Embracing Applied Politics in the Classroom and Curriculum
Justin S. Vaugh, Boise State University
Corey Cook, Boise State University
Caroline Heldman, Occidental College
Candice J. Nelson, American University
Joseph Morris, Mercyhurst College
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
With universities increasingly under pressure to demonstrate how coursework contributes to tangible skills desired by employers and as campaign and policy making elites increasingly incorporate rigorous political and policy analysis into their professions, the discipline of political science is faced with an intriguing and exciting opportunity.
By sharpening their focus and increasing their offerings regarding applied politics, Political Science departments across the country have been able to complement existing excellent academic training with innovative programs designed to teach students how to “do” politics and policy making. At the same time, many in the discipline are skeptical of the applied encroachment on previously entirely academic curriculum, with some good reason.
The focus of this short course is to provide an opportunity for those already engaging in applied politics programs to share what they are doing and identify both best practices and obstacles to avoid. It is also an opportunity for those who are skeptical to raise their concerns and have them discussed with seriousness. Finally, it is an opportunity to generate curricular suggestions that can help leaders in this development and newcomers alike develop stronger programs that balance intellectual rigor with the kinds of skill-building that student, employers, administrators, and other essential stake-holders demand.
**All Short Courses will take place on Wednesday, August 31 at the APSA 2016 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.