Civic Leadership, Diversity, and Systems Thinking

Course Number: MSS6200
Faculty: Donna LaSala, MPA, and Wilhelmina Parker
About this Course:

This course considers the rights, roles, and interrelationships of community members, government, interest groups, nonprofits, and private organizations to drive social, economic, and environmental change. To foster coalition-building skills among burgeoning practitioners, the course introduces systems and leadership theories; democratic decision-making tools; and citizen engagement and inclusion models. Students apply course material within experiential learning assignments that necessitate direct civic engagement and civic leadership, issue identification, needs analysis and research methods, stakeholder, economic, and policy analysis, prototyping, and evaluative research. Students develop a skillset for civic leadership in their workplace, neighborhood, city, or elsewhere. The course provides a foundation for future applied coursework in Leadership for Sustainable Management; Sustainable Urban Development, Economics and Policy; and the Integrative Capstone Plan.

This course is taught using practitioner role-play. Students are expected to perform as though they are senior project staff/project managers in a public, private, or non-profit organization. Considerable emphasis is placed upon completing work assignments in workgroups and as part of practitioner teams. Students are expected to conduct themselves as they would in real-world workplace situations where deliverables are relied upon by other organizational systems. Late assignments will not be accepted; work teams are expected to develop and practice professional approaches to teamwork that allow deliverables to proceed according to professional timelines, despite resource constraints and intervening priorities.

Units: 4
Pre-requisites: None
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