Social Welfare Policy for Practitioners & Citizens. For health practitioners, educators, social service providers: anyone who works with people or votes
In the U.S., social policy accounts for two-thirds of government spending. Knowing how policies are constructed, what values underlie them, and how they succeed or fail makes everyone more effective at work or in their civic role. This specialization includes an HONORS track in which learners will complete a professional social policy analysis.
Teachers, health care workers, police, and social workers interact with policy daily, but all of us should care about the impact and effectiveness of these programs. Health and mental health programs, education, housing and income supports, pensions, criminal justice services, veterans’ programs, child protective services, and immigration services create a support system all Americans will draw upon. They also reveal Americans’ ethics and values, indicating how we regard and care for our most vulnerable.
This specialization will explore the size, structure, and outcomes of U.S. social policy by
-comparing it with the approaches of other developed nations.
-examining the history of our efforts and probing population effects that shape policy.
-looking deeply into support for families in general, poor families, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
-mapping out existing policies for housing, education, healthcare, immigration and child welfare.
-addressing issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy.
By the end of the course the learner will be at home working in, utilizing, and voting in the U.S. welfare system.
Applied Learning Project
ALL learners will engage with the video lectures and use quizzes to confirm their understanding of U.S. social policy and their skills at navigating policy programs.
HONORS learners will read course-related articles and write a summary and critique in response to each reading. These writing assignments will prepare the HONORS learner to deliver policy-related material in their professional work. Over the sequence, HONORS learners will research a social policy issue, complete a policy analysis, and write and present a professional policy memo based on their research. These research and writing skills will not only enhance the professional capacities they bring to their job but also prepare HONORS learners for masters-level study in social policy if they wish to pursue a graduate degree.