Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
The ability to analyze and evaluate public policies plays a critical role in ensuring that our nation’s criminal justice system is honest, fair, and effective. The Policy Analysis specialization emphasizes the concepts and processes of policy research. Explore our democratic system’s public policy process and study assessment tools for evaluating a program’s success. Acquire the knowledge and insight that can help you work more collaboratively to influence and implement informed, strategic public policies.
Estimated time to completion is 21 months. Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
Students work toward building a foundation for academic and professional success as a scholar-practitioner and social change agent. They assess the relationship of mission and vision to professional goals and develop a program of study and strategies for online success. Students also explore resources used throughout the program, such as the online Walden University Library. Students engage in course assignments focused on the practical application of professional writing, critical-thinking skills, and the promotion of professional and academic excellence
Students in this course are introduced to contemporary views and theories of maladaptive and criminal behavior. They examine a broad conceptualization of criminal behavior from an interdisciplinary perspective as well as theories and application of criminal profiling. Students also explore specific views of criminal behavior germane to groups, such as psychopaths, serial offenders, and sexually violent predators. At the end of this course, students will have an understanding of the theories and practices that are the foundations of the field of criminology.
Justice is at the heart of the U.S. democratic system, yet opposing viewpoints surrounding and within the system often muddle interpretations of the law and the development of policies to promote and enforce justice. In this course, students examine events that have significantly changed how the legal system interprets the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Code, and the U.S. Patriot Act, for example, the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001. They learn how social and historical changes have shifted perspectives and sparked debates on expanding the rights of government versus safeguarding personal civil rights and civil liberties. Through discussion with peers, assessment of contemporary articles, and examination of Supreme Course cases, students have the opportunity to reflect on and potentially broaden their own opinions and perspectives on current criminal justice affairs in regard to issues of law enforcement, public perception, policy development, and ethics.
Public and nonprofit leaders require a deep understanding of their roles as directors and managers of diverse and complex organizations. This course examines the distinction between leadership and management, organizational culture, change management, systems theories, and organizational development from a theoretical and applied perspective. Students apply principles to public, private, and nonprofit organizational settings.
Criminal justice encompasses many roles and responsibilities, including responding to victims, punishing or rehabilitating criminals, and developing laws and policies. To carry out these tasks effectively and responsibly, taking into account current trends and ethical considerations, criminal justice professionals need to understand underlying factors, such as the root causes of crime and the impact of crime on communities. In this course, students examine a range of research methodologies, including quantitative and qualitative methods, that professionals use to collect data and analyze trends in criminal justice. They examine models, metrics, and tools used to evaluate criminal justice programs and policies, and they assess the strengths and limitations of research methods. Students also learn about threats to the validity of data and consider the legal and ethical issues associated with research and evaluation methods.
Ethics is a foundational element of leadership. Leaders face increasingly complex social and political challenges as they seek to meet the needs of diverse constituents. This course explores ethics and social justice related to economic disparity, power, and privilege. Students use demographic data and current social trends and themes to understand, analyze, and address ethical and social justice issues that impact service delivery in a global community.
In an increasingly complex world, leaders and managers in public and nonprofit organizations need to be strategic in their planning in order to fulfill the organizational mission and enhance stakeholder satisfaction. This course explores the role and process of strategic planning with an appreciation for collaboration, cooperation, and coordination as they relate to the strategic planning process. Students will apply these concepts to real-life situations and organizations and develop a strategic plan.
Sound financial practices are crucial to managing scarce funds in both public and nonprofit operations. This course examines finance and budgeting concepts, policies, and practices related to organizations as well as the fiscal climate within which they operate. Students gain an understanding of theories motivating major fiscal-policy debates; read, analyze, and construct budgets; and read and analyze financial statements and reports. Other topics include auditing practices, tax systems, financial management, budgetary reform, financial technology systems specific to government organizations, and the use of dashboards for financial reporting. Students apply what they learn to develop a budget and financial plan for either a public or private organization.
The acquisition, development, and retention of talent are critical to the success of any organization. This course examines theories, approaches, and systems related to the acquisition, management, development, and retention of employees in government and nonprofit organizations. Students explore topics including legal and ethical considerations, diversity, performance management, technology, conflict management, and the establishment and implementation of policies through the use of case studies. Students apply principles learned in this course to situations encountered in public, private, and nonprofit organizations.
Practitioners in the field of criminal justice must be adept in preparing communications for colleagues, supervisors, and the public. In this course, students have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to produce effective documents that criminal justice professionals use on a daily basis, such as court records, data analysis reports, and program-implementation plans. Student learn how to conduct interviews, gather background information, and use decision-making and critical-thinking skills to create clear, concise communications. They broaden their ability to write for a specific purpose and a highly defined audience as they incorporate criminal justice principles and practices into a variety of communication tools.
This course introduces students to the crafts of policymaking and policy analysis in the U.S. democratic system. It covers the policy process—setting agendas, using policy analysis tools, managing the political process, implementing policy, and providing evaluations and feedback. Students develop skills in policy and economic analyses as well as in determining the political feasibility of proposed policies. Regulation as a policy choice will be discussed. Students completing this course will enhance their abilities to develop alternatives and to assess strategies proposed to achieve certain policy objectives. Policy areas of interest to students form the foundation of this course and may include communications, immigration, social, transportation, housing, labor, arts, and environmental policies.
This course provides an introduction to the tools used by policymakers and policy analysts to evaluate the impact of social programs. Topics include selecting programs to evaluate, crafting program descriptions, identifying stakeholders and their interests, developing logic models, framing evaluation questions, applying utilization-focused evaluation techniques, using quantitative and qualitative tools to complete formative and summative evaluations, and providing evaluation reports and feedback to decision makers. By the end of the course, each student will develop a program evaluation design for a social program.
This course covers microeconomic and macroeconomic models used in policy formulation and how public finance influences policy choices as well as implementation alternatives. Students examine tax policies and tax incentive models, budgeting, public/private models, market influences on policy, the impact of government expenditures on income redistribution, and economic considerations of welfare, food stamps, workers’ compensation, and social security. Outsourcing of public programs is also examined.
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