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UMD Study Abroad Course in Paris: "Comparative Policy Analysis & Practical Program Evaluation"

Monday, January 23, 2017  
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The University of Maryland School of Public Policy will offer a three-week, for-credit international graduate course on “Comparative Policy Analysis and Practical Program Evaluation,” July 3–20.

To be held in Paris, France, with the assistance of the Economics Department at Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), this study abroad course is designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students studying public policy, public administration, and related subjects such as education, governance, international development, political science, public health, social welfare, sociology, and urban planning.

Faculty

  • Douglas J. Besharov, University of Maryland, College Park (Program Director);
  • Douglas M. Call, University of Maryland, College Park;
  • Neil Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley;
  • Jacob Klerman, Principal Associate, Social and Economic Policy, Abt Associates; Editor, Evaluation Review;
  • David Myers, President and CEO, American Institutes for Research;
  • Anu Rangarajan, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, International Research Division, Mathematica Policy Research; and
  • Stefano Scarpetta, Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD.

Course Summary
This course will cover policy analysis and program evaluation in comparative perspective. It could serve as a student’s sole (or stand-alone) course on policy analysis and program evaluation, or it could supplement other courses on those subjects that students have taken or will take. As a comparative course, a major theme will be the conduct of policy analysis in various community and national settings, to reflect differences in governance, politics, culture, and research infrastructure.

It will focus on four steps in the policy process:

  • Planning programs, including specifying the problem, selecting a theory of change, and designing programs;
  • Implementing programs, including designing, conducting, and assessing implementation and process evaluations;
  • Assessing program impacts, including the full range of impact evaluation methodologies (including qualitative, pre/post, comparison group, econometric, randomized experiment, and natural experiment studies); and
  • Monitoring the ongoing operations of programs, including the design, implementation, and evaluation of performance measures.

Compared to many other courses, this course will spend relatively less time on how to perform regression and other econometric analyses. Instead, it will provide students with a broad understanding of the full range of impact evaluation methodologies (including qualitative, pre/post, comparison group, randomized experiment, and natural experiment studies) and the practical skills needed to assess and apply them.

A preliminary syllabus will be available on the course web page.

(Classes will be in English.)

Course Schedule and Facilities
The course will meet daily (tentatively 9:30-13:00) Monday–Thursday for three weeks from July 3 through July 20, 2017 on the campus of the Economics Department at Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne, which is located in the heart of the Latin Quarter.

Eligibility
The course is open to all graduate and advanced undergraduate students studying public policy, public administration, and related subjects (such as education, governance, international development, political science, public health, social welfare, sociology, and urban planning).

Students must be in good academic and judicial standing and must not have any registration blocks. The minimum GPA for this program is 3.0 (unless otherwise approved by the program director).

Course Credit
Students will receive three credits from the University of Maryland upon successful completion of the course. Non-UMD students should confirm the transferability of credits with their home academic departments.

Course Cost
Application Fee: 50 USD
Standard program fee: 3,500 USD
Early registration program fee (before March 1, 2017): 3,000 USD
Enrollment Fee: 75 USD (for non-UMD students only)

The program fee includes registration and administration, tuition, course related activities, and teaching services. Students are responsible for airfare, housing, meals, international health insurance, and other incidental expenses.

Application Deadline
Applications will be accepted through March 15, 2017.

Registration
Those interested in registering for the course should email Michael Goodhart.

Accommodations
Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements. There are many options in Paris, including:

  • The International University Campus in Paris, a private foundation that offers various housing options (40 residences and 5,800 rooms in total) for foreign students and researchers. (This option, three stops from campus, is recommended by the staff at Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne.)
  • ReidsParis, an online travel resource that provides a list of student dormitories in Paris which rent rooms at low cost (some as low as 15 EUR per person per day).
  • University Rooms, an online resource that presents students with affordable and convenient accommodation options in Paris’ university residence halls and dorms.

More information on housing may be found on the Sorbonne’s student life web page.

Additional Information
Further information regarding the course format, travel, and other course logistics will soon be available on the course web page.

Contact
For any specific questions regarding the course, please contact: Michael Goodhart.


Mission

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.

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