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Policy Seminar (Capstone)

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.

2018 Projects

Access to Affordable and Nutritious Foods for Individuals Living in South Los Angeles

A Comparison of Chinese and American Strategies to Renewable Energy Development

Addressing California's Water Needs: A Policy Analysis

Addressing the Negative Perception of Drug Abuse Resistance Education

A Road Forward: Addressing Under Investment in the United States' Surface Transportation System

Creating More Housing Amidst a High-cost Housing Market

Crisis in the American Family: Addressing Family Dissolution in the United States National Security Strategy of the United States of America regarding China

Diminishing Urban and Rural Educational Disparity in China

Low Competition and Innovation in the Biopharmaceutical Industry

Preventing a "Lost Generation": Identifying and Breaking Down Barriers to the Education of Syrian Refugee Children in Jordan

Safer, Freer, Faster: Improving Results in America's Airport Security Checkpoints

Should Cities Promote Development fo Accessory Dwelling Units to Increase Housing Stock in California

The National Security Strategy: The American Strategy for Europe

The Silent Killer: US Agricultural Policy

US National Security Strategy for Russia

Where Markets and Government

2017 Projects

Battling the Smog Due to Industrial Pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region

Bolivia's Overcrowded Prisons and Failed Criminal Justice System

Chinese Hukou System Reform

Economic Development in New Hampshire

Education Reform in the Mississippi Delta: A District-Specific Approach

Electoral Incentives and Policy Outcomes

The Land of Opportunity – Pursuing the Immigrant's Dream: A Policy Analysis of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Addressing the
Beneficiaries Status Through Immigration Reform

The Misrepresentation of Victims of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation as Criminals: A California Case Study

Revisiting NAFTA: The North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994

2016 Projects

A Srengthened Deferred Action - DACA

ADA Lawsuit Abuse in California

America's Immigrant Problem: Addressing the Issue of Undocumented Youth in the U.S.

Analysis on China's Photovoltaic Industry

Changin Horizons: Pension Reform Strategy for Southern California Municipalities

Dealing with the PM2.5 Pollution Problem in Beijing Through Petrochemical Industry Reform of China

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: The Result of the 2008 American Crisis

Improving Stabilization of the Chinese Vegetable Market

Improving the Living Standard of Old People in Beijing

Increasing the Stability and Efficiency of Greece's Domestic Economy

Marijuana Regulation in the City of Detroit

Policy Problems and Possible Reforms

Reducing Congestion at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles

School Choice in China: Compulsory Educational Resources Reallocation

The "Butterfly Effect" as a Model for Reducing Fatherlessness in Los Angeles, California

The Political Economy of Sino-U.S. Trade Frictions on Intellectual Property

The Problem of Hunger in South Sudan

US National Security Strategy for China

US National Security Strategy Toward Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia

US National Security Strategy Toward North Africa and the Arab-Israeli Conflict

US National Security Strategy Toward Syria, Afghanistan, and Turkey

2015 Projects

A Strengthened Deferred Action – DACA

ADA Lawsuit Abuse in California

America's Immigrant Problem: Addressing the Issue of Undocumented Youth in the U.S.

Analysis on China's Photovoltaic Industry

Changing Horizons: Pension Reform Strategy for Southern California Municipalities

Dealing with the PM2.5 Pollution Problem in Beijing through Petrochemical Industry Reform of China

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act: The Result of the 2008 American Crisis

Improving Stabilization of the Chinese Vegetable Market

Improving the Living Standard of Old People in Beijing

Increasing the Stability and Efficiency of Greece's Domestic Economy

Marijuana Regulation in the City of Detroit

Policy Problems and Possible Reforms

Reducing Congestion at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles

School Choice in China: Compulsory Educational Resources Reallocation

The 'Butterfly Affect' as a Model for Reducing Fatherlessness in Los Angeles, California

The Political Economy of Sino-US Trade Frictions on Intellectual Property

The Problem of Hunger in South Sudan

U.S. National Security for China

U.S. National Security for Europe

U.S. National Security for the Middle East

U.S. National Security Strategy for Russia

Work Visa Inefficiency

2014 Projects

A Tale of Two Revolutions: Lessons from Iran 1979 and Egypt 2011

Addressing the Student Loan Crisis

An Abdication of Policy or an Abrogation of Authority? American Exceptionalism, Wilsonianism and the Foreign Affairs Interregnum

Analysis of Effects of Marijuana Policy in America

Beijing's Policy Toward Industrial Air Pollution

California Export Development: Proven Policies for Strengthening Export Growth

California's Film/Television Tax Incentive Program: A Case Study on the Benefits and

Costs of Modern Tax Subsidies

Capstone Final on Energy Policy

Decreasing Violent Crime in Chicago: An Analysis and Recommendation of the Policy Options Available

Democratic Regime Change as the Result of War and Operations

Developing a Policy Framework for Global Secession Movements

Does Race to the Top Fix No Child Left Behind?

Does San Fernando Valley Receive Its Fair Share of Taxes?

Energy Policies in the Transportation Industry: Critical Analysis

Gas Price Analysis in People's Republic of China—On the Path of Reform

Generation Across the Country: A Back-to-Basics Evaluation of Policy Effectiveness

Growing California's Exports: Finding an Advantage in West Coast Trade Housing Price in China

Improving the Efficiency and Management of Federal Land

Increasing Efficiency and Quality of Taxi Industry in Beijing, China

Lessons of Contemporary Debate for Immigration Reform

Low Quality Issue of Preschool Teachers in Current China

Mobile Money in Development: A Case Study Between Tanzania and Uganda

Policy Analysis of Campaign Finance Reform in American Politics

Presidential Voting System: A Study Between the United States and France

Reducing California's Prison Population

School Vouchers as a Model for Improving Virginia K-12 Education

State Employee and Teacher Pensions: A Case-Study Analysis on California and Texas

The Achievement Gap

The Democratization of Communication: Constitutional Implications of the Fairness Doctrine in the Current Political Market

The Effect of Renewable Portfolio Standards on the Percentage of Renewable Energy

The Evolving Role and Value of Nonprofit Organizations in American Elections and the Need for Regulation

The Future of the California Republican Party: The Latino Vote

The National Security Strategy: Interests of the United States Concerning the Russian Federation

The Provision of the Public Arts in the United States

The Root Cause of Illegal Immigration in the United States

The United States National Security Strategy for China

Threat Management: The United States National Security Strategy for the Middle East

Title IX: Promoting Sport for Women, Damaging Sport for Men?

Trucking Regulation: A Retrospective

White Slavery/Black Market: Exploring the Grey Intersection of Human Trafficking and Prostitution


2013 Projects

Achieving Excellence in K-12 Education

Addressing HIV/AIDS Treatment in Marsabit, Kenya

Female Gendercide in China: Current Issue, Government and Market Failure, and Policy Implications

Foreign Aid: Exploring Market-Driven Solutions to Economic Development

Gold Mining in America: Do Regulations and Standards Ensure Environmental Protection and Sustainability?

Improving Air Quality in China

Inefficiencies and Recommendations of the Family Medical Leave Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Jordanian Water Security

Juvenile Records Privacy and Sharing: Empowering Educators to Protect Children Who Are in Multiple Systems

Looking into the Future: The United States National Security Strategy for China

Policy Analysis: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Private Sector Pensions: Protecting Your Future Against Fraud

Privatization and Market Liberalization: A Panacea for the Greek Debt Crisis

Profit and Preservation: Opportunity for Cities and their Water Districts to Alter Unsustainable American Consumer Water Use

Promoting a Better World: The United States National Security Strategy for Central and South Asia

Russia: A National Security Strategy

Small-Arms Control and Liberia: Government Failures, Market Responses and a New Public Policy

Teacher Quality Matters: Proposing Education Reform for California

Teachers' Union Effects on the Quality of Education

Tension or Harmony with Nature: Native American Practices and Traditions and the Endangered Species Act

The United States National Security Strategy for Europe

Understanding and Improving Los Angeles Charter Schools

Water Energy Nexus in California

Water, Water Everywhere: Is Municipal Desalination the Answer to Orange County's Water Woes?

2012 Projects

Addressing South Africa's HIV/AIDS Crisis: Restructuring the Public Health Care System as a Means to the Solution

Building Problems: An Evaluation of Development Policy in Afghanistan

California Cap and Trade: Putting Our Best Carbon Footprint Forward?

California's Revolving Door to Prison: A Plan for Recidivism Reduction

Civic Education in Los Angeles Public Schools

Corruption and Foreign Aid: A Policy Analysis of FDI and Corruption in Mexico

Does Personal Privacy End at the Click of a Mouse?

Electronic Waste and Universal Recycling: A Regional Response to Environmental Justice

Enacting Campaign Finance Reform after Citizens United: Informed Choices in the Political Marketplace

English Language Learners Programs: Oxnard Union High School District and Inglewood Unified High School District

Environmental Governance in China: The Challenge of Government Structure in Environmental Protection

Expanding Parental Involvement at Culver City Unified School District

Genetically Engineered Foods in the United States and the California Consumers' Right to Know Initiative

Higher Education Policy Reform

Incentivizing Cleaner Water: A Survey of Stormwater Management Rebate and Incentive Programs in the United States

Information and Access Issues in the Market of Resources and Social Programs

Internalizing the Environmental, Public Health, and Animal Welfare Externalities of Industrial Farm Animal Production via Consumer-Facing Product Labels

Keeping Business in California: Examining Commercial Loans, State Regulations, and the Corporate Income Tax Rate

Looking into the Future: The U.S. National Security Strategy for Russia

Los Angeles Potable Reuse: A Public Policy and Finance Analysis

National Security Strategy of the United States of America: The East Asian Region

National Security Strategy: Europe

National Security Strategy: Middle East

Pension Reform in the City of Los Angeles: A Race Against Time

Prison Reform in California: Policy Analyses and Recommendations

Public/Private Financing of Los Angeles' NFL Stadium

Reducing Automobile Dependency Through the Newest Generation of Streetcars

Reducing Children's Exposure from School Bus Pollutants

Reforming Water Contracts in California

Relocating ... Anywhere but Here: California's Anti-Business Tax Climate

Rent Control as a Whole and the Rent Stabilization Problem in Los Angeles, California

Smart Grid, Smart Meters, and Smart Consumers: The Disconnect Between Electricity and Its Users

Strengthening Conscience Laws to Protect Life

Tackling Corruption in Nigeria's Public Sector

The City of Malibu's Water Quality Controversy: Lessons Learned

The Impact of Transport on the Environment in China

The U.S. Export Control Reform

Toxic Water for the Central Valley Means Toxic Water for California

United States Foreign Policy Initiative on a Possible Nuclear Iran

What Should Las Virgenes Unified School District Do in Response to the FY 2012-2013 Budget Proposal?

2011 Projects

Achieving Sustainability in Space: Creating Space Policy that Works

Aerospace and the Legacy of Groundwater Pollution in Southern California

An Ecosystem Approach to Watershed "Preservelopment" in the Malibu Creek Watershed

Analysis of 2010 California Water Bond

Arizona's Project SAFE: Improving Outcomes for Juveniles on Probation in Maricopa County

Arizona's Project SAFE: Improving Outcomes for Rural Probationers in Cochise County

Arizona's Project SAFE: Yuma County's Experience with Swift and Certain Sanctions for Probationers

Automatic Copyright and Registration: In Harmonyor in Conflict?

Building Coalitions to Solve California's Coastal Water

Building Social Capital in Rwanda

California Water: A Shortage or Mismanagement?

California Water: Recycling and Reclaimed Solutions

California's Experiment with HOPE for Parolees: Implementation Challenges

Drugged: Pharmaceutical Water Pollution

Expanding California's Water Market

Hawaii's Experience with HOPE for Probationers (Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement)

Pepperdine's Sustainability Program

Politics and Policy: Urging Transparency in America's Labor Unions

Public Higher Education in Louisiana: A Policy Focus on Graduation Rates and Spending

Reducing L.A.'s Outside Water Dependency

Residential Water Conservation Through Increased Block Pricing and Informative Water Billing

Reverse Brain Drain in the U.S. and the Need for Immigration Reform

The 2011 General Aviation Security Plan

The Economic and Environmental Impacts of Water Market Distortions


The Medical School Dilemma: A Policy Analysis for Easing the Residency Shortage

The Role of Public Policy in Corporate Social Responsibility: A New Way to Address Social

Issues in the 21st Century

The Water-Energy Nexus

United States National Security Strategy for the Subcontinent

United States National Security Strategy on Russia

United States Security Strategy for Europe

United States Security Strategy for Latin America

Urban Sustainability: Stormwater Management in Southern California

Washington Intensive Supervision Probation– Improving High-Risk Parolee Compliance

Water Conservation, Use, and Pricing in Southern California

Winning the Future in Michigan: Math and Science Education in the Wolverine State

2010 Projects

Analyzing International Aid Organizations, Emphasis on Education Policy 

Assessing the Effectiveness of the Broken Windows Theory

Counterinsurgency Strategy in Afghanistan: Theory, Operations, and Policy Recommendations

Defense, Diplomacy, and Development

Does Illegal Equate to Evil? A Discussion of China's Nongovernmental Organizations

Educational Technology and Accountability: The Future of No Child Left Behind

Gang Suppression in Orange County, California: An Economic Approach to Criminal Street Gangs

Human Trafficking and International Response

Improvements in Education: Assessing and Utilizing Technology in the Classroom

Intersection Safety: Are Red Light Cameras the Best Option?

Is Los Angeles an Unfriendly Place to do Business? Generating Jobs in Los Angeles

Measuring Success: Academic Preparedness of LAUSD High School Students Entering the California State University System

Millennium Development Goals and U.S. Foreign Aid

National Security Briefing: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka

Policy Solutions to Prison Overcrowding in Uganda

Reining in the Dollar: Where U.S. Monetary Policy Came From and How to Fix It

Revitalizing Los Angeles: A Look at Economic Development Options

Russia and Oil and Gas Policy

South Korea-U.S. Free-Trade Agreement: A Strategic Economic and Geological Tool

The Complexities of Nation-building: Analysis of Lebanon and Bosnia

The Economic and Political Development of the Caucus Region and Its Effects on U.S. National Security Interests

The Massachusetts Health Plan: A Prescription for a National Health Care Agenda

The Port Security Grant Program at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach

The Proper Role of Dual-Use Export Controls: A Case Analysis and Policy Outline for Reform

The Quality of Our Teaching Workforce: Policies for Improving Teacher Quality in Our Low-Income Urban Schools

The Suspension of Habeas Corpus: Unification of a Nation or Erosion of Civil Liberties

Tibet Under the PRC: The Best Path Toward Peace and Substantive Autonomy

US Aviation Security: The Lessons and Limitations of Israel's Aviation Security for the U.S.

US Counterterrorism Priorities: Nuclear Security and Port Security

US-Brazil Energy Trade

US-China Relations

United States National Security Policy Towards the European Union

Unsustainable Development: California's Eminent Domain Abuse; Consequences and Remedies

Whose Crisis? Education and Gender in the United States

2009 Projects

A Green Scorecard: Shifting the Market Towards Green Products

Marine Pollution: Why the World's Oceans should not be Overlooked

Advocacy Paper for School-Based Health Centers Within Public Education

Apology Resolution to Native Americans

Bridging the Connection Between Land Use Trends and the Environment: A Tradeoffs Analysis

A Communication Plan for High-Speed Rail

Developing the Middle East Through Leadership

Early College High School Initiative in California

Environmental Justice: A New Perspective on Race and Inequality

Everyday Solar: Marketing Clean Energy to the Working Class in Los Angeles County's Antelope Valley

Financing Sustainability: The Role of Photovoltaic Solar Energy in Promoting Sustainable Development

Fresh Start Education: Creating Healthy Kids by Improving School Nutrition

Increasing Parent Involvement in the Santa Ana Unified School District

National Ad Campaign to Combat TIP

National Security Strategy to Europe

Red & Green: An Environmental Communications Strategy for Conservatives

Regulation versus Taxation: CAFE Standards and the Gas Tax

Stimulating the Economy Through the Forgiveness of Student Loans

Strengthening Educational Technology in American Samoa Secondary Schools

Teachers Are the Real Rock Stars: Professional Pay for Professional Educators

United States National Security Strategy for Asia

Waste: The Future

2008 Projects

American Foreign Policy Toward Africa and the Middle East

Dealing with the Rising Power of China

Ending Poverty: Education and Microfinance in Bolivia

English-Language Immersion Charter School of East Los Angeles

Increased Parent Involvement in Low-Income Schools: Reallocation of Title I Funds

Information Technology in the California Prison System

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child: Building Community in a Time of Crisis

Managing Illegal Immigrants in California Prisons

Managing the Aging Prison Population

National Security Strategy for American Interests in Saudi Arabia

Reclaiming the Native American Dream: How Online Education Will Allow Us to Fulfill Our Dream

School Vouchers: Can They Realize Milton Friedman's Vision of Education?

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services in the California Criminal Justice System

The Challenge Russia Poses to U.S. National Interests at Home and Abroad

The National Security Strategy of the United States of America: Lebanon

The United States National Security Strategy in Syria

US National Security Strategy for Iran


2007 Projects

Deliberative Democracy

Economics of Criminal Justice Reforms

Education Policy

US Foreign Policy in the Middle East

2006 Projects

Education Reform in the 21st Century

National Security in the Middle East

Saving Lives in Disaster: Improving the Integration of Faith Communities in Disaster Response in Los Angeles

Science Technology Policies: Exploring the Widespread Impact on American Society

2005 Projects

A United States National Security Strategy for Eurasia

Higher Ed in the Red: Preserving Access to California's Community Colleges

National Security Strategy for Europe

The Past, Present, and Future of Malibu Housing

The United States Security Strategy for Asia

Title IX and Intercollegiate Athletics: Mitigating the Unintended Consequences of the Three-part Test

2004 Projects

Crisis in California: Reforming Workers' Compensation

Federal Options for Increasing the Quality of Housing Available To Low Income Households

Malaria Interdiction In Kenya

Preventing Humanitarian Disaster In China-Combating HIV-AIDS in Yunnan China

Project Relief-Alleviating Federal Severely Distressed Public Housing

Three Years After the California Energy Crisis-A Plan to Avoid Future Shortages

2003 Projects

Rescuing California's Troubled Schools: Can Contracting Address the Problems Facing California's Failing Schools?

Recapturing Voter Intent: The Nonpartisan Primary in California

One Nation Under Threat: Securing the United States from the Entry of Terrorists

Finding Permanent Homes for Adoptable Children: Removing the Barriers to Interstate Adoption

2002 Projects

Stem Cell Research-Looking Ahead

Reshaping California's Character Education Code

On the Origin of Controversies: Improving California Science Standards for K-12 Education

Reigning in Iran: Reducing the State Sponsorship of Terrorism in the Mideast

Emerging Opportunities: A Free-Trade Framework for ASEAN and China

2001 Projects

A Blueprint for NAFTA: The United States, Chile and the Future of the North America Free Trade Agreement

Two Cheers for Charitable Choice: Navigating the Pitfalls of Faith Based Partnerships with Government

Alleviating US Dependence on OPEC

Energy Crisis in California: Options for the Future

2000 Projects

Ending the War on Tobacco: Moving Toward a Tolerant Public Policy

Rethinking Cuba: The Maturation of United States Foreign Policy

1999 Project T

E-Commerce and Taxation: A Plan for California