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Penn in Washington
Penn in Washington supports and encourages students who are interested in pursuing public policy internships and careers in the nation's capital. PIW maintains an extensive database of opportunities in Washington and has enlisted more than 500 alumni in the Washington area who meet with students throughout the year.
Participants in the semester program are taught by active policy professionals, meet in small groups with dozens of policy leaders, and are challenged by some of the best internships available. During the summer PIW arranges several events a week for all Penn students spending the summer in Washington.
Penn in Washington is co-sponsored by the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program and is housed in the department of political science. More information is available at https://piw.sas.upenn.edu/
A partner and neighbor of Fels, the Fox Leadership Program offers a number of leadership-development programs and service projects to Penn students.
Each year, one or two college students are selected to submatriculate into the Master of Public Administration program. The selection process is competitive and students should have significant internship and/or volunteer experience in the public sector prior to applying. Learn more about submatriculation policies.
All undergraduate students are invited to register for the following courses via Penn in Touch.
Ancient Greece and Rome produced a sizable body of literature concerned with the making and preserving of constitutions and on how well different constitutions worked in different circumstances. The authors explained the causes of constitutional stability and revolution in considerable detail, and they showed how both might be brought about. Much of this literature was preserved through the Middle Ages and Renaissance into modern times, and it was highly influential in the controversies surrounding the birth of the modern liberal republics. It offers a reasoned approach today to those who want to anticipate what their constitutionmaking attempts are likely to achieve. This course looks to the constitutionmaking tradition as it developed from classical antiquity forward in an attempt to understand the causes of relative success. Students read representative Greek and Latin texts in translation and trace the influence of this tradition into modern times, ending with contemporary constitutionmaking efforts in Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.
This course satisfies an elective requirement in the Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Politics programs.
Does government budget to use public resources to make a positive difference in people's lives or do public budgets only exist to document our good intentions? This course will explore concepts in public budgeting and financial management to provide students with an understanding of how scarce resources are allocated in the public sector. Students will develop knowledge of financial and budgetary concepts and utilize spreadsheet software to analyze and present budget information. The course will follow the consideration and adoption of the City of Philadelphia's annual budget and use breaking news and actual budget data to bring the ideas discussed in class to life.
Ending Hunger in Philadelphia: A Problem Solving Course Sponsored by the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program
The United States government reported that in 2008, “49.1 million people lived in food-insecure households, including 16.7 million children. Of these individuals, 12.1 million adults and 5.2 million children lived in households with very low food security. The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger reports that over 400,000 Philadelphians participate in SNAP (formerly Food Stamps) and that an additional 150,000 residents qualify for SNAP, but have not applied.
Who is trying to help these hungry Philadelphians? Does a SNAP benefit; provide a healthy meal for the entire month? What are the existing emergency food programs in Philadelphia? How would you strengthen emergency food programs? Should the government increase its involvement in financing and running emergency food programs? Should religious and other nonprofit organizations, rather than government, feed the hungry? Should government and non-profit organizations, and perhaps even for profit organizations partner on these efforts. Is the University of Pennsylvania involved in any anti-hunger programs? Do any of these programs use volunteers? Ending Hunger in Philadelphia is a problem solving learning course sponsored by the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program. The course will encourage students to study in depth the hunger relief efforts in Philadelphia and make recommendations on how to strengthen that system. Students are free to make any recommendations they see fit. Students will not be evaluated on what it is recommended (i.e., I have no
preset right answer that I expect you to discover), but rather how you develop and defend those recommendations.
Ending Hunger in Philadelphia will require students to get out of the Penn bubble, out of Van Pelt, off of the Internet and in to the community where they will see first hand the hunger problem in Philadelphia. The course has relatively little reading, but will require students to conduct original research, provide community service and engage the problem in as up close and personal manner as possible. In order to more fully appreciate the problem of hunger in Philadelphia and to make more informed recommendations about strengthening the emergency food efforts in the city, you will have several required encounters with the people and organizations working to alleviate the problem. Students will experience what its like to shop on a SNAP budget and attempt to complete the application form that SNAP recipients must complete. In addition, students will provide 12 hours of community service, observe a school lunch program, make site visits during class time to two of the leading anti-hunger organizations in Philadelphia, and join in a dialogue with
several of the city’s leading anti-hunger experts who will visit class. The culmination of the course will be a class paper that presents a plan for ending hunger in Philadelphia.
This course is an opportunity for students to combine the major theoretical perspectives on the policy process with practical application to current policy issues. Students will gain theoretical tools to explain policy change, a comprehensive understanding of the actors that influence policymaking and politics, and experience writing policy documents. The course is designed to complement an internship in the public policy arena, providing context and background that will enrich the internship experience. The course can be taken either before or after completion of an internship.
This course is part of the new minor on Budgeting, Finance, Leadership, and Teamwork (B-FLAT Minor), now being developed by the College of Arts and Sciences.
This course offers an exploration of how legislative action, government policymaking, and citizen advocacy influence plans for the investment of public capital in distressed urban neighborhoods. Course topics this semester will include an evaluation of the results of City of Philadelphia development policies under the administration of Mayor Michael A. Nutter, an assessment of a large-scale property acquisition and development strategy being implemented by the Philadelphia Housing Authority in North Philadelphia, and a review of recent and current reinvestment plans for Camden’s waterfront and downtown-area neighborhoods.