At New College, our Public Policy AOC is designed to give you the research, analysis and communication skills you will need to succeed in graduate school and beyond. Working one-on-one with a faculty mentor you will design a plan of study that matches our courses to your specific academic interests and goals.
|At New College, our Public Policy AOC strives to provide students with the analytical tools necessary to understand how public policy is formulated and to evaluate the merits of such policy. The ultimate goal is to enable the student to analyze both the process by which policy is developed and to determine whether that policy is in the public interest. The ability to systematically analyze complex policy issues has proven useful to careers in law, business, government service, and non-governmental organizations involved in policy debates.
Typically, you will begin the program with introductory work in American government and in both macroeconomics and microeconomics. From there, you will most likely pursue political theory, bureaucracy, executive or legislative decision-making and public finance. In addition, coursework in the sociology of formal organizations, social ethics, statistics, mass media, modern history and social psychology is suggested to support the emphasis on politics and economics.
Even before the introductory classes are complete, you will work with your faculty advisor to select issue areas on which to focus your future research. In the past, issues selected by students have included local energy policy, coastal zone management, neighborhood governance, racial discrimination, arts policy, condominium development, bicycle pathways, utility pricing, the governance of small towns, legislative reform, legislative staffing, educational policy-making and bureaucratic leadership. You will also have an opportunity to pursue internships designed to give you real-world experience in the way policy issues are decided at the local, state, national and organizational levels.
One of our faculty members, Professor Keith Fitzgerald, served as a two-term member of the Florida House of Representatives while another, Professor Rick Coe, is an expert on government spending, tax policies, and poverty and welfare programs. Other faculty members who teach within the discipline have expertise that includes:
• Government policy
Many students find studying Public Policy at New College is excellent preparation for law, business, government service and other vocations that involve the large institutional structures of our society.
The culmination of the Public Policy AOC at New College is a senior thesis that brings to bear all of your analytic skills on the policy issue of your choice. Often such reports are shared with policy makers, and they have proven to be useful in gaining admission to top graduate and professional schools.
The core curriculum of our Public Policy lies in economics and political science, and students begin their study with introductory courses in these two disciplines. From there, you will pursue advanced courses in areas such as taxation, legislative decision-making, government expenditures, and power and public policy. In addition, course work in other disciplines, such as sociology, that relates to policy issues is encouraged. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of internship opportunities that will involve them in the policy making and evaluation process.
The culmination of the program is a senior thesis that brings to bear your analytical skills on a policy issue of your choice. These analyses are often shared with policy makers, and have proven useful in admission to graduate or professional schools. In the past, issues selected have included local energy policy, coastal zone management, neighborhood governance, racial discrimination, bicycle pathways, and United States drug intervention in Columbia.
Required courses for a concentration in Public Policy are as follows:
Economics: Introductory Microeconomics, Introductory Macroeconomics, Public Finance – Government Expenditures, and Public Finance – Taxation.
Political Science: Introduction to American Politics, Power and Public Policy, plus at least two other policy-related Political Science courses.
Other: In addition to the eight courses listed above, students are required to take two additional policy-related courses. While these courses can be in economics or political science, students are encouraged to consider policy-related courses in other disciplines. Sociology, in particular, offers several policy-related courses on a regular basis.
Students pursuing an AOC in Public Policy are also required to take a course in basic statistics. While no additional courses in quantitative analysis are required, students are strongly encouraged to take additional courses of this nature if they plan on pursuing a career in some aspect of public policy.
Here’s a list of recent course offerings in Public Policy:
Introduction to American Politics
Power and Public Policy in the U.S.
Public Finance: Government Expenditures
Public Finance: Taxation
International Law and Politics
International Political Economy
Politics of Congress
Social Inequality: Race, Class, Gender, and Power
Space, Place & Community
Work Organization and Its Alternatives
New College is proud of our many graduates in Public Policy. Here is a look at what some of them are up to these days:
• Craig Blakeley is an attorney with Alliance Law Group LLC in the Washington, D.C., area.
• Janet Bowman is director of legislative policy and strategies based in Tallahassee for the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
• Wiebke Breuer is an attorney at the Law Offices of Matt Greenbaum in New Orleans.
• Charles Brooks is a national news producer for CBS News.
• James Burgdorf is an assistant policy analyst at Rand Corporation. Previously, he served as a junior analyst at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, where he was lead author of the National Healthcare Quality Report and a contributing author of the National Healthcare Disparities Report.
• Teri Donaldson is a law partner at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP. She was a federal prosecutor and general counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
• Kayla Drogosz is an analyst with the Brookings Institution and co-author of the book, United We Serve: National Service and the Future of Citizenship.
• Bryan Flood is senior vice president of public affairs for K12 Inc.
• Jennifer Gorn is an attorney and vice president of strategic development for Amerigold Management.
• Stephan Henley is a courts administrator with Florida State Courts.
• Leon Hicks is an attorney who owns his firm, Leon Hicks and Associates P.C., in Atlanta.
• Jennifer Hurst is vice president at Northern Trust Bank of Florida.
• Bruce Jacobs is a lawyer at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
• Roger Klurfeld is an attorney and the director of national appeals at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
• Steven Linsey is a senior economist at California Public Utilities.
• Seth Lipsay is an executive managing director and founder of New World Realty Advisors, LLC.
• Lawrence Moose is a program manager at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he manages the Center of Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research. He has also been a grants administrator, program director for AmeriCorps Pinellas and coordinator for the American Red Cross in Miami.
• Michael Rothbaum is a rabbi at Beth Chaim Congregation in the San Francisco area.
• Adam Stone is deputy for policy and technology in the Office of the CIO at Berkeley Lab.
• Janet Weisenford is a fellow at ICF International and was executive director of the Human Performance Center at the U.S. Navy.
Sample of Graduate Schools Attended by NCF Students in Public Policy
• Harvard University
Each academic experience builds toward your senior thesis project. It’s required for graduation, and our students tell us that while it’s demanding, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Here are some thesis projects in Public Policy:
“Creative Environmental Planning: Its Elements and Constraints” by Jennifer Hurst Thorner
“The Concept of Representation: Normative and Empirical Considerations” by Stephen Duprey
“Planned Unit Development: A Community Within a Community” by Erica Gellman
“A Framework for Environmentally Balanced Policy Making” by Pat Moscatello
“The Florida Public Interest Research Group” by Craig Blakeley
“Drink to the Bird: A Black Conspectus of Ralph McGill” by Leon Hicks
“From ‘Common Sense’ to COMSAT: Mass Communications Policy and American Media” by Bruce Jacobs
“Public Policy and the Government Corporation” by Edwin Malet
“New Detroit, Incorporated . . . A Viable Force in Urban Decision Making?” by Beverly A. Brown
“Things We Dreamt We Died For’: A Study of the Attitudes and Experiences of American Soldiers in Vietnam Through Content Analysis of Their Poetry and the Implications of Such Findings for decisionmakers” by Janet Weisenford
“Quality of Life in Cities: An Exploration Through Objective and Subjective Indicators” by Steve Linsey
“A Fiscal Policy for Reindustrialization” by Seth Barron Lipsay
“Small Local Governments in Florida: Mayor Versus Manager” by Tami Beller
“Anticipate the System: A Public Policy Study” by Joseph Milton Hayden
“Dynamics of Organization: Authority Patterns and Organizational Development” by W. C. Schulz, III
“A New Role for the Arts, Directed by the National Endowment for the Arts: A Political History of Government Support of the Arts” by May Jean Wu
“EPA: Discretionary Power and the Obfuscation of Social Choice” by Teri Donaldson
“Bicycle Policy of Sarasota” by Ernest P. Lasche, III
“Technical Imperatives in Progressive Politics: Frankenstein’s Revenge” by Austin Eric Works
“The Role of Bureaucracy in the Income Tax Legislative Process” by Bryan Flood
“Control Over Technologies” by Lawrence H. Moose
“Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC): An Examination of the History and Future of AFDC in America” by Susan Jane Sapoznikoff
“Drug Control, Organizations, and Politics” by Wiebke Breuer
“Between the Market and the State: Between the Market and the State: for the United States” by Jonathan C. H. Tucker
“American Health Care Delivery: Efficiency is Not Equity” by Arnoldo Bertoncini
“Evaluating the Validity of Self-Esteem Enhancement Programs in the Public School System” by Amy Hank
“Techniques in Conflict Science, Technology, and the Courts in American Public Policy” by Adam Stone
“Environmental Infrastructure on then United States-Mexico Border: The Case of Ambos Nogales” by Crystal Calarusse
“United States Support for Plan Columbia” by James Burgdorf
“The Labour Party’s Policy of Asymmetrical Devolution to Gain Scottish Electoral Support: An Answer to Why Labour Devolved Differing Levels of Institutional Power to Wales and Scotland in 1999” by Tina Marie Roberts
“The United States and Canada: A Health Care System Comparison” by Kelly Miller
“Unorthodox Lawmaking and the Decline of Social Insurance in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003” by Sydney Nash
“Read To Me! Parent-Child Book-Reading and Early Literacy Intervention Programs” by Corianne “Corrie” Etheredge
“Resource Inequities in U.S. Public K-12 Education” by Logan Bartholomew
“Crime and Power in America: Understanding Criminal Power Networks” by Stephen P. Henley
“Into Thin Air: The Stealth Bomber and the Politics of Defending America” by Jennifer Eileen Gorn
“Gas & Bloating: Federal Fuel Economy Regulation and Organizational Uncertainty in the U. S. Automobile Industry” by Michael A. Rothbaum
“Economic Efficiency and Environmental Law: Goal, Technique and Gospel” by Janet E. Bowman
“What Choice Do We Have? A Critical Inquiry Into the Theory and Practice of Public School Choice” by E. Juliana Paré
“The ‘Bureaucratic Dilemma’ in China: The Iron Law of Oligarchy Versus Mass Participation and Mao Zedong’s Delegitimation of the Chinese Communist Party” by Kayla Drogosz
The Jane Bancroft Cook Library at New College is home to a broad assortment of books, scholarly journals, national and international databases, and other print and electronic media related to the study of public policy and is available to students throughout the year. Also available at the library is the Dr. Helen N. Fagin Holocaust Collection. Named in honor of Holocaust survivor and New College benefactress Dr. Helen Fagin, the collection holds materials related to the Holocaust, genocide and humanitarian studies. The Fagin room can be reserved for occasional small meetings connected with the collection.
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New Topics New College is a public lecture series that runs from October through March. Free to students, the series features guest speakers discussing a wide range of current topics and issues — local, national and international.
New College has hosted the annual International Career Development Seminar for three years. The event is co-hosted by Young Professionals for International Cooperation (UNA-USA) Sarasota Chapter and New College of Florida. Through panel discussions, breakout Q&A sessions and networking, presenters share their international work experience in business, public health and medicine, the Peace Corps, the United Nations and the U.S. Foreign Service.