Elective Politics and Policy-Making


Units: 6


Significant proposals in public policy at the local, state and federal level of the U.S. require usually require legislation to become a reality.  Enter politicians, politics, and political processes.  Elected politicians, both representatives and executives, are the ultimate arbitrators and decision-makers in public policy change.   The political process can be very messy.  Nonetheless public policy change can be successfully "engineered" from an idea to a reality.   This course will explore past cases involving elected officials from the Pittsburgh region and Pennsylvania to illustrate the people, politics and processes involved in policy change.  Students will then be required to apply what they learn from these cases to a contemporary policy challenge facing the state of Pennsylvania.

Learning Outcomes

The goal is to provide students with insight and lessons into the processes needed to:

1.    Influence the policy decisions of elected officials.
2.    Plan, organize and execute a campaign to turn an idea for public policy change into a reality.

The mini should put students in a better position to serve as:

 1.   An elected official
 2.   A staff person to an elected official
 3.    An executive for an organization which relies on public funding and/or public policies.
 4.   As consultant of private sector executive who must interact with elected public officials and processes.

Prerequisites Description