Thomas Edison State University | Graduate Course Offerings

Master of Science in Management - Public Service Careers Course Descriptions

MNP-502: Leadership and Management in Public Service in the 21st Century (3 credits)
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In this course students explore, expand, and improve their personal and practical approach to leadership and management. The course is designed to allow students to analyze major theories and models of leadership, evaluate the effectiveness of these theories in a practical context, and apply various leadership approaches through a case study format. Students also examine, model, and adapt their own personal style and ethics for real-world practical applications.
MNP-505: Organizational Management and Leadership in Public Service (3 credits)
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This course presents a comprehensive, integrative, and practical focus on leadership and management. It is based upon a framework that analyzes leadership and management at different levels: individual leadership, team leadership, and organizational leadership. The course presents leadership and management theories/concepts that have emerged over the past several decades. In addition, students will survey contemporary perspectives on ethics, networking, coaching, organizational culture, diversity, learning organizations, strategic leadership, and crisis leadership. Special attention will be paid on examining the role that leaders play in identifying and implementing change in organizations.

Note: This course builds upon MNP-502: Leadership and Management in Public Service, although that course is not a prerequisite to MNP-505. While there is some overlap in content between the two, MNP-505 has a far greater emphasis on application and skill development than MNP-502.
MNP-510: Project Management in Public Service (3 credits)
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This course introduces project management from the standpoint of a manager who must organize, plan, implement, and control tasks to achieve an organization's schedule, budget, and performance objectives. Tools and concepts such as project charter, scope statement, work breakdown structure, project estimating, and scheduling methodologies are studied. Students will practice with Microsoft Project software to be able to manage a project from start to deployment. What is a project? How do students manage one? What is the best approach? The course will answer those questions and many more. This is an opportunity to learn the project management fundamentals that can guide a project through a maze of challenges to successful completion. Successful projects do not occur by luck or by chance. In fact, many projects do not achieve their organization's goals.
MNP-511: Organizational Research for Public Service (3 credits)
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This course presents multiple types of research and information-gathering projects that are a significant part of the organizational life of most managers and leaders. The course provides techniques and skills that students can apply in researching many types of questions and problems, including those encountered in other graduate-level courses as well as the degree Capstone.

Note: This course should be taken as early as possible in the degree.
MNP-515: Leading Strategic Change in Public Service (3 credits)
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Managing organizational change is challenging at the best of times. In today's dynamic fast-paced global environment, change is a constant component of organizational life. Whether the change is simple or complex, organizations must constantly change or die. Leaders need to act as change agents to envision necessary change and effectively lead an organization through a change initiative. This course prepares participants to lead change within a variety of organizational settings. Models for the creation and communication of change plans are examined to develop an understanding of the specific challenges associated with change. The theory and methods for effective implementation of change plans are used to examine the practical realities of change implementation in modern organizations.

Note: This course builds upon MNP-502: Leadership and Management in Public Service, although that course is not a prerequisite to MNP-505. While there is some overlap in content between the two, MNP-505 has a far greater emphasis on application and skill development than MNP-502.
MNP-520: Economic Issues for Public Service Managers (3 credits)
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This course explores the complex relationship of strategic economic issues within an organization and the organization's interaction with other firms in the industry. The course begins with a brief overview of the basic economics of the firm and uses those principles to drive an analysis of the firm's activities and interactions with other firms. The course examines different market structures to see how overall economic structure affects decision making and interactions; this basic structure will be used to analyze competition with other firms in obtaining resources, setting prices to maximize profits; and reacting to decisions of competitors. The course also examines methodologies for evaluating results and explores ways to use that analysis in making future decisions.
MNP-525: Project Leadership and Communications in Public Service (3 credits)
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This course provides leadership and management guidelines for the project manager in a variety of situations. Principles of effective planning, communication, and motivation throughout the project life cycle are the focus of this course. Project Leadership and Communication presents principles of project control from initiation through execution to closure in a clear and practical manner.

Advisory: Students should have successfully completed MNP-510: Project Management in Public Service before beginning this course.
MNP-530: Human Resource Management for Public Service (3 credits)
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This course examines the role of the human resource professional as a strategic partner in managing today's organizations. Key functions such as recruitment, selection, development, appraisal, retention, compensation, and labor relations are examined. Implications of legal and global environments are appraised and current issues such as diversity training, sexual harassment policies, and rising benefit costs are analyzed. Best practices of employers of choice are considered.
MNP-540: Finance and Accounting for Managers in Public Service (3 credits)
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This course is designed to provide the non-accountant or non-financial manager with the knowledge necessary to interact with professionals from those disciplines. The majority of the material draws from the theory and practice of financial management. Sufficient accounting background is provided to enable the student to understand and work with information provided by accounting and finance professionals. Emphasis is placed on understanding terms, concepts, and uses of information provided by these functions rather than on the actual performance of the calculations.
MNP-560: Marketing Management for Public Service (3 credits)
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This course examines concepts, environments, and marketing management roles, as applied to industry, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Focus is on the unique attributes of the marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion), target groups, relationship marketing, research, competitor analysis, and strategic planning. Emphasis will be placed on developing a marketing plan within the context of the broader public service organization as well as exploring the dynamic that will lead to completing each plan with confidence.
MPL-510: Research Methods in Public Service (3 credits)
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This course introduces students to the foundations of research study methods with an emphasis on research in the public sector. Concepts presented include study design and selection, data collection guidelines, and study efficacy. A review of data analysis techniques is also featured along with tips on effective presentation of study findings. Ethical issues in research are reviewed to provide greater understanding of the importance of protecting research participants as well as the crucial oversight role of institutional review boards. Students participate in critical evaluations of existing research to engage course content and demonstrate proficiency in course objectives.
MPL-520: Program Analysis and Evaluation (3 credits)
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This course is designed to introduce basic concepts of policy and program evaluation. These include needs assessment, program monitoring, stakeholder awareness and influence, and assessing effectiveness and efficiency. Students will examine quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research approaches. Social, political, and ethical contexts of evaluation studies will also be discussed.
MPL-580: Public Service Leadership and Governance (3 credits)
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This course examines the role of the human resource professional as a strategic partner in managing today's organizations. Key functions such as recruitment, selection, development, appraisal, retention, compensation, and labor relations are examined.
MPL-582: Law, Ethics, and Decision Making in the Public Sector (3 credits)
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Ethical and socially responsible leadership are core dimensions in the education of local and global public servants. This course provides students with the essential framework for personal and professional ethical decision making applied in the context of diverse workplaces and organizations. Through the study of ethical theories, case studies in applied ethics, and specific assignments looking at legal and ethical complexities, students will examine their personal and professional values, assess their moral intelligence, and consider the legal foundations of public service.
MPL-710: Public Service Capstone (3 credits)
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Candidates for completion of the Master of Public Service Leadership (MPSL), Master of Science and Management (MSM) - Public Service Careers, and Master of Science in Homeland Security (MSHS) degree will complete a project demonstrating their conceptual, analytical, research, and practical management skills achieved through the courses in each program. The project, called a Capstone because it represents a crowning achievement much as a capstone does in architecture, is a 3-credit, one-term requirement that is completed at the end of the program. It is a closely supervised experience resulting in a paper that demonstrates the student's ability to synthesize and utilize the skills and knowledge gained in their graduate program.
MSP-520: Community and Economic Development and Leadership (3 credits)
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This foundation course provides an overview of the theories, models, issues, and policies for community and community economic development in the United States. Beginning with an examination of the theoretical framework for community development and community economic development, the course considers the economic development movement, housing and redevelopment policies, the community development corporation and its role, place-based redevelopment, and neighborhood job creation and planning. Continuing, the course examines recent development strategies and trends. This course concludes by approaching some of the challenges faced by existing community economic development delivery systems and challenges faced by professionals who apply them.
MSP-530: Environmental Issues and Policy (3 credits)
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This course covers major issues and policies in the environmental field. Students will develop an awareness of the political, social, cultural, and economic systems and processes related to environmental protection. Environmental Issues and Policy evaluates the economic factors involved as the business world addresses climate change through government-regulated as well as voluntary programs. Current major issues and policies in the environmental field will be presented, discussed, and analyzed.
MSP-531: Environmental Justice Issues and Policy (3 credits)
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This course explores the foundations of the environmental justice movement, current and emerging issues, and the application of environmental justice analysis to environmental policy and planning. It examines claims made by diverse groups along with the policy and civil society responses that address perceived inequity and injustice. While focused mainly on the United States, international issues and perspectives are also considered in relation to climate change, clean development mechanism trading, and cap-and-trade market approaches.
MSP-540: Advanced Studies in Healthcare (3 credits)
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This course provides an overview of the healthcare services system in America. Topics covered are: characteristics of the U.S. health system, the role of healthcare professionals, medical technology, healthcare financing sources, healthcare delivery structures (including outpatient and primary care), inpatient facilities, managed care and integrated organizations, long-term care, services for special populations, and system outcomes such as healthcare cost, access, and quality.
MSP-542: Epidemiology (3 credits)
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This course is an introduction to the study of the general principles, methods, and applications of epidemiology. It explores outbreak investigations, measures of infectious and chronic disease frequency, standardization of disease rates, study design, measures of association, hypothesis testing, bias, risk factors, effect modification, causal inference, disease screening, and surveillance. Case studies apply these concepts to a variety of infectious, acute, and chronic health conditions affecting the population.
MSP-621: Networking for Effective Community Development (3 credits)
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This course is a comprehensive examination of community development through exploring and understanding the role of networks. The course provides an overview of the types of networks and how each functions to create critical linkages that enable the ability of the community to respond to needs, threats, and challenges, and how these linkages can work to translate change and community effectiveness. Topics include improving governance; using community networks to bridge cultural and economic differences; improving communications and neighborhood relations; and using networks to work across agencies and facilitate planning. The course includes exercises aimed at promoting an understanding of networks and simulations to apply theory to practice. This course draws from several disciplines to discuss and apply network theory and practice to community economic development. Please note that students are required to work in groups.
MSP-640: Healthcare Operations and Systems (3 credits)
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Operations management is the design and management of the processes that transform inputs into finished goods or services. This course presents an analysis of the operations within health service organizations like hospitals and other healthcare institutions and provides management tools and principles that are used to plan, organize, staff, and control the essential processes and systems of those healthcare organizations. The course also presents advanced techniques that can be used to manage and improve healthcare services to the benefit of both an organization and its patients. The primary areas of operations management that will be discussed include operations planning, financial management, supply and inventory management, technology management, and process and quality improvement activities. This course is focused on the technological aspects of operations, leaving human behavioral studies to other management or leadership courses.
MSP-642: Legal Issues in Healthcare (3 credits)
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This course is designed to give students an in-depth introduction to the issues of health services law and ethics. Among the subjects covered are: the role of law in the U.S. healthcare system; the legal system and legal research; managing and regulating healthcare system including legal structure and governance of healthcare organizations; government regulations in public health and health services; protecting privacy of medical information, medical staff credentialing and clinical privileges; the laws in government payment programs; antitrust law in healthcare field; and legal and ethics issues in patient care and in health insurance.
MSP-661: Fundraising in Nonprofits: Challenges and Opportunities (3 credits)
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This course engages the student in the study of fundraising infrastructure, methods, and planning. Starting with philanthropy and universal fundraising concepts, the student then analyzes techniques such as direct mail, email, social media, special events, earned income, corporate giving, major gifts, and planned giving. The course is completed with the student creating his/her own fundraising plan based on an organization identified by the student.
MSP-662: Practical Grant Writing (3 credits)
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In this course, students will practice researching, writing, budgeting, and evaluating successful grant proposals. Grant writing ethics are stressed throughout the course. While the concepts covered can be applied to business, individual, and government proposals, this course focuses on philanthropic grants to nonprofit organizations from charitable foundations. Within one week of starting class, students will be required to identify a charitable or government entity and project to serve as a subject for their own proposal. To successfully complete the course, each student will create a proposal that he or she may wish to submit to grantmaking organizations, engage in the process of identifying funders and translating technical program objectives to a lay audience, create meaningful evaluation criteria or program process, and demonstrate how his or her program matches the funder's mission.
MSP-664: Volunteer Management (3 credits)
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Volunteers are the lifeblood of many public and nonprofit organizations. This course serves as an introduction to the theory and practice of the full range of volunteer management from recruiting prospective volunteers to issues surrounding the departure of a volunteer from the organization. Core issues surrounding volunteer management such as motivations, training, and risk management serve as key topics for this course.
MSP-674: Municipal Finance (3 credits)
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This course examines the budget function and process of county, municipal, and state finance systems; the methods used to determine the needs of the community and individual agency and resource allocation to meet those needs; measuring the capability and benchmarking of the agency; preparation and presentation of the budget; and selling the budget and needs to the county or city administration.
MSP-678: Finance and Budgeting for Nonprofits (3 credits)
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This course is designed to provide finance and budgeting skills to nonprofit leaders and managers, enabling them to make critical decisions related to the financial health of their organizations. Participants will become familiar with processes related to development and management of the budgeting process, governmental requirements and oversight, and ethical concerns facing nonprofit leaders. The course also examines specific legal and policy issues affecting nonprofits and the role of competent financial oversight in guiding organizations through uncertain financial climates.
NPM-502: Nonprofit Management (3 credits)
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This course provides students with an understanding of the unique qualities, philosophies, and practices of the U.S. nonprofit mission-driven sector. The course examines the sources and management of resources as well as strategies for their effective use. Nonprofit Management begins with a historical overview of the nonprofit sector and demonstrates its complex structure. The primary goal of this course is to provide a thorough knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, for effective nonprofit management.
NPM-610: Nonprofit Governance and Board Leadership (3 credits)
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This course explores governance within contemporary nonprofit organizations. The course focuses on leadership dynamics from theoretical and practical perspectives. Students will explore salient internal and external environmental factors that influence behavior through the examination and analysis of best practices. The primary goal of this course is to provide a realistic understanding of the elements that both support and impede effective governance for nonprofits. The significance of strong leadership and governance practices is reinforced in the course's discussion of emerging trends within nonprofit entities.
NPM-670: Critical Issues in Nonprofit Management (3 credits)
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This course addresses current nonprofit management issues and trends that have both immediate and emerging impact on the U.S. civil sector. The course will cover issues of governance (accountability, transparency, and responsibility), performance management, and infrastructure development. It will also address new approaches to marketing, public relations, and development activities. Keeping in mind the contemporary economic environment, the course will examine new revenue streams for nonprofits in terms of their utility and long-term effects. The major goal of this course is to provide students with benchmarking theories and practical tools that will allow them to analyze contemporary management challenges and construct innovative solutions.
SOE-570: Social Entrepreneurship (3 credits)
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This course focuses on the emerging field of social entrepreneurship, an application of for-profit entrepreneurship skills to ventures that focus on nonprofit mission and social value. It offers practical information for individuals in the field as well as innovative methods of conceptualizing the search for new and better ways to support and invest in social value. This course presents a framework for understanding this new sector of the economy, proven business skill sets adapted for the nonprofit environment, application tools for the field and advice for avoiding common pitfalls. It also spotlights specific implementation activities designed to monitor performance and provide various constituencies including donor-investors with measurable results, accountability indicators, and overall return on investment.