School of Public and International Affairs
Director: A. Khademian
Executive Committee: G. Datz, A. Eckerd, K. Hult, T. Luke, K. Wernstedt, and D. Zahm
The School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) provides opportunities for students interested in public issues to gain perspectives and skills from several related disciplines. SPIA is a school within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, and is comprised of the Center for Public Administration and Policy, the Government and International Affairs Program, and the Urban Affairs and Planning Program. Undergraduate degrees are offered by Urban Affairs and Planning – a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning and a B.A. in Public and Urban Affairs (see Urban Affairs and Planning in this catalog).
SPIA sponsors the Washington Semester, a ten-week summer program that allows undergraduate students to combine Washington, D.C.-area internships with course work for academic credit. For more information about undergraduate degree programs, students should contact Urban Affairs and Planning. Information on graduate programs may be obtained from the Center for Public Administration and Policy, Government and International Affairs, and Urban Affairs and Planning.
1024: COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING
An introduction to community service learning with emphasis on the development of civic agency. Critical perspectives on community, ethical community engagement, service and volunteerism, servant leadership, and social change. Exposure to the socio-political dynamics inherent in community development and problem solving. Includes significant community engagement and service-learning experiences, reflection, and the development of a personal community engagement action plan. (3H,3C)
2005,2006: INTRODUCTION TO URBAN ANALYTICS
SPIA 2005: Introduction to modeling, simulation, and visualization. How models can be used to examine complex urban problems. Ethical issues in the application of computational models. Basic model building without data. SPIA 2006: Identifying data sources for simulation model building and testing. Developing and using a model to understand a complex urban problem. Manipulating models to achieve desired outcomes. Ethical issues in computational models, including data collection and data use. (1H,1C)
2024: COMMUNITY SYSTEMS THINKING
Introduction to systems thinking concepts and their application to community-based problem solving and decision making. Emphasis on identifying interactions between technical and contextual dimensions of persistent, complex global problems. Introduces systemic frameworks for defining problems, identifying and engaging stakeholders, ideating interventions, selecting and employing criteria for decision making, and creating feedback mechanisms for iterative design. Ethics of community engagement is considered. Includes problem- based service-learning projects. (3H,3C)
2104: URBAN ANALYTICS FOR DECISION-MAKING
Use and critique of large-scale computational models for urban planning and decision-making. Information synthesis, agent-based simulation, and simulation analytics techniques for analysis of urban and regional systems. Value-sensitive design and ethical use of computational models. (1H,1C)
2114: PUBLIC SERVICE LEADERSHIP
Definition and practice of leadership in the public and nonprofit sectors, and its relationship to democratic governance. Decision-making under varying degrees of certainty and ambiguity. Exploring the relationship between public values and the public interest. Evidence for decisions. Case study engagement and presentation. (1H,1C)
2244 (GEOG 2244): SUSTAINABLE URBANIZATION
Process of urbanization and theories and approaches of urban development. Debates on the meanings of sustainable urbanization and development in cities and how they are measured. Urban sustainability initiatives in the context of urban political economies, land-use practices, urban inequality and diversity, urban nature, and urban policy and politics. Programs and policies designed to enhance sustainable urbanization. Comparative approach and global perspective. (3H,3C)
2314 (HNFE 2314): ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION FOR A HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE PLANET
Connections among active transportation (e.g., bicycling, walking) and significant global challenges such as physical inactivity, health, the environment, and the economy on local to global scales. Methods to assess walkability among communities with different worldviews and the influence of the built environment on rates of active transportation. Approaches to evaluate demographic and psychosocial predictors and physical and policy barriers to use of active transportation. Successful strategies to increase active transportation through community design guidelines, behavior change tools, transportation planning, and policy. (3H,3C)
2554: COLLABORATIVE POLICY-MAKING & PLANNING
Introduction to multi-stakeholder collaboration and public participation in planning, policy-making and public administration. Tools and approaches for engagement and effective collaboration. Deliberative and participatory democracy, and transparency in society. Information sharing and access. Civil society, the media and citizen activism. Ethical and moral issues in collaboration. Barriers to participation, and diversity and inclusion. (3H,3C)
2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.
3554: TRANSDISCIPLINARY PROBLEM SOLVING FOR SOCIAL ISSUES
Strategies and skills for transdisciplinary problem solving. Emphasis on integrative thinking strategies and cognitive and interpersonal skills required to bridge scientific discipline-based, non-scientific discipline-based and cultural knowledge. Strategies to identify important disciplinary, non-scientific, ethical, cultural, and structural elements of a problem. Problem-based learning, ethics, team work, and effective communication skills. (3H,3C)
3954: STUDY ABROAD
Variable credit course.
4374: FEDERAL CYBERSECURITY POLICY AND REGULATION
This course seeks to give students an understanding of how the government develops new cybersecurity regulations and policies that balance consumer interest in personal protection with industry attitudes towards oversight. The course also covers the policies that government entities take in the interest of national security to maintain state secrets in the face of threats from hackers and other hostile actors. Pre: FIN 4014. (3H,3C)
4454: FUTURE OF CITIES
Cities as complex systems. Interdependence of social, economic, environmental, and technological components and how these change over time. Theories about city formation, structure, and change, with implications for sustainability, resilience, and globalization. Pre: GEOG 2244 or SPIA 2244. (3H,3C)
4464: DATA AND THE ART OF POLICY-MAKING AND PLANNING
Critical examination of use of scientific and technical information in planning and policy-making, exploring issues and challenges through social science lens. Investigation of appropriate and responsible use of data within collaborative and deliberative policy-making and planning processes. Presentation of data and underlying models in accessible and understandable formats. Integrating all forms of knowledge into decision-making, including local and traditional knowledge. (3H,3C)
4784: COMMUNITY SYSTEMS CAPSTONE
Collaborative community problem solving in team environments Data collection, interpretation, and presentation augment community-based, iterative design and planning processes. Consideration of ethical engagement and community goals related to social justice, resilience, and sustainability. Discourse-based project culminating in presentation of intervention proposals to stakeholders. Pre: 3 credits in Discourse. Pre: (1024 or SOC 2034), SPIA 2024. (3H,3C)
4964: FIELD WORK/PRACTICUM
Variable credit course. X-grade allowed.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.