BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) is enhancing its undergraduate curriculum to better prepare students for careers leading for the greater good in a fast-changing world.
SPEA, home to the nation's #1 ranked Masters in Public Affairs, is revising undergraduate degree curricula after two years of review by faculty and staff with input from students, alumni, and professionals in the field. The changes were overwhelmingly approved by SPEA's faculty.
"These improvements in our curriculum are another example of the spirit of innovation and leadership at SPEA that began with our founding nearly 50 years ago," said Executive Associate Dean Michael McGuire. "When they graduate, our more than 2,000 students will be ready to take on and solve the challenges facing our world."
The majority of the changes impact the Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (BSPA) curriculum but will have ramifications for almost all SPEA undergraduates. While current students won’t be asked to take additional credits, they will have the opportunity to choose from a broader array of course offerings including these new options:
- U.S. Policy and Administration - this course introduces the complex process of policy making and highlights the forces that have shaped recent policy battles profoundly impacting the daily lives of Americans.
- Policymaking Around the World – This introduction to the fields of comparative and international policy explores how and why other nations make policy choices and how governments can work with other actors to solve global problems.
- Management of Public Problems and Solutions – At a time marked by complex issues and a shortage of resources and public trust, this course explores the move to more innovative approaches to management across the sectors.
- Public Budgeting and Finance – This introduction to government budgeting includes the various revenue sources available and the accounting documents used to record financial activities in the public and non-profit sectors.
The content, titles, and numbers for some courses are also changing when the new curriculum begins this fall.
"We understand any change like this can be a source of worry for students and their families," said Andrea Need, SPEA Director of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. "We're meeting with as many as we can face to face, briefing faculty so they have the option of discussing the changes in class, and communicating the details through emails, social media, and printed materials." Students with questions are urged to make appointments with their advisors.
The majority of changes impact the BSPA core curriculum, but there are effects on the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management and Policy (BSHMP) and the Bachelor of Science in Arts Management (BSAM) degrees.