LPS Course Descriptions

Core Requirements

There are 4 core program course requirements that all LPS students must take. LPS 200, LPS 315, and LPS 425 are meant to be taken sequentially as the core leadership course material. LPS 320 is a methodology course which provides practical methods useful for working in the public sector.

LPS 200: Introduction to Public Leadership

This introductory course is designed for students beginning their study of public sector leadership. The focus of this course is on learning different leadership styles and leadership self-assessment. Students also become acquainted with how to conduct adequate academic research for studying leadership. Fundamental concepts and assumptions of leadership are covered as well as the necessary skills and approaches for good public and non-profit sector leadership.

LPS 315: Public Leadership

This course explores the nature and varieties of political leadership by elected and appointed officials in government, officials and volunteers in nonprofit organizations, and leaders of political movements and community groups. Course material draws from political science literature and student’s self-assessed leadership characteristics. Students also examine various outlets for political leadership activity.

LPS 320: Research Methodology for the Public Sector

This course teaches students to investigate political and policy related questions in a systematic and scientifically rigorous fashion. Students will become familiar with the basic toolkit of social science methodology, practice basic data analysis, and develop a research project. They will acquire the skills essential for evaluating the claims of others and for advancing sound arguments of their own. This knowledge is applicable in a variety of professional domains, such as public opinion polling, campaign management, organizational research, needs assessment, program and performance evaluation.

LPS 425: Leadership in the Public & Nonprofit Sectors Capstone.

Prerequisite: LPS Majors need to have passed LPS 200 and LPS 315.
Leadership is a critical topic in public, nonprofit, and business administration. Leadership is what we expect of U.S. presidents, association directors, and CEOs, as well as of mid-level and frontline supervisors. Clearly, leaders are awarded the accolades when the organization succeeds and given the blame for its failures. But organizations succeed not just because of the top leader’s actions; a positive leadership climate that pervades the organization helps it to learn, adapt, and perform at a high level.

200-Level Elective Courses

The following courses are 3 credit hours each. You will need to select 9 credit hours from this group.

IDS 201: Environmental Ethics

Interdisciplinary consideration of ways in which fields of study coupled with personal/cultural values contribute towards either solving or compounding environmental problems; provides a framework for the process of making ethical decisions.

LPS 201: The Humanitarian Response to Conflict

LPS 201 offers an introduction to the ideals and paradoxes of humanitarian intervention, with a special emphasis on military responses to humanitarian crises. Throughout history, and ever increasingly in the present, there is an intersection between military and humanitarian operations in conflict zones. This course explores the history, animating ideals and contemporary paradoxes of humanitarian action and related military interventions.

LPS 202: Essentials of Fundraising for Leaders in Public and Non-Profit Institutions

The course covers the basics of fundraising for public and non-profit agencies, which include the agency’s history, board development, event planning, and the motivation of the giver. In addition, the students will learn the elements of grant proposals related to public sector agencies. Course work includes case studies, weekly lectures, discussion assignments, final exam and a special event planning proposal.

LPS 205: International Leadership Strategies for the Public Sector

This course examines perspectives on leadership dilemmas and strategies in a globalized, knowledge-based, network-dependent environment; challenges of state and nation-building abroad; trans-border policy concerns for the national, state, and local governments; applications of soft power and public diplomacy; international interactions of non-profit and non-governmental organizations; and international aspects of informal and grass roots activism.

HI 254: Modern American History

Major themes in modern American history with an emphasis on diversity in the United States; focuses on aspects of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, religious and/or age identities as it considers the impacts of industrialization and economic modernization; impact of war on American domestic and foreign policy; continuity and change in American institutions and values; problem-solving in a pluralistic society.

PHI 221: Contemporary Moral Issues

Philosophical analysis and theory applied to a broad range of contemporary moral issues, including euthanasia, suicide, capital punishment, abortion, war, famine relief, and environmental concerns.

PHI 250: Thinking Logically

Deductive arguments attempt to guarantee their conclusions. Inductive arguments attempt to make their conclusions more probable. Using a small number of simple, powerful logical techniques, this course teaches students how to find, analyze and evaluate deductive and inductive arguments, and thus how to avoid the most common errors in reasoning.

PS 201: American Politics and Government

Analysis of American political institutions and processes, including the constitution, political culture, campaigns and elections, political parties, interest groups, the media, the president, Congress, the federal courts, and public policy. Discussion of contemporary and controversial issues in American politics. Emphasis on placing current issues in comparative and historical perspective where relevant. 

PS 202: State and Local Government

State and local governments within the context of the American federal system. Special emphasis on federalism, the constitutional/ legal relationships between state and local governments, and the institutions, organizational forms, and political processes in American state and local government.

PS 203: Introduction to Nonprofits

Development of nonprofit organizations and the contributions of nonprofits in the U.S., other countries, and the international community; political, social, and economic roles of nonprofits; nonprofit governance; partnerships with government and other nonprofits; types of organizations in the nonprofit sector; contemporary policy issues.  

300-Level Elective Courses

The following courses are 3 credit hours each. You will need to select 6 credit hours from this group.

HI 335: The World at War

Comparative history of the experience of war over time and place. Topics include the interactions between war and society; effects on combatants and non-combatants, especially women and children; and the role of technology.

SLC 300: Leading with an Ethical Perspective

Students will explore the personal and professional aspects of ethical leadership perspectives. They can look at ethical perspectives from a general overview, or they can choose to focus on ethical perspectives within their specific field, such as business, entrepreneurship, engineering, or athletics. Students will use a variety of ethical frameworks to analyze ethical situations and how values held by leaders and organizations result in ethical impacts and outcomes. The course will address the philosophical origins of ethical frameworks and how they relate to the current business and societal environment. The primary focus will be on supporting students in identifying their personal values and developing a values-based plan for their individual leadership style to help them succeed as a values-based leader in their fields.  

HI 337: Spy vs. Spy Cold War Intelligence History

This course will examine the often deadly intelligence efforts that characterized the Cold War (USA vs. USSR) of 1945-1991. While the history of that era marks the major political, economic, and military events, much occurred in the shadows. This wide-ranging intelligence competition affected - and was affected by - both American and Russian societies and cultures. Drawing on selected readings, this course will seek to describe this struggle to know and to conceal, and offer useful context to explain how and why it influenced the course of the Cold War.  

LPS 302: Diversity and Leadership in the Public Sector

This course provides students with information regarding diversity and leadership in history as well as material and activities that foster an understanding of how diversity and leadership intersect in the public sector and how diversity can improve organizational effectiveness and performance. The concept of cultural competency is defined and evaluated as an important component of effective public sector leadership. Students will learn what it means to be a more culturally competent leader. 

PA 311: Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation

This course is an introductory course for the study of policy analysis, i.e. the systematic study of political-issue problems and alternative policy choices. An individual semester-long project will be completed by each student that identifies a policy issue of interest to the student and various alternatives to implement or improve the policy. Students will measure outcomes of their alternative choices and choose a course of action based on anticipated outcomes.

PA 332: Human Resource Management in Public Sector

This is a fundamental, comprehensive course designed to provide a view of the major influence human resources management has in a productive public sector organization. Specifically, it examines the challenges of managing complex work systems in the political and institutional environments. Emphasis is given to the challenges facing the public sector in attracting and developing human assets in an environment of conflicting goals, stakeholder obligations and a highly aware electorate. With theoretical concepts established, the focus will shift to practical implementation tools to include recruitment, retention, compensation, and evaluation techniques.

PS 301: The Presidency and Congress

Prerequisite: PS 201 (or transfer equivalency).
Historical development, selection, and internal organization of the presidency and congress. Discussion of the relations between the branches and the influence of public opinion, interest groups and parties on the federal government. Analysis of the legislative process.

PS 303: Race in U.S. Politics

Race in American politics with emphasis on the African-American political experience: civil rights legislation, voting rights, political representation, campaigns and party politics, survey attitudes, and public policies including affirmative action.

PS 305: The Justice System in the American Political Process

Criminal justice process and civil justice system in the American judiciary, including court organization and legal professionals such as police, attorneys and judges; formulation and implementation of policies by law enforcement and the courts; impact of the political system upon police, attorneys and judges; interaction between public and legal professionals in judicial decision making. Students who have successfully completed PS 306 or PS 311 may not receive credit for PS 305.

PS 310: Public Policy

Introduction to public policy formulation and analysis, including agenda-setting strategies, problems of legitimation, the appropriations process, implementation, evaluation, resolution, and termination.

PS 312: Introduction to Public Administration

Administration in city, state and national governments: effectiveness and responsiveness, involvement in policy areas, and issues of ethics and responsibilities.

PS 331: U.S. Foreign Policy

The content, formulation, and execution of U.S. foreign policy during the postwar period, with concentration on major issues and trends, the instruments for implementing foreign policy, and analysis of the policy-making process.

PSY 307: Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Prerequisite: PSY 200 or PSY 201, Junior or Senior standing.
Surveys the application of psychological theories and methods to problems involving people in working settings. Topics include: organizational and management theory; work motivation and job satisfaction; job and organizational analysis; performance evaluation; personnel recruitment, selection, and placement; and personnel training and development.

STS 302: Contemporary Science, Technology and Human Values

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
Interdisciplinary evaluation of recent and potential influences of current scientific and technological developments on society. Emerging social, ethical, and intellectual issues include: the adequacy of contemporary scientific frameworks; the relations among science, technology, and society; the social consequences of scientific and technological applications, and human prospects and possibilities.

STS 322: Technological Catastrophes

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.
Interdisciplinary examination of the human, organizational and technical factors contributing to the causes and impacts of recent technological accidents such as the Bhopal chemical leak, the space shuttle Challenger explosion, the Chernobyl nuclear accident, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Evaluation of risk assessment, risk perception and risk communication strategies. Consideration of options for living with complex technological systems.

400-Level Elective Courses

The following courses are 3 credit hours each. You will need to select 1 course from this group or another course from those listed in the 300 level electives.

STS 402: Peace and War it the Nuclear Age

An interdisciplinary examination of contemporary wars and international conflict, arms, races, nuclear strategy, and defense policy, arms control, theories and strategies of peace.

LPS 400: Advanced Military Leadership Theory (AMLT)

This is a challenging course that will study, practice, and apply the fundamentals of leadership, values and ethics, personal development, decision-making, influencing and motivating others and team tactics in problem solving and mission accomplishment. In particular, military officers enrolled in the LPS program will gain immediate benefit from the leadership self-assessments and new leadership strategies.

LPS 490: Undergraduate Internship in Leadership in the Public Sector

Students can earn 3 credits for completing internships in the public sector or non-profit agencies. Emphasis is placed on gaining work experience needed to explore and plan careers in the public and non-profit sector. Students must prepare an internship proposal. Students must provide own transportation for internship. Intern liability insurance is required.

PA 420: State and Local Economic Development Policy

In many communities, both rural and urban, the most immediate policy problem confronting public leaders is how to improve the local economy. The purpose of this course is to introduce public leaders to the tasks and challenges in policy development for improving the economies of communities. This course introduces students to the strategies fir attracting and retaining public and private investments in a local economy. An individual semester long project will be completed by each student that presents an original economic development strategy, program or project for a specific community (city/town or county).