Course Descriptions

Courses in alphabetical order by type.

 

Public Health

MPH 400/500 Introduction to Public Health
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the field of public health including the scope, impact, challenges and employment opportunities. This course provides an overview of the U.S. public health system and focuses on its history, organization, approach, and functions. The course places special emphasis on current health issues from our daily lives to highlight the relevance of public health. The course also examines the major factors that determine the health of a population and our overall life expectancy. Cr 3.

MPH 425/525 American Health Systems
American Health System introduces students to the organization, financing, and management of the American healthcare and public health systems, and the dynamic changes that are affecting health organizations as a result of market-based and policy forces. Students develop an understanding of: (1) the key components of healthcare and public health, (2) how organizations and systems are financed, regulated, and managed in a dynamic market and policy environment, (3) the changing role of population health and public health systems, and (4) the efficiency, effectiveness and equity of health services.  Cr 3.

MPH 435/535 Introduction to Epidemiological Research
This course is intended to give students a basic foundation for the conduct and interpretation of population-based studies of the distribution, etiology, and control of disease. Topics include randomized experiments, non-randomized cohort studies, case-control studies, cross-sectional and ecological studies, screening of health populations, measures of effect, causal inference, sources of bias, and problems of measurement. Recent publications from the epidemiologic and general medical literature will be used to illustrate the application of the concepts to specific epidemiologic issues and to develop skills in interpreting quantitative information.  Cr 3.

MPH 539 Topics in Public Health
This course (offered only periodically) will examine various selected topics in public health. Cr 3.

MPH 545 Applied Biostatistical Analysis
This course is intended to give students a working understanding of the major types of biostatistical analysis used in public health, laboratory sciences, and clinical research. Topics include point and interval estimation, application of the binomial and Poisson distributions, hypothesis testing, cross-tabulations and stratified analysis, comparison of rates and means, multiple linear regression, logistic regression, and the Cox proportional hazards model. The course is designed primarily for students with little formal training in biostatistics, and may also prove valuable to other students who desire a course providing an integrated approach to diverse biostatistical techniques within an applied framework. Students learn to interpret results produced from standard statistical software packages.  Cr 3.

MPH 555 Environmental Health
This course provides students with an extensive introduction to scientific approaches to the investigation and modification of the effects of environmental factors on human health. Contributions of the fields of toxicology and epidemiology and the implications of research findings for policy and regulation are examined. Topic areas include toxic metals, pesticides and other organic chemicals, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, vector-borne diseases, pollution of air and water, occupational exposures, injuries, and the health effects of global warming. The roles of local, state, and federal governments in environmental health are critically evaluated, as are initiatives by non- governmental organizations.  Cr 3.

MPH 565 Social and Behavioral Health
The goal of this course is to provide students with an overview of the social and behavioral determinants of health including a review of epidemiological data. The course addresses several prominent theories, models and frameworks used to help design, implement, and evaluate public health interventions. The application of models, theories and frameworks to specific public health efforts will be discussed. This course will help prepare students to review and synthesize public health literature, apply theory-driven approaches, and incorporate evidence and tools to inform public health practice. Cr 3.

MPH 575 Health Systems Organization and Management
This course provides students with an overview of organizational structures and relationships, management tasks and responsibilities, and related operational skills and knowledge.  The course emphasizes evidence-based practices in the management of public health, healthcare organizations, human resources, performance and conflict management, and leadership skills. Students will develop team facilitation, leadership and followership, and communication skills through in-class and semester long projects that include case studies and exercises that draw on opportunities for improvement in the public health and healthcare delivery sectors.  Cr 3.

MPH 580 Health Literacy
This online course provides students with knowledge, skills, and attitudes to recognize and improve health communications in public health, healthcare, and social service settings.  Topics covered in the course include:  patient-centered environments, health numeracy, oral health literacy, medical interpretation, informed consent, culture of safety and quality, adaptation of written health education materials and other written communication, cultural competence, effective communication, and the use of social media and web sites to advance health literacy. Students participate in field-based learning exercises and a workshop session with community partners in order to build and practice health literacy skills. Cr 3.

MPH 625 Leadership and Professional Development
Students read and discuss the evolution of prevailing leadership theories, processes and dynamics in public health and health care systems, and evidence-based management and leadership methods. In addition to team development experience, students will begin or expand their exploration of personal values and professional development plans, and will practice receptive and expressive communication skills.  Cr 3.

MPH 630 Health Planning and Marketing
This course prepares students to contribute to the development and implementation of programs and policies to improve population health. Student will gain familiarity with the language, tools and skills used to engage diverse stakeholders in the identification of opportunities for population health improvements. The course emphasizes the application of systems theory, the definition of priorities for improvement that encompass the dynamic interplay of policy and market forces, and the analysis of social, organizational and community influences on population health. Students will apply traditional and emerging planning and marketing concepts and theories to articulate a mission, vision and goals to promote desired outcomes, and in the development of strategies that respond to identified priorities appropriate to the environment and organizational context within which they operate.  Students will gain experience developing implementation plans, budgets and communication strategies to advance the achievement of desired outcomes. Cr 3.

MPH 635 Health Law and Ethics
The course examines the complexities and relationships of common law and federal and state statutes, rules and administrative actions, as well as the powerful influences of politics, ethics and non-governmental forces that inform and influence contractual and legal relationships in the health law field. We will explore legal and ethical issues that permeate the public and private health care systems and also touch on economic issues that affect policies and laws. Students will scrutinize ethical and legal issues in health practice, administration and research, and analyze functions and interactions between courts, legislators and regulators. This course explores the inherent tension between promoting the public health and protecting the legal and ethical rights and interests of individuals. Cr 3.

MPH 639 Topics in Public Health
This course (offered only periodically) will examine various selected topics in public health. Cr 3.

MPH 640 Health Finance
This course provides students with an understanding of the basic concepts of financial and managerial accounting and their use in health care organizations in making managerial decisions. This course builds on students’ understanding of the basic concepts to enable them to budget, perform basic financial statement analysis, and evaluate financial performance.  Also included in this course are working capital management, the time value of money, capital investment analysis and capital financing. The course uses a case-study approach to enable students to gain new analytical skills in health care finance. Prerequisite: basic accounting or permission of Instructor.  Cr 3.

MPH 650 Applied Public Health Research and Evaluation
The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the fundamentals of evaluation and research as applied to public health interventions. The course covers process, outcome, impact, and participatory evaluation, and a number of research/evaluation designs common in public health. Students will gain skills including: framing evaluation questions, developing abstracts, designing/presenting a poster presentation, writing a focus group moderator guide, and creating evaluation plans and tools. Cr 3.

MPH 655 Public Health Practice
The goal of this course is to introduce students to fundamental skills used in everyday public health practice.  Topics introduced in this course include: multi-sector collaboration, meeting facilitation, grant and technical report writing, program management, staff supervision and leadership. A core feature of this course is discussion of practical experience and lessons learned by public health practitioners and leaders in Maine.  Cr 3.

MPH 660 Health Policy
Students gain an understanding of the political dynamics of health policy making and develop practical skills in policy analysis, policy writing, and health care public/public health advocacy. The course uses analytic models, case studies, guest speakers, readings, group discussion, and mock legislative testimony to promote a practical understanding of how ideas succeed—and fail—to become laws and regulations.  Cr 3.

MPH 665 Health Economics
The first part of this course (economics and public policy foundation) introduces the student to the basic concepts and analytical tools of microeconomics and demonstrates the use of these concepts in analysis of public policy problems and designing appropriate responses. The second part of this course, the health economics module, applies these concepts and tools to understand health care drivers, the demand for and supply of health care and the role that markets and government play in resource allocation within our health care and public health systems. Cr 3.

MPH 670 Quality Improvement
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the principles and practice of quality improvement as implemented by providers of health care, systems of care, community health and public health agencies. Course content focuses on describing, measuring, improving, and evaluating the quality  and safety of health services for consumers and populations. Students develop competencies in identifying opportunities for quality improvement, selecting and using quality improvement tools and methods, and presenting their work in a professional context. Cr 3.

MPH 675 Health Information Management
This course addresses the uses of health information by managers. The course inventories the numerous information requirements within public health and health care delivery systems, with an emphasis on strategic management that depends on timely, accurate information. In addition to portfolio and systems management, the challenges of operationalizing the use of  information for managing population health, for identifying community needs and for surveillance of public health issues are also addressed. Other topics covered include data privacy and security, meaningful use, the challenges of interoperability, and trends and issues in emerging mobile health information technology.  Cr 3.

MPH 676 Data Management and Analytics
Business analysts typically spend 80% of their time on data management and only 20% of their time on analytics. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to data management using R language, an environment for statistical computing and visualization. Knowledge of basic statistics through linear regression is helpful, but not necessary. The course assumes students have had no previous exposure to computer programming. Cr 3. 

MPH 677 Regression Models in the Health Sciences
This course will familiarize students with the use of regression models for the analysis of epidemiologic and other biomedical data. Topics will include multiple linear regression, logistic regression, log-linear models, proportional hazard models, Poisson regression, generalized linear models, goodness of fit, and analysis of residuals and other diagnostics. Students will work on individual projects and will learn to use SAS software for conducting analyses. Cr 3.

MPH 678 Information Visualization
In this course, students will learn to create charts, maps, and other visualizations to tell stories and to create effective graphical displays of evidence.  Students will learn to critically evaluate examples from print media and the internet after learning the foundations of information visualization.  Prerequisites: MPH 676. Cr 3.

MPH 680 Professional Opportunities and Development
This professional development seminar features informal conversations and networking opportunities.  Guests will include program alumni and health leaders.  The course will meet five times during the semester.  Students will prepare personal professional development plans to help guide and shape their career development.  Cr 1.

MPH 681 Seminar in Public Health – Behavioral Health
This policy research seminar will take a closer look at public health responses to mental health needs, the challenges of mental health services in rural communities, the intersection of mental health and primary care and Maine's growing opioid addiction and substance abuse challenges. The class will include discussions with experts from Maine’s mental health care community. Cr 3.

MPH 682 Seminar in Public Health – Long-Term Care, Aging and Disability
Need for care in the long term often confronts individuals and their loved ones with a fragmented array of public and private sector services, restrictive finances and confusing public policies. This course applies a public health perspective to the analysis of differing goals and varying needs of adults with need for assistance from others, and policies and strategies to address these needs. The course is taught in a seminar format and includes guest discussions with Maine’s long term care, aging and disability program leaders.  Cr 3.

MPH 683 Patient Safety
Preventable medical error is believed to be one of the leading causes of death and serious harm in the United States. This online course provides an interdisciplinary, cross-setting overview of patient safety principles, techniques, and best practices. Topics addressed in the online course include the epidemiology of medical error, human factors engineering, common types of errors in various healthcare settings, and the applied practice of error mitigation and patient safety strategies. Students also explore patient safety improvement techniques most appropriate to their profession or setting of care. Cr 3.

MPH 684 Bioethics, Medicine & Law
The course will focus on two sets of issues: First, a range of current medical, legal, ethical issues will be examined–right to die, right to treatment, organ transplant, assisted reproduction (IVF), rights of handicapped individuals, parental control and the continuing debate in re abortion and contraception. Second, we will examine a range of physician and hospital malpractice issues including discussion of issues arising in the context of medical research. Cr. 2.

MPH 690 Public Health Policy for Children and Families
Numerous federal and state policies and programs support early child care and education, child welfare, youth services and children’s health.  Many of these policies focus on children and families in need or in trouble. These initiatives are often uncoordinated and address problems that are manifest and “downstream.” A prevention-focused public health perspective that promotes the health and well-being of children and families “upstream” has great potential to achieve better wellness and outcomes. This course examines the current frameworks for understanding children’s health and mental health, youth services, and child welfare. These frameworks are informed by the growing knowledge base in early childhood development. We then examine current efforts to change policies to a population-based public health approach. The course includes guest lectures from members of Portland’s and Maine’s children and family services community. The class will be conducted in a seminar format. Cr 3.

MPH 697 Independent Study
An independent study is a self-directed learning experience designed to develop a student’s ability to plan, organize, research, and report or to develop specific skills beyond the classroom activity. Independent studies are intended to provide exposure to concepts or topics that are not covered by any other course in the program.  An independent study must be related to students’ academic program and be monitored by a program faculty member. Independent studies may take the form of either a reading or a special project.  Prerequisite: instructor permission.  Cr 3.

MPH 698 Field Experience
The Field Experience offers experience-based learning in a healthcare or public health organization. Students work in community health settings in organizations delivering and planning health or public health services on jointly developed projects or on assignments based on the student’s interests and the organization’s needs. Sites include state or local public health agencies, hospitals, medical practices, clinics, special problem clinics and facilities, and environmental programs and services.  Prerequisite: instructor permission.  Cr 3.

MPH 699 Capstone
In this integrative, experience-based course, students work with a faculty capstone advisor to develop and complete a project to address a program evaluation need, a management, policy or practice problem, or research topic in their area of interest. Students develop and present a formal project proposal and present their final product upon completion.  Prerequisite: instructor permission.  Cr 3.

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Policy, Planning, and Management

PPM 501 Planning Theory
This course introduces students to basic elements of planning theory and history. Other topics covered include planning in a diverse society and an introduction to ethical issues facing planners. Cr 3.

PPM 519 Communication for Policy, Planning, and Management
Grounded in classic and contemporary communication theory, the class is designed to prepare managers to communicate effectively with multiple and diverse constituencies.  Through written assignments, lectures, case studies, and guest speakers students learn the best ways to employ social media and the web; develop outreach strategies; testify before legislative bodies; collaborate with the private sector; inform the general public of decisions and regulatory actions; convey scientific, legal, and technical information effectively; prepare briefing memos; and take advantage of the expertise of advisory groups and boards of directors. The class has a significant writing component and a class presentation. Cr 3.

PPM 521 Theories of Justice and Public Policy
Public policy and planning often involve trade-offs between economic growth and efficiency and other societal goals including equity, equality, liberty, security, democracy and community cohesion. This course introduces students to social justice theories and debates. Course concepts are applied to topical areas such as poverty and inequality; economic development, displacement, and gentrification; affirmative action; civil rights and human rights; reproductive rights; criminal justice, rehabilitation, and punishment; environmental protection, and economic development. Cr 3.

PPM 522 Introduction to Arc/GIS
An introduction to the ArcGIS program, a Windows-based Geographic Information Systems program. Covers beginning and intermediate uses of the program. Cr 3.

PPM 528 Comparative Public Policy and Administration
This course examines how and why policies on issues like social welfare, health, education, and immigration differ markedly from nation to nation.  Can we find the answers in contrasting culture, societal organizations, policy processes, or some mix of all of these explanations? Analytical tools and information will be introduced to help develop skills of critical analysis for a better understanding of public policy and organizational management in a comparative context, providing an opportunity to explore how and why public policies among various nations differ, how they are shaped by different administrative structures, and providing useful information to those whose career paths include a global perspective. Cr 3.

PPM 531 Measuring Performance in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
This course is an introduction to performance measurement, monitoring, and reporting and related activities such as benchmarking for consumer and citizen use, and service efforts and accomplishments reporting. Students who complete the course will be prepared to develop basic performance indicators for public and nonprofit agencies in a variety of policy and management arenas. Specific attention is given to reviewing a variety of performance indicator systems currently in use or under development in Maine and elsewhere. Readings, interactive lectures, guided Internet research, class work, and graded assignments will be designed to help students understand how to do performance measurement and will provide students with practice conceptualizing and developing measures. An emphasis will be placed on “hands-on” learning so that students gain confidence in using measurement techniques and learn how to apply practical measurement strategies in real world settings. Cr 3.

PPM 534 Managing Cities, Towns and Counties
Overview of the key responsibilities and activities associated with the administration of local and county government. Appreciation of the dynamics and politics of the administration of local government entities. Special emphasis will be placed on examining emerging management issues that have sparked a new demand for excellence and innovation in local governments. Cr 3.

PPM 535 Managing in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
An examination of the managerial dimensions of nonprofit organizations. Major foci include the nonprofit environment, organizational roles and processes, interagency relationships, and problems of change and adaptability. Specific attention is given to current issues in nonprofit management such as strategic planning, board/staff relationships, computerization of the workplace, fund raising, and volunteer development. Cr 3.

PPM 545 Grant Writing and Development
Concentrates on the process of securing the resources to support effective nonprofit projects. The goal of the course is to prepare students to identify sources of funding, write proposals that will attract grant awards, and develop an understanding of what it takes to build an organization, which foundations, public entities, and individual donors are confident in supporting. The course will begin with an examination of current trends in this post-industrial economy in which money is available to the voluntary and private sector. It will also focus on the importance of understanding the “ways of money” and knowing how to develop and administer a budget that will inspire trust in the organization’s reputation for effectively managing its programs and its fiscal resources. Cr 3.

PPM 550 State and Regional Economic Development
This course surveys basic regional economic concepts, economic impact analysis, and economic modeling. Students work extensively with economic data for Maine and other states. Cr 3.

PPM 560 Crisis and Risk Management
This course focuses on managing organizational crises including mitigating risk, developing crisis management plans, adopting best practices to contain and resolve crisis events, and implementing strategies to recover from crises. In this case-based course, we will examine various theories to understand crises and then study cases of particular types of crises such as natural disasters, pandemics, terrorism, and industrial accidents with environmental consequences. We will focus particularly on communication as the primary tool to manage issues, discuss risk, deal with the media, and restore reputation. Cr 3.

PPM 570 Argumentation and Advocacy
This course is designed to teach students to communicate about public policy issues. We will examine speeches, editorials, opinion articles, and debates to learn how speakers and writers frame issues, adapt to specific audiences, choose language, structure arguments, and build a case to achieve persuasive communication. We will look at all sides of issues including those advocating for change as well as those defending current policies. This will be a hands-on course where students will practice writing letters to the editor and opinion columns as well as engaging in dialogue and debate about controversial issues. The theoretical basis for the course will rely upon theories from classical rhetoric and contemporary studies in argumentation as well as best practices in public relations. Cr 3.

PPM 581 Global Planning Issues: Megacities and Megacity Regions
This course provides an overview of the interactive factors that shape the socio-economic and physical structures of megacities around the world. Students will examine the processes that influence urbanization and gain an understanding of the contemporary state of the world’s cities, with a particular focus on megacities. Students will be exposed to issues confronted by citizens, policy makers and planners in those megacities. The course is organized geographically and will focus on selected megacities in Latin America, Africa, Asia, in addition to Europe and the United States. Cr 3.

PPM 601 Quantitative Methods for Policy, Planning, and Management
Introduces students to a variety of analytical approaches to studying policy, planning and management questions. The course concentrates on the acquisition of skills that will enable students to choose and apply statistical methodology appropriately, and to evaluate critically work done by others. Topics include data description and summarization, introduction to inferential statistics, hypothesis testing, measures of association, correlation analysis, and introduction to linear regression analysis. Cr 3.

PPM 604 Program Evaluation Methods
Introduces students to the methods and techniques used to assess effectiveness and monitor the performance of programs, whether provided directly by government agency or under contract. Specific attention is given to problem formulation, determination of evaluation or assessment plan, conducting the research, and presenting results for the intended audiences. Information gathering through surveys and interviews as well as statistical analysis of data are emphasized. Evaluating research done by others and the RFP process of obtaining evaluators is covered. Prerequisite: PPM 601 PPM 610, and PPM 611; or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

PPM 606 Research Methods for Policy, Planning and Management
This course is a survey of research methods used in public policy, planning, and management and builds upon Quantitative Methods. The course provides an overview of frequently applied qualitative and quantitative research methods, their role in the research process, and discussion of several research studies in which they have been implemented. Topics include defining research problems, hypothesis construction, experimental design, measurement, sampling, and analysis. Prerequisite PPM 601. Cr 3.

PPM 507/607 Elements of Plan Making
The course focuses on the foundations of planning primarily at the regional, local, and neighborhood levels. It covers the legal and political foundations of plan making, including an introduction to planning and zoning law; the architecture of plans; and themes around the integration of planning elements, such as transportation/land use and urban form/classical zoning. Cr 3.

PPM 508/608 Dispute Management
Introduces students to the processes of conflict resolution, stakeholder involvement, communication with non-technical audiences, and styles of leadership that are essential to effective adoption and implementation of plans. Cr 3.

PPM 510/610 Governance, Democracy, and Public Policymaking
This course examines the relationship between the political process, public policymaking, and decision-making. Topics include public policy formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation; root cause analysis; the role of policy actors and stakeholders; effective policy communication; and the examination of contemporary public policy issues through case studies. Cr 3.

PPM 611 Economics for Policy, Planning and Management
This course introduces students to the use and application of economics in public policy, planning, and management. Topics include how markets allocate resources; role of government in a market economy; market failures and responses to them; problems of efficiency vs. equity; and application of microeconomic tools to analysis of Maine and national policy issues. Cr 3.

PPM 512/612 Sustainable Communities
The course is to introduce the student to one current approach to community planning, known as sustainable communities, which embraces a holistic approach to community development as a goal to be pursued in the complex interplay among natural, economic, and social systems. The course aims to establish command of the basic concepts, principles, policies, and obstacles associated with sustainable development, sustainable communities, and, as a practical example, smart growth. Prerequisite: Cr 3.

PPM 513/613 Sustainable Development Workshop
This course centers around group projects in planning and/or sustainable development. It is focused on getting students to design, research, produce, and communicate professional-level projects during a single semester. Prerequisite: PPM 612. Cr 3.

PPM 515/615 Organizational Leadership
This foundational course considers contemporary perspectives, issues and strategies regarding the management of public sector organizations, the importance of public service and provides a basic understanding of public management theory and the application of theory to governmental and other public and nonprofit sector institutions. Topics covered include a wide range of public management concerns, leadership styles, emotional intelligence, persuasive communication, team building, decision making, organizational culture and change. The course prepares students to become managers and leaders of public and not-for-profit institutions who can enhance the capability of these institutions. The course presents a realistic view of effective management and leadership in government and nonprofit organizations and the ways in which these organizations work and interact and focuses on the creation of social and public value, keeping in mind that economic and private value creation is often a part of public and non-profit management. Cr 3.

PPM 616 Policy, Planning, and Management Law
This course provides an introduction to government and public interest law, state and federal constitutional law, land use, environmental law, access to public records, public hearings and public meetings, citizen suits, civil and criminal prosecution, human resource issues, and local government law. Cr 3.

PPM 622 Applied Policy Analysis
Using case studies of policy issues at the national, state, and local levels, this course introduces students to various techniques of policy analysis, research, and evaluation. Topics and case studies will change, but will include policy issues such as, education, public assistance, unemployment insurance, economic development, natural resource management, and the environment. Methods covered may include forecasting, multi-criteria analysis, decision analysis, economic impact analysis, cost benefit analysis, and simulation. Prerequisite: PPM 601, PPM 610, and PPM 611; or instructor permission. Cr 3.

PPM 625 Advanced Quantitative Methods for Policy, Planning, and Management
This course focuses on evidence-based decision making, which is designed to improve a student's ability to use empirical evidence to make decisions related to public policy, planning, and management. The course will build on statistical techniques learned in PPM 601. Students learn to use statistical software to manage data, conduct statistical analysis, and interpret and communicate empirical findings. Cr 3. Prerequisite: PPM 601.

PPM 630 Innovation and Change in the Public Sector
Examines how effective organizations set goals, structure themselves, measure performance, adapt to their environment and innovate, work with diverse constituencies, manage change and internal conflict, and make decisions. Emphasis is given to techniques of analysis that can be used to understand and manage these various organizational functions. Cr 3.

PPM 632 Human Resource Management in Public, and Nonprofit Organizations
This course examines human resource management in the public and nonprofit sectors and introduces basic conceptual frameworks, techniques of analysis and the management of human resources in organizations. This course evaluates and synthesizes from a management perspective the theory and practice of strategically developing, utilizing and aligning human resources to improve the organizational culture, quality and outcomes of nonprofit, public and health organizations. Topics include the historical development of employment systems and the notion of work, the functions associated with personnel management (e.g., workforce planning and budgeting, recruitment, retention, selection, performance appraisal, compensation, training, and development) and considers contemporary human resource management issues such as strategic human resource management, downsizing and workforce reductions, benchmarking and knowledge management, as well as work-life balance issues, workforce demographics, and the impact of technology. Cr 3.

PPM 633 Strategic Planning in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
Examines how public organizations can utilize strategic planning in responding to environmental change and the future. Approaches to and techniques of strategic planning are covered, including goal-setting, environmental scanning, resource audits, and the formulation of strategy and its implementation. Examples are drawn from Maine state and local government and the nonprofit sector. Cr 3.

PPM 639 Topics in Policy, Planning, and Management
This course (offered only periodically) will examine various selected topics in policy, planning, and management. Cr 3.

PPM 640 Public Finance and Budgeting
Equips students with the knowledge, vocabulary, skills, and practical tools needed to participate skillfully and ethically in public finance decision-making and to assume a leadership role in guiding dialogue about resource acquisition and allocation choices. Teaches participants to assess context, to identify and analyze budgetary opportunities and constraints facing state and local decision-makers, to generate and evaluate alternatives using frameworks from public finance, and to project impact of choices, including identifying the potential for unintended consequences. State and local governments are the focus of the course, with the federal budget considered only from the perspective of its impacts on the economies and fiscal options of lower governmental levels. Cr 3.

PPM 564/664 Introduction to Town Design and SketchUp
This course addresses a range of community design and site design issues at the local level. It requires a student to become familiar with literature on town design, conduct field observations and measurements, perform limited land use ordinance research, and communicate design observations and ideas in writing, through drawing, by using photographs, newspaper research, as well as in class discussions. Cr 3.

PPM 665 Transportation Planning and Policy
The basic elements of transportation planning and engineering and the relationship between transportation planning and policy and land use will be examined throughout this course. Prerequisites: PPM 610 and PPM 611 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

PPM 667 Housing Planning and Policy
This course provides an introduction to major economic, social, and historical factors affecting the development of the housing marketplace and the interplay between these factors and land use planning and policy. Prerequisites: PPM 610 and PPM 611 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

PPM 672 Food Planning and Policy
This course is designed to build knowledge of the food system, how it functions and interacts–or could–with planning and public policy. The intent of the course is to familiarize students with basic issues in the production, distribution, marketing, and disposal of food, especially with regard to those elements that can be influenced by civic action and public regulation. The course is a seminar and will develop and challenge students’ thinking through readings and structured discussions. Students should have an increased understanding of food systems as a planning and community development topic, the forces shaping food systems, dimensions of conventional and alternative models, and their own relationship and choices with regard to the contemporary American food system. Prerequisites: PPM 610 and PPM 611 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

PPM 676 Energy Policy and Planning
This class will introduce the field of energy systems policy and planning with a view to providing students the background in energy issues, law, economics, and politics to effectively plan for energy use and production at the regional and local levels. The course will cover the history of energy use in industrial economies, competition between renewable and nonrenewable energy sources and between increased supply and reduced demand as the paths to energy futures. Particular attention will be focused on state and local aspects of energy policy, including energy facility siting and electricity market regulation. The course will also cover the evolution of energy supply and conservation technologies and their potential impacts in transportation and the built environments. Prerequisites: PPM 610 and PPM 611 or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

PPM 683 Environmental Law and Policy
This innovative course explores the protection of the environment from the multi-professional perspectives of law, business and public policy. The objectives of the course are to provide a basic introduction to the field of environmental law; explore the intersection of law, business, and public policy in the regulation of the environment through case studies; and, provide guidance to students wanting to explore careers in some element of the environmental field. Prerequisites: PPM 610. Cr 3.

PPM 695 Independent Study
An independent study is a self-directed learning experience designed to develop a student’s ability to plan, organize, research, and report as well as develop specific skills beyond the classroom activity. Independent studies are intended to provide exposure to concepts or topics which are not covered by any other course in the program.  An independent study must be related to students’ academic program and is monitored by a program faculty member. Independent studies may take the form of either a reading or a special project.  Prerequisite: Instructor and Program Chair permission. Cr 3.

PPM 696 Public Service Internship
The internship provides professional experience that emphasized understanding and experience with the host organization's structure and function within public service. In addition to satisfactory work experience, a post-internship written report is required. Offered as pass/fail only. Prerequisite: faculty approval of host organization, internship work plan, and completed "Internship Approval Form" or permission of instructor. Cr 1-3.

PPM 699 Capstone
Students will complete an individual project resulting in a paper that demonstrates competence to undertake professional policy analysis, planning, or management. The capstone is completed under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The student must present a prospectus of the project to their advisor, complete a written report, and make an oral presentation of the results of the project. Prerequisite: instructor permission. Cr. 3.

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New Publications

What's New?

Ciolfi, M. L., Griffin, E., Pratt, J., Richards, M., Gildard, S., & Byrne, B. (2016). Living with a brain injury in Maine: Individual experiences, perceptions, and need.  Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service.

Lenardson, J. D., Gale, J. A., & Ziller, E. C. (2016). Rural opioid abuse: Prevalence and user characteristics. (PB 63-1). Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service, Maine Rural Health Research Center.

Snow, K. I., Gressani, T., Olsen, L., McGuire, C., Bratesman, S., Mauney, K., & Theriault, J. (2016). Adults using long term services and supports: Population and service use trends in Maine, SFY 2014. (Chartbook). Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service.

Talbot, J. A., Ziller, E. C., & Szlocek, D. (2016). Mental health first aid in rural communities: Appropriateness and outcomes. Journal of Rural Health. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12173.

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