural disaster. These will be explored with speakers who can depict some of the ways that societal change is accelerated or inhibited through such venues, as well as their impact on enhancing democratic states. Finally, students of public service should begin to plan strategically to apply some of these methods to promote identifiable economic, political, and/or social changes within communities.

Ethical and Legal Dimensions of Public Service (1 hour)

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.

Resource Link: www.clintonschool.uasys.edu

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