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Course Directory

Introduction to Social Policy


East Baltimore
3rd term
Health Policy and Management
3 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
Class Times:
  • Friday,  8:30 - 11:20am
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor :
  • David Altschuler
David Altschuler

Introduces major US social policy topics including poverty and income inequality; improving outcomes for workers and employment; retirement, pensions and social security; family and children; hunger, nutrition and agriculture; and racial disparities. Discusses the broad approaches taken to address these issues and the role of government, the private sector, and nongovernmental nonprofit organizations. Examines how current social programs are structured, administered, and implemented and how this has changed over time. Offers contrasting approaches and priorities through consideration of different countries and regions of the world.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the broad goals and functions of social policy
  2. Discuss the range of topics, issues and programs that social policy addresses
  3. Evaluate the assumptions and value underlying divergent views
  4. Identify the array of interests and stakeholders relevant to the social programs
  5. Describe the intended and unintended impacts of adopted policies
  6. Examine changes in programs from a historical perspective
  7. Compare the approaches and programs from an international perspective.
Methods of Assessment:

Class parrticipation and discussion (25%); three policy response memos (25%) final research paper (50%)

Instructor Consent:

No consent required