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Course Catalog


Term: 2nd term
Credits: 3 credits
Contact: Joanna Cohen
Academic Year: 2013 - 2014
Course Instructor:
  • Joanna Cohen

Examines the major theoretical frameworks (e.g., policy streams, advocacy coalition framework, punctuated equilibrium theory, ambiguity-conflict model) relevant to the development, enactment, implementation and evaluation of policy interventions that support health behavior change. Explores the roles of ideas, interests, institutions and key actors in the policy process. Discusses how the environment can be influenced to improve the chances of implementing effective interventions to improve the public’s health. Includes case studies from the areas of tobacco control, alcohol, HIV/AIDS, obesity/physical activity, and other health topics to critically explore the strengths and limitations of policy change theories as they relate to current hot topics in the area of health, behavior and society.

Learning Objective(s):
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
Explain and critically evaluate the major theoretical frameworks used to analyze policy change
Discuss the major influences that determine which interventions are chosen and implemented
Describe the major policy tools and players involved in developing and implementing policy interventions to support health behavior change and improve health
Identify the key factors that affect the successful implementation of policy interventions
Describe primary approaches used to evaluate policy interventions

Methods of Assessment: 30% brief written report; 20% reading assignment; 50% final paper
Location: East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Friday 9:00 - 11:50
Enrollment Minimum: 10
Enrollment Restriction: Graduate students
Instructor Consent: No consent required
Auditors Allowed: No
Grading Restriction: Letter Grade or Pass/Fail