2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Problems to Issues to Policies

Fall and Winter quarters

Faculty: Cheri Lucas-Jennings law and public policy, environmental law, Cheryl Simrell King (F) public administration

Fields of Study: community studies, environmental studies, law and public policy, media studies, political science and writing

Fall: CRN (Credit) Level 10313 (16) So - Sr; 10600 (1-16)  

Winter: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 20219 (16) So - Sr; 20415 (1-16)  Signature Required Admission will be based upon successful advancement to an identified internship site/topic and group for study. Interested students should contact Cheri Lucas Jennings at lucas@evergreen.edu.  

Credits: 16(F); 16(W)

Class Standing: Sophomore - Senior

Offered During: Day


This program explores how problems become public policies and, alternatively, how public policies become something citizens care about. We will examine emerging public problems, issues, strategies and solutions to see how we get from a problem as it appears on the streets to a government response. We’ll investigate: How do we approach problems so that they become issues? How are these framed to become policies? How are various current issues received by the public? Because some sector of the public must agree on what the problem is, the framing of public issues will be a significant aspect of this program study (especially in light "wicked problems" that are particularly complex and difficult to address) as will the priority of who comes to "own" an issue and what they will do to intervene (if they do so at all.) We will examine problems, issues and policies through case studies at the local, state and regional levels. We will also investigate what it takes to mobilize a consensus and the partnerships and social marketing methods needed to achieve those ends.

Throughout the program, students will learn from a range of approaches – lecture, workshop, guest presentations, seminar, visits and collaborations with regional experts, officials and activists. Because we will examine models, evidence and debates about sources, causal connections and impacts of policy, we will be learning about evolving systems of law, regulation, governance and the broad array of community response.

Winter quarter will offer the opportunity for student groups to apply what they have learned directly, in the field. By interning or volunteering for work that will be engaged directly with an organization pursuing the issue in your end-of-fall-quarter group prospectus, we can engage in a practicum. Here, we will learn more about the complexities involved with how public issues are being pursued and ultimately, about how effectively proposed solution strategies appear to work when they “meet the road.” For lecture and seminar discussion we will engage a “clinic” where selected reading and each research group will provide further depth on policy “issues” outlined as “problematic” within Washington State by student project groups. We will join with one another in proposing the most effective policy strategies in light of additional considerations.

Maximum Enrollment: 50

Internship Possibilities: Winter: with faculty approval.

Preparatory for studies or careers in: community studies, critical and analytical thinking, design strategies, environmental studies/law, government agencies, non-profit organizations, public administration, public policy, research methods, and social marketing.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com