Spring 2010 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: Transitions to Higher Education
Instructor(s): Harrison Keller
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 62455
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.221
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Notes: Cross List with EDA and Law

Description: A number of prominent commissions and task forces have recently called upon policymakers, researchers, business leaders, and the general public to recognize that the economic vitality and competitive position of the United States depends upon the educational attainment of our population. Their reports have highlighted the disappointing performance of American students, especially in mathematics and science, and cited alarming statistics about participation and success in higher education. But what are the policy levers that might help us improve?

In this seminar, students will gain an overview of recent policy discussions and deliberations and the theoretical and empirical literature regarding transitions from high school to higher education. In particular, we will examine intersections between preparation for and access to higher education. We will consider ways in which state or federal policy regarding standards, assessment, accountability, finance, admissions, transfer, financial aid, and educator preparation can facilitate or impede participation and success in higher education. We will also explore ways that student transitions to higher education are shaped by institutional policy.

Besides examining the research literature, we will discuss practical strategies for shaping policy and for navigating the moral dilemmas that can arise when working on these issues. Students will engage in intensive study of selected policy developments. This course is designed for Masterís and doctoral students in public policy, law, or educational policy and planning.

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