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Syllabus - Click here

Lecture notes - Click here

Calendar - Click here

Media clips (Us!) - Click here

Student roster - Click here

Last year's course site - Click here

Policy teams - Education Reform , Health Disparities , Preventing Youth Violence

  • Youth violence. Our clients are The Parks Department and the Mayor’s Citywide Violence Prevention Task Force. This team is looking at open gyms programs: What’s the history in Springfield (city and community orgs)? Any correlation with youth crime data? What is available now, and where are the gaps (asset map)? What works–and does not work–regionally and nationally?
  • Health disparities. Our client is the Baystate High Street Health Center. The team is looking at “no shows”: What distinguishes no-shows from yes-shows? How do structural barriers like transportation, welfare rules, and racism contribute to the problem? How are other clinics in Springfield and around the country addressing these structural barriers? We are very lucky to have Dr. Richard Aronson advising this team.
  • Education reform. Our client is the Promise Neighborhood Learning Community–recently funded by the Davis Foundation, The Community Foundation of Western MA, and The United Way of the Pioneer Valley; and led by Frank Robinson from Partners for a Healthier Community. This team’s assignment is to analyze Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone and the three recently funded promise neighborhood initiatives in MA to better understand the applicability of the model to Springfield, and to advance the work of the learning community toward a concrete plan resulting from meaningful involvement of a broad range of stakeholders.


The three teams will engage a broad range of stakeholders, collect a variety of qualitative and quantitative data, and present their findings and make recommendations on Wednesday, January 26th, at 4PM at The Springfield Institute. A reception will follow. All are welcome. RSVP by sending an email to info@springfieldinstitute.org. 


Many thanks to the Amherst College Center for Community Engagement and The Roosevelt Institute for co-sponsoring this course.





About Applied Policy Analysis:

For the second year, the Amherst College chapter of the Roosevelt Institute will be offering a January term applied Public Policy course. The class is open to students from all colleges. Applied Policy Analysis is an introductory course that explores policy-making as both a problem-solving and political process. Students will get a first-hand experience with a participatory public policy process. With a theoretical backdrop provided during classroom sessions, students will form project groups. Each project group will focus on a single policy topic, and develop an analytic product to help a client organization in Springfield create systemic change. This year’s policy topics are: youth violence, health disparities, and education reform. These topics were chosen because they have local and national relevance right now.


In this process, students will deeply understand the social issue in the Springfield/Holyoke context, and using the resources of the academic community research and identify policy solutions developed elsewhere.  The final product will be policy recommendations that apply the policy solutions implemented in other parts of the country to the local circumstances. These recommendations will be disseminated to a broad range of stakeholders and the larger Pioneer Valley community using a variety of formats and media. This class aims to create meaningful, ongoing, and mutually beneficial relationships between college students and community-based organizations.



Aron Goldman, Director of Springfield Institute
Email: goldman@springfieldinstitute.org
Phone: 413-549-1193, extension 2

Josh Mayer, the Roosevelt Institute at Amherst College
Email: jmayer13@amherst.edu
Phone: 269-547-9044


Course information:

Class meeting times: Tues/Thurs, 9:30-10:50 a.m.
Class location: Chapin 101
Field work: Mon/Wed (during the first week, Wed/Fri) mornings and as needed; locations and logistics arranged in class.



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