Courses Typically Offered in the Spring

Composing Your Career

Throughout this four-session workshop, you'll use your experiences and education as the context for a series of career-related analyses based on the following three lenses: Field, Organization, and Role. Discussions will center around Composing Your Career (CYC), a framework for maximizing your time at Wagner based on the S.E.E. strategies: Smart, Experienced, and Engaged. All of this will lead to an action plan to maximize your time at Wagner in the pursuit of a successful public service career.

Public Speaking Masterclass: the Art and Science of Ideas

We've all seen bad presentations; many of us have given a few ourselves. But the reason they go wrong is often not what we think. Communicating ideas effectively, in a way that is both compelling and memorable, is hard. And understanding the basic components of how humans connect with ideas and experience inspiration is key to crafting a powerful message.

Labor Movement Politics, Advocacy & Social Change

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of U.S. workers involved in work stoppages in 2018 reached its highest point since the mid-1980s. The resurgence of the use of strikes and worker activists withholding labor is set against the backdrop of enormous societal challenges like wealth and income inequality, climate change, and a lack of affordable, quality health care.  

The Intuitive and Counterintuitive in 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.

Understanding the Role Federal Tax Credits Play in the Affordable Housing & Renewable Energy Sectors

For better or worse, both affordable housing and renewable energy projects in the US are mostly built and owned by private developers and corporations. These private developers in turn are reliant on private capital provided by investors, corporations and banks. Almost all these investors rely heavily on federal tax credits.  90% of affordable housing in the US receives a subsidy through the low-income housing tax credit (“LIHTC”). Virtually all large-scale wind and solar projects receive tax credit subsides as well (“ITC” or “PTC”).

Cross-Cultural Negotiation and Conflict Management in Multicultural Teams (EMPA)

Beyond the basics of conflict management and negotiation lie areas of greater complexity.  One such area is the realm of culture.  Though culture includes etiquette and behavior, at a deeper level it is about deeply ingrained attitudes and assumptions.   Culture impacts how people regard and approach situations – it affects what someone considers to be “conflict” and how it should be handled, and if affects how people think about and engage in negotiation.  And, of great importance to people contemplating a career in multi-cultural organizations, it affects how people relate to organization

Government Agencies: How Plans, Policies and Projects are Put into Action

This course examines how government agencies implement plans, policies, and projects under real-world constraints. Government agencies are some of the largest and most consequential organizations shaping contemporary life, especially for the poor. Their importance is even more evident now, as governments around the world continue to mishandle the pandemic, slide towards authoritarianism, and abuse the rights of vulnerable people. Surprisingly, their outsized influence is rarely matched by an adequate amount of attention.

Moving NYC: Travel Behavior and Policy in New York City

From the non-stop subway ride to the “infamed” jaywalking, from the well-acclaimed Citi bike to delivery on almost anything, from the iconic yellow cab to the fist fight over a parking spot, from the Chinatown bus to congestion pricing, this course investigates the kaleidoscope of travel behavior by New Yorkers and their essential connection to the functionality of the City. It explores the unique transportation infrastructure behind these behaviors as well as the policies and rules that provide them and regulate their usage.

Technology and the American City

This course will explore how technological innovation has historically shaped and reshaped the American city in order to shed light on how these newest waves of technology are likely to impact our future. We will explore technologies that were profoundly revolutionary at their time, such as the electric light and the automobile, and examine the demands they created for new kinds of infrastructure, like our electric grid and national highway system, and how that infrastructure in turn created new forms of urban development. The course will focus on archetypal U.S.

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 I

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?