Courses Typically Offered in the Spring

Grammar Fundamentals

This 0-credit workshop will drill down on fundamentals of written English. We will cover punctuation, articles, passive/active voice, how and when to cite others’ work and best practices for self editing. Our focus will be on memos, but the lessons will be applicable to all written communications deliverables. Using short in class assignments and a memo you could possibly use in another class, the course is geared toward Wagner students who want to improve sentence mechanics.

The Practice of Work: Individual, Interpersonal and Organizational Effectiveness

Open only to students in the MSPP program. The title of this course is meant to evoke a double meaning. First, the “practice” of work refers to the idea that it is important to practice something, to rehearse, to try things out. Being an intern* in an organization is a required element of this course. And while interns can accomplish a great deal and deliver a lot of value to their organization, they are also understood to be learning, to be practicing. But a “practice” can also mean a craft or a skill, something one works hard at in order to become expert and polished.

Housing and Community Development Policy

This course explores the historic, economic and social context of current housing and community development policy in the U.S., including how housing and community conditions are intertwined. The course will provide an overview of housing and community development policy, with an emphasis on major federal policies and how they play out on the ground. A key goal of the course is for students to develop content knowledge of the field as well as insights for assessing the relative merits of various policies and interventions- what problem are we trying to solve?

Economic Policy Analysis

How to make decisions in light of pervasive uncertainties? How to think about incentive structures faced by decision-makers, and think through unintended consequences of one’s decisions?

Economics, for better or worse, is organized common sense. No more, also no less. This class makes use of the toolkit given to us by economics and applies them to real-world policy problems.

Job Creation and Public Infrastructure

This course is designed to provide students with a detailed introduction to two imperative tasks facing federal, state and local government: (1) job creation; and (2) public infrastructure investment. This course is designed to promote increased awareness of the important link between public infrastructure and job creation, and to cultivate a deep understanding of a range of programs and policy designs that stimulate business growth and promote job creation.

Digital Communications for Advocacy and Politics

This course examines digital content marketing for nonprofits, NGOs and corporate philanthropy through a practical lens. Through case studies across industries, it explores professional digital marketing, and develops fundamentals for digital professionals including principles of design thinking, strategy, measurement, analytics and more.

Scaling Social Enterprises - Experiential Field Course

This course provides a field opportunity for students to investigate the current practices of a social enterprise and conduct an impact assessment of the enterprise’s work to date. Students will investigate the success factors and challenges of the enterprise and make recommendations for the scaling of business opportunities. These opportunities will be viewed through the lens of social impact, financial return and stakeholder management.

Transportation Policy and Behavior

This course examines the behavioral foundation for policy design, using urban transportation as examples. We introduce multiple frameworks of understanding travel behavior, rational or irrational, contrasting the perspectives of classic economic theory with behavioral economics and social psychology, and suggest corresponding policy interventions: a behavior--theory--policy mapping.

Topics in Urban Design

This course, entitled “Learning from Long Island City,” will immerse students in the real-time urban design challenges currently facing one of the country’s most rapidly developing neighborhoods. Once a city of its own before the Consolidation of New York in 1898, Long Island City’s history is as a mixed-use neighborhood with a significant natural, industrial, architectural and artistic heritage, much of which still thrives today. And yet, as development pressures become more widespread, the character of the area is fast changing.

Race, Identity, and Inclusion in Organizations

This course brings together a wide range of thinking and scholarship about race and identity to encourage learning about what race is, why it matters, and racial dynamics in organizations and how best to address them.