The Policy Seminar in the final semester permits students to develop and present a major public program design and implementation plan using a real situation in an actual agency, either global, national, state, or local. Students develop a clearly focused mission, a strategic plan for the undertaking, and an implementation plan which acknowledges various interest groups who must "buy in" for the project to be successful. This requires personnel planning, a budget plan, and a clear method for securing approvals from all interested parties whose "ownership" is critical for its success. The results are presented to a board of visitors which includes academics and real-world agency leaders. Students are expected to be able to identify, verbalize, and experience in an authentic way clearly stated personal values as well as technical expertise.
The Capstone project was designed to provide an integrative experience through student efforts in developing an actual program or public policy. The students assumed all aspects of completing the policy paper, from selecting the topic, dividing the task to research and writing of the policy solutions. To develop leadership skills further, this project was completed as a team exercise that was reviewed and evaluated not only by faculty, but also by government officials and key representatives of constituencies affected by the policy.
All projects are in Adobe Acrobat format.