Social policies foster individuals’ and families’ well-being by educating children and youth; cushioning temporary or permanent losses of income; assuring minimum levels of income and essential goods and services such as food, housing, and health care; providing employment services and job training; and meeting the special needs of particularly vulnerable populations. Public programs with these objectives account for about two-thirds of the federal budget and about half of state and local government budgets.
The social policy concentration prepares students for careers leading to high-level managerial and policymaking positions in government and in nonprofit organizations involved in the design, implementation, management, and evaluation of education and social policies. Coursework in this area develops students’ ability to bring policy analysis and management tools to bear on issues in education and social policy, and helps students understand how public education and social policies affect and are affected by the family, the market economy, and voluntary and nonprofit institutions.
It is recommended that students pursue coursework and a capstone project that build their expertise in one major area of education and social policy. Those areas include (but are not limited to): education and workforce development policy, health care policy and management, poverty and inequality, labor market policy, and income support policy.
Sample courses include:
- Race and Public Policy (PUBPOL 569)
- Foundations of Social Policy (PUBPOL 570)
- Education, the Workforce, and Public Policy (PUBPOL 571)
- Crime and Punishment Policy (PUBPOL 573)
- Employment Equity and Discrimination (PUBPOL 573)
- Poverty and Anti-Poverty Policy (PUBPOL 576)
- Asset Building for Low-Income Families (PUBPOL 578)
- Child Well-being and Public Policy (PUBPOL 579)
- Taxes and Social Policy (PUBPOL 599)