Public Policy



Professor:   Dr. Katie Keeton

                  Associate Professor

                  Public Administration

Office:        Virtual:

Hours:        Daily M-F (various times)

Voice:        850-890-8390



Course Description


The course addresses the scope and nature of the field of American public policy with emphasis on ethics and ethical analysis. The general format for the class is online discussion/participation with student discussion and analysis of selected topics and issues taken from the current American public policy arena.  In lieu of a class research paper, there are specific written assignments relating to concepts and/or cases included in the course material. A mid-term examination and a final examination are part of the learning experience. 


Student Learning Outcomes and Topics Covered


The student should develop a basic conceptual framework for thinking about American public policy from an ethics perspective. Students are expected to apply the concepts and analytical skills introduced in the course to public policy issues. During the course, students should develop an appreciation for the study of public policy from an ethics perspective.  


Specific learning objectives include the development of a basic understanding of the following concepts and the ability to use these concepts in the analysis of American public policy:


- understand the historical and structural context of public policy

- understand the ethics models and how to apply each to real world policy policy issues

- analyze selected public policy issues within an appropriate ethical framework and offer alternative resolutions to the problem

- arrive at defensible conclusions of whether decision makers are applying ethics in the design of public policies and programs.





The following is the required text for the course:


Bluhm William T. and Robert A. Heineman. Ethics and Public Policy Methods and Cases. New Jersey, Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. ISBN: 0-13-189343-2.


Supplemental electronic reserve, website references, and online documents will be utilized.  (See list included in content page for the course.)


Special Technology Utilized By Students



Adobe Acrobat Reader:

Available if Required:

PowerPoint Viewer:

Windows Media Player:

Quicktime Player:

Real Player:

Grading /Evaluation:
  Student performance will be evaluated as follows:


Assignment                                                          Weight


Mid-term Exam                                                                 20%

Final Exam                                                                       20%

Online Discussion and

Dropbox Analyses (i.e., weekly assignments)                      60%

Total                                                                                100% 


Letter grade equivalencies are as follows:

Numerical Grade Range   Equivalent Letter Grade


           95 – 100                                 A

            90 – 94                                  A-

            87 – 89                                  B+

            84 – 86                                  B

            80 – 83                                  B-

            77 – 79                                  C+

            74 – 76                                  C

            70 – 73                                  C-

            67 – 69                                  D+

            64 – 66                                  D

            60 – 63                                  D-

             < 60                                      F


*Note regarding Online Discussion and Dropbox Assignments: Regular participation in the assigned discussion forums and on-time completion of each week's assignments are expected.  If, in the judgment of the instructor, there is a failure on the part of a student to participate in the class online discussions to a substantial degree, such behavior will have a major detrimental effect upon the student's grade.  Likewise, failure to complete assignments in a timely and professional manner will have a negative impact on the student’s grade.  Students should utilize the weekly assignment grades and comments as guidance from the instructor with respect to meeting class expectations.

Expectations for Academic Conduct/Plagiarism Policy:


As members of the University of West Florida, we commit ourselves to honesty. As we strive for excellence in performance, integrity—personal and institutional—is our most precious asset. Honesty in our academic work is vital, and we will not knowingly act in ways which erode that integrity. Accordingly, we pledge not to cheat, nor to tolerate cheating, nor to plagiarize the work of others. We pledge to share community resources in ways that are responsible and that comply with established policies of fairness. Cooperation and competition are means to high achievement and are encouraged. Indeed, cooperation is expected unless our directive is to individual performance. We will compete constructively and professionally for the purpose of stimulating high performance standards. Finally, we accept adherence to this set of expectations for academic conduct as a condition of membership in the UWF academic community.



Students with special needs who require specific examination-related or other course-related accommodations should contact Disabled Student Services (DSS),, (850) 474-2387. DSS will provide the student with a letter for the instructor.