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Phone: (202) 885-2940 Graduate programs: spagrad@american.edu Undergraduate programs: aupublicaffairs@american.edu

Kerwin Hall

Public Affairs, School of 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Current Course Offerings

All courses run from 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Summer 2019 | Spring 2019

Summer 2019

How to Start a Non-Profit

Professor Lewis Faulk, American University

Dates
May 18 & 19
SPA TBD (Non-Credit)
SPA TBD (One-Credit)

Description
How to Start a Nonprofit (0/1) This course is structured as a hands-on workshop to guide students through the process of starting a nonprofit organization in the U.S. Students will learn the various organizational forms social entrepreneurs can use to pursue their missions, and they will learn the legal process on the state and federal levels to establish those organizations. Students will learn the advantages and disadvantages of different organizational forms as well as how to manage the potential legal and strategic pitfalls that confront startup organizations.

Principles of Geographic Information Science

Professor Meagan Snow

Dates
June 1 & 15
SPA TBD (Non-Credit)
SPA TBD (One-Credit)

Description
Principles of Geographic Information Science (0/1) In this course, students will learn foundational skills in GIS software and begin to think critically and creatively about the application of those skills. Coursework will include introductions to spatial data types and formats, coordinate systems, spatial queries and joins, geoprocessing tools, and the art and science of cartography. By the end of the course, students will know how to make basic maps, how to create, edit, and query spatial data, and have an understanding of what else is possible with GIS, given further study.

Social Network Analysis Using R

Professor Jurgen Willems

Dates
June 8 & 9
SPA TBD (Non-Credit)
SPA TBD (One-Credit)

Description
Social Network Analysis Using R (0/1) We discuss a variety of network analysis methods, and we create an insight in the various available approaches to visualize, analyze, and report network data. Topics include how to identify management and research situations in which social network analysis is relevant; how network data is collected; how to make management recommendations on network analysis output. Practical exercises will be done with the software R, R Studio, and well-known R-packages for network analysis (all freely available and extensively documented on the Internet). Using R for network analysis, will not only support the (further) development of coding and programming skills, it will also give access to a variety of sources and examples to conduct network analyses, and enable a multitude of (self-)learning opportunities, beyond this specific course. No prior knowledge of R and R-Studio is required before the course.

Causal Inference I: A Short Course

Professor Seth Gershenson, American University

Dates
June 22 & 23
SPA TBD (Non-Credit)
SPA TBD (One-Credit)

Description
Causal Inference I: A Short Course (0/1) This course builds on the tools of statistical analysis and multiple linear regression introduced in PUAD 601, 605, and 602. After quickly reviewing some basics of the OLS estimator and hypothesis testing, the course proceeds by discussing the so-called “credibility revolution” in modern micro-econometrics and program evaluation. The remaining bulk of the course, then, introduces the workhorse experimental and quasi-experimental methods for estimating and identifying causal effects. Specifically, this course introduces methods for identifying and estimating causal effects from experimental and non-experimental (observational) data, of both the cross-sectional and panel (longitudinal) variety. Upon completing the course, students should feel comfortable identifying, interpreting, and implementing these methods. Prerequisite: PUAD 601 or PUAD 605 for MPP/MPA students.

How to Effectively and Successfully Manage a Project

Professor Chris Wilkins

Dates
July 13 & 27
SPA TBD (Non-Credit)
SPA TBD (One-Credit)

Description
How to Effectively and Successfully Manage a Project (0/1) Project management is not reserved for professional project managers and this course is intended to offer practical approaches and skills that will assist you in successfully managing projects. Specifically, the course will cover distinguishing a project from operational work, differences in project management methodologies, importance of a project charter, defining scope, what is “progressive elaboration” and how to incorporate it into project planning, the project management Triple Constraint, project managers and communicating, and project management tools.

How to Identify & Write Successful Grant Proposals

Professor Cara Seitchek

Dates
August 3 & 10
SPA TBD (Non-Credit)
SPA TBD (One-Credit)

Description
How to Identify & Write Successful Grant Proposals (0/1) Designed for beginners and those who want to hone their skills, this intensive workshop teaches how to write proposals for special projects and general support. Instruction covers how to successfully write a proposal from start to finish, including defining program goals and objectives, establishing the need, and preparing a program evaluation and proposal budget. The course introduces you to widely used resources available on the Internet and at local libraries, and you gain practical tips for researching and identifying appropriate funders, establishing a relationship, and how to use foundation tax returns.

Spring 2019

Media Skills Training

Professor Betsy Fischer Martin, American University

Dates
Jan. 26 & Feb. 23
TBD (Non-Credit)
TBD (One-Credit)

Description
This course uses instruction, real-life examples, one-on-one mock interviews, and feedback to learn how to best prepare for and successfully communicate in TV, radio, and print interviews. Topics include how to conduct an effective press conference; skills to effectively convey message-points and steer interviews back to those points; how to be more comfortable and confident on-camera; how to understand the targeted audience in an interview; techniques to handle negative and unexpected questions; how to craft and deliver meaningful soundbites and how to avoid some soundbite pitfalls; understanding the different strategies and techniques to use in remote interviews vs. in-person interviews; what to expect in a TV studio and understanding TV optics; and understanding different types of media and rules of the road. Students become more comfortable in front of the camera and learn how to connect effectively with any audience. They become aware of strengths and weaknesses in their delivery and develop a course of action to address any problem areas.

Policy Writing for a General Audience

Libby Nelson, News Editor at voxdotcom

Dates
Apr. 13 & 20
TBD (Non-Credit)
TBD (One-Credit)

Description
This course covers how to write clearly, concisely, and readably about policy and research for a broad audience of non-experts. Students learn how to write engagingly for a general audience and become familiar with different forms of communication--fact sheets, white papers, op-eds, blog posts, speeches, and “explainers”—used to communicate policy to the public.

Producing Strong Evidence of Policy and Program Impact

Dan Litwork & Elizabeth Copson, Abt Associates

Dates
Feb. 2 & 9
TBD (Non-Credit)
TBD (One-Credit)

Description
This course offers a hands-on introduction to implementing and evaluating policy-relevant randomized controlled trials. Covered topics include: logic modeling, IRB approval, power analysis, site recruitment, implementing random assignment, evaluating implementation, and evaluating impacts.

The Power of Effective Presentations

Professor Jon Schwabish, Economist @ Urban Institute

Dates
Apr. 6 & 7
TBD (Non-Credit)
TBD (One-Credit)

Description
This course instructs students on optimal presentation techniques, including design of slides and graphics, content, organization, style, and time allocation.

Past Courses

  • Disability Law, Discrimination, Public Policy and Public Administration
  • Building a Harassment-Free Workplace and Complying with Discrimination Law
  • Telling Stories with IPUMS Survey Data
  • US & Canadian Health Policy & Delivery
  • Core Principles of Data Visualization
  • How to Lobby Congressional Staff
  • How to Start, Market & Write a Blog
  • Op-Eds That Change Minds - or Change the World