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Public Administration (PAD) Course Descriptions

PAD 5003  Introduction to Public Service Leadership and Management
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course introduces students to the discipline of public administration with an emphasis on the importance of public service ethic for a vibrant and active civil society. Public service is a vocation and centers on service to others. Students will be provided an opportunity to develop the self-awareness and capabilities to be successful and effective public servants. Topics include a basic introduction to the field and normative history, and context of public administration and related theories and a general overview of leadership theories and basic topics in public administration. Students should take this course in their first 6 hours of coursework. (Formerly titled “Introduction to Public Administration.”)

PAD 5013  Managerial Communication
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Designed to develop and improve a student’s ability to use oral, written, graphic, or other presentation techniques as a means of expressing and conceptualizing ideas. Also focuses on the two-way flow of information between the public and government. Topics may include public speaking skills, the design of professional presentations and reports, the development and management of seminars and workshops, and the facilitation of public dialogue. (Formerly titled “Communication Skills for Public Management.”)

PAD 5023  Research Design and Methods
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines data analysis and hypothesis testing. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, inference, and multivariate regression analysis. Provides opportunities to develop proficiency in statistical software applications. (Formerly titled “Quantitative Methods for Public Administration.”)

PAD 5033  Theories of Public Organizations
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Surveys organizational theory including analysis of how public organizations are managed and how individuals behave in public organizations. Addresses emerging models in public organizational theory and focuses on practical applications of theories to management of diverse public organizations.

PAD 5103  Planning and Land Use Law
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Designed to provide a core background of the legal environment of planning and land use. This course will cover the various levels of government involved in defining this environment, with an emphasis on crucial historic and contemporary legal decisions that inform planning and land-use decisions. Special attention is given to the ethical and philosophical background that informs the balance of property rights and the public good. Topics covered may include regulatory mandates, eminent domain and takings, and the local tools of land use control.

PAD 5223  Urban Management
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
With a focus on local government, this course examines the intersection of administrative, political, fiscal, economic, and social processes for delivering public services. Students will explore the ways government creates opportunity and incentives, implements policy, serves citizens, and provides basic services in a complex environment. Topics may include contemporary issues in urban areas, urban finance, citizen participation, local government tax policies, sustainability, and intergovernmental dimensions of urban management.

PAD 5233  Applied Research I
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course represents the first half of the exit paper requirement. It will cover the necessary skills and tools requisite to preparing a successful, professional-level research paper. Topics will include designing an appropriate research question, research design, literature reviews, and tools of data collection and analysis. Tools presented will include the case study method and various qualitative techniques used in the social sciences. Students will use this course to prepare their own exit paper, in preparation for its completion in PAD 6923. (Formerly titled “Scope and Methods of Inquiry.”)

PAD 5243  Management Information Systems
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course examines managerial means of accessing, organizing, and using information and data in public and nonprofit organizations. The course emphasizes using information and communication technology to enhance managerial decision making. The major technologies and issues in management information systems are covered such as databases, telecommunications, Internet, wireless technology, and information security.

PAD 5303  Ethics in Government Administration
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Those who work in public service are responsible for developing and maintaining public trust by behaving ethically and with accountability. This course provides an introduction to the philosophy of ethics as it has developed in Western society. Students in this class will be introduced to ethics and how to analyze and confront ethical challenges as professional public servants as they relate to power, authority, accountability, justice, divided allegiances, and citizen priorities.

PAD 5313  Public Policy Analysis
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course examines the core component of policy making—the examination, comparison, and choice of policy alternatives. The values, assumptions, and tools associated with welfare economics, as well as alternative approaches to analysis will be studied in detail. Key issues such as informational capacity, public input, rhetorical tools of argument, and ethical obligations of the policy analyst may also be covered.

PAD 5323  Public Policy Process
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A broad overview of the process of formulating, deciding on, and implementing public policies. Through theoretical approaches and case studies, this course examines issues such as the impact of politics on policy formulation, the role of nongovernmental actors in the policy process, and the decision-making challenges typically found in public policy making. (Formerly titled “Public Policy Formulation and Implementation.”)

PAD 5333  Program Evaluation
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
The course provides an overview of the design and methodological issues in evaluating public programs and policies. Addresses the uses and limitations of methods such as cost-benefit analysis, time-series analysis, case studies, and the logic of experimental, quasi-experimental and nonexperimental assessments.

PAD 5343  Human Resource Management in the Public Sector
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course explores the current state and practice of human resource management in public organizations. Traditional human resource management tasks and topics such as recruitment, selection, compensation, benefits, discipline and evaluation, are examined. An introduction to the legal issues in public human resource management may be covered. Students are also introduced to the history and political nature of human resource management.

PAD 5363  Public Budgeting and Finance
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course provides a foundation in public budgeting and finance that includes an exploration of concepts, processes, and principles essential to effective professional practice in the public sector. Topics include the politics of the budgetary process, budget preparation, budgeting for performance, capital budgeting, revenue strategies, debt management, and budget reporting and analysis. (Formerly titled “Public Sector Financial Management.”)

PAD 5373  Social Policy
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An examination of social policy issues in the American context. This course analyzes social policy from the standpoint of both theory and practice and explores its impact on society at all levels. Topics include the economics of redistribution, political institutions and participation, and the role of the courts and bureaucracy in shaping social policy. Issues in social policy design, implementation, and evaluation are also examined.

5383  Housing Policy
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An examination of U.S. housing policy at the federal, state, and local level. This course places housing policy within the context of sustainable communities and includes an analysis of issues such as the economic functioning of housing markets, urban politics, and challenges associated with social and geo-spatial segmentation. The course also focuses on the collaborative nature of housing policy design and implementation, including the role of the public sector, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit sector.

PAD 5393  Economics for Public Affairs
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course introduces the use of economic reasoning and tools of analysis with a primary focus on application to issues in public policy and administration. Concepts and principles addressed include demand and supply, consumer choice, market structures, market failure, tax systems, inequality, redistribution, and cost-benefit analysis. The interrelationship between government and the private sector in a market economy is also explored with a particular emphasis on implications for public policy. (Formerly titled “Economics for Public Administrators.”)

PAD 5443  Diversity Policies and Management
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Provides an overview of policies, laws and historical framework on workplace diversity issues. Focuses on providing tools for leaders of public organizations to effectively manage a multicultural organization. Examines impact of changing workforce demographics on public management.

PAD 5453  Public-Private Contracting
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
State and federal agencies increasingly contract out services and activities previously conducted in-house. This course aims to provide an understanding of the issues that arise from public-private contracts and the contracting process. The course examines 1) the market for public goods and services, 2) the role contracts play in these markets, and 3) the issues public administrators face when designing and managing public-private contracts.

PAD 5473  Land Use Policy
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A broad overview of the formulation and implementation of land use policies in the United States, with an emphasis on South Texas. Special attention is given to traditional local land use tools such as platting and zoning, as well as more contemporary and innovative strategies such as form-based zoning and regional planning bodies. Topics may also include: how our changing orientation to land functions as a key determinant of land use policy; environmental protection; the provision of affordable housing.

PAD 5483  Environmental Policy
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course explores the public policy dimensions of environmental quality, hazards, and regulation. Problems and policies dealing with air, water, solid waste, energy use, natural resources, sustainability, and global environmental governance are discussed.

PAD 5503  Urban Planning and Society
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course examines the role of planning in the context of society, including the institutional setting and governmental environment of planning practice. Topics include citizen participation, growth strategies, community sustainability, zoning and development regulation, strategic and comprehensive planning, and development analysis. The role of planners in fostering social equity and in bridging public and private interests is also explored. (Formerly titled “Introduction to Urban Planning.”)

PAD 5513  Urban and Regional Economic Development
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Focus on economic development theory and tools for urban-regional economic development. Analyses of factors contributing to the economic growth or decline of U.S. cities or regions. Research approaches and development theories and practices provide the student with options for approaches and policies for economic development. Case studies of specific urban areas are analyzed.

PAD 5523  Community Sustainability
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course examines policy issues associated with the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of communities, and provides an exploration of policy tools appropriate for enhancing the effectiveness of such efforts. The course focuses on the nexus among diverse, yet related, policy areas such as transportation, land use, housing, education, resource protection, and economic development, especially against a background of socioeconomic context and community self-governance.

PAD 5573  Public Policy and Policymaking in San Antonio
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examines the historical development and context of public policy in the San Antonio area. Considers the political, social, and economic forces shaping the local policymaking process in city, county, and special purpose governments. Topics may include fiscal policy, public investment policies, urban development policy, environmental policy, urban revitalization, economic development, and transportation.

PAD 5583  Urban Policy
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course explores the role of policy in urban settings and its impact on social welfare. Topics covered will include the history of urban policy in the U.S., evaluation of urban policies, and current urban issues. In addition, the role of federal government in urban policy will be analyzed. Students will also consider the role of public, nonprofit and private organizations in responding to urban challenges.

PAD 5663  Development Administration
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Explores the basic relationship between administration and development in underdeveloped, newly developing, and developed societies. The role of development administration and nongovernmental organizations, as well as regional and international political economic organizations, are also analyzed.

PAD 5813  Health Issues and Policies
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Provides an overview of the social, economic, legal, political, and internal and external context of health care policies in America. The historical development of issues and policies is explored. Students explore the trends and current issues facing health care. Competing or conflicting interests, the role of government, and future challenges, are examined.

PAD 5913  Nonprofit Organizations
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course focuses on the role, characteristics, and management of nonprofit organizations. Central to the course is the unique role of the nonprofit sector in buttressing civil society. Students examine the difference between the nonprofit and public sectors, the values of the sector, nonprofit organizations as a means for collective action, and a brief history of the development of the sector. Additional topics may include legal issues, accountability, and voluntarism.

PAD 5923  Nonprofit Leadership and Management
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: PAD 5913 is recommended.
This course focuses on leadership and managerial responsibilities and techniques in nonprofit organizations. Topics may include the roles and functions of boards of directors, recruiting and retaining volunteers and staff, and understanding the complex context of nonprofit organizations. Case studies are analyzed to further integration of course material and student experience.

PAD 5933  Fiscal Resource Development in Nonprofit Organizations
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course provides a practical approach to funding sources and activities for financing nonprofit organizations. Course material and activities are designed to promote knowledge about, and practical application of, fundraising activities that include fundraising planning, special events, marketing, corporate and foundation funding, direct mail and annual campaigns, planned giving, capital campaigns, and major gifts.

PAD 5943  Strategic Planning and Management for Public and Nonprofit Organizations
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course introduces students to the basic concepts and processes of strategic planning and management for public and nonprofit organizations. The focus will be on external environment, strategic issues that face the organizations, and long-term planning perspective. The course teaches special techniques such as SWOT and strategic issue analysis to help students align organizational goals and strategies with developments in the political, social, economic, legal, and technological forces. Case studies are used to assist students in understanding the important concepts and applying strategic planning techniques to real-life problems.

PAD 5953  Grant Development and Proposal Writing
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Provides preparation for public managers to develop effective grant proposals. Examines important trends in philanthropy, specifically outcome measurement and program evaluation. Other topics include: creating partnership proposals, identifying possible funding sources, program design, and effective writing for grants.

PAD 5963  Nonprofit Financial Management
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course is designed to provide students with concepts and techniques for managing the financial health of nonprofit organizations. Basics of nonprofit accounting are introduced, as well as exploration of the ways in which effective nonprofits manage revenues, expenses, assets, and liabilities. The course also includes techniques for budgeting, cash management, inventory management, donated receivables management, and debt management.

PAD 6001  Leadership and Communication Skills Development Seminar
(1-0) 1 hour credit.
This professional symposium will cover a variety of relevant topics for public, nonprofit and private sector professionals. Topics may include decision-making and leadership skills, professional writing, and business etiquette. Symposia may be taught by faculty or by professionals in the community. May not be repeated for credit. The grade report for the course is either “CR” (satisfactory performance) or “NC” (unsatisfactory performance).

PAD 6213  Social Justice
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Examination of social justice theories and various constructions of justice for understanding social issues and tracing the consequences of public policies. Review of competing facts and values that surround the contemporary debate over justice policy and practice. Topics may include dimensions and contexts of social justice, structures of domination, human agency, resistance to domination, development of alternative organizations, development of moral reasoning and values, distributive justice, and social action approaches to the study of social justice issues.

PAD 6233  Law and Policy
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An overview of the interrelationship of law, courts, and public policy. The course will stress a dual focus on the legal tools of policy makers, and courts as venues for policy formulation. Specific topics to be covered include philosophies of the role of law in society, types of law, and the various intersections of law and policy.

PAD 6243  Administrative Law
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course covers the rules that govern the activities of administrative agencies and the body of law that defines those requirements. Topics may include rule-making, administrative hearings, and freedom of information, as well as broader questions of agency discretion, and the appropriate scope of judicial review.

PAD 6543  Urban Service Systems
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A brief history of the development of the city, the current state of the city, and the potential future for the city are explored. Study of infrastructure, planning, technology, housing, economic development, education, and transportation systems is included. Economy, equity, and effectiveness are also addressed. Political and social dimensions may also be examined.

PAD 6923  Applied Research II
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
In this course, the student will complete their professional research paper, using the skills and background developed in PAD 5233 Applied Research I.

PAD 6953  Independent Study
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the Graduate Advisor of Record.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. For students needing specialized work not usually available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master’s degree.

PAD 6961  Comprehensive Examination
1 hour credit. Prerequisite: Approval of the appropriate Graduate Program Committee Chair to take the Comprehensive Examination.
Independent study course for the purpose of taking the Comprehensive Examination. May be repeated as many times as approved by the Graduate Program Committee. Enrollment is required each term in which the examination is taken if no other courses are being taken that term. The grade report for the course is either “CR” (satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination) or “NC” (unsatisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination).

PAD 6963,6  Internship
3 or 6 hours credit. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and 18 semester credit hours of graduate work.
Work-oriented experience in a public service related setting where the principles, theories, concepts, and methods of the discipline can be applied. A research paper under the supervision of assigned faculty is required.

PAD 6973  Special Topics
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not usually available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Topics courses may be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master’s degree.

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