Fall 2022  |  PA 5055 Section 001: Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis (23773)

Class Component:
2 Credits
Grading Basis:
A-F only
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person Term Based
Enrollment Requirements:
Stdnt is in MPA/PAL Cohort Mod
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
09/06/2022 - 12/14/2022
UMTC, West Bank
Enrollment Status:
Open (27 of 42 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
Problem-based learning of analytical reasoning through social science research methods. Systematic review and literature review. Qualitative research including interviews, focus groups, and analysis. Research proposal. prereq: Major in public affairs or public affairs certificate, [5055-5056 must be taken in same academic yr]
Class Notes:
Students should register for PA 5051, 5053, and 5055. Class meets 8:30-4:30 on Aug 25-27 (Thu, Fri, Sat). And on Sep 23-24/Oct 14-15/Nov 11-12, and Dec 2 (Fridays, 10:00-5:00 and Saturdays, 8:30-4:30.) http://classinfo.umn.edu/?upoma001+PA5055+Fall2022
Class Description:

This is one of the required classes integrated into the year-long cohort for the Master of Public Affairs (MPA) and Public Affairs Leadership Certificate programs.

The Public Affairs Leadership Cohort is a unique offering at the Humphrey School. The Cohort is designed for mid-career professionals and integrates adult learning methodologies in a schedule that accommodates working adults. Three core (required) courses are offered in an integrated format and students can either apply the cohort experience to a University of Minnesota Regent's approved graduate certificate in Public Affairs Leadership (PAL) or towards the Master of Public Affairs (MPA) degree. The three courses integrated into the MPA cohort are: 1) Public Affairs Leadership 2) Policy and Program Analysis , and 3) Research Methods & Analysis.

The cohort program focuses on developing a range of skills essential in public affairs through an intensive learning community. A theoretical framework emphasizing transformational leadership guides us and creates awareness that leadership is demonstrated through acts undertaken by many people, not just by those in formal authority positions. Leaders must have analytical skills to address both technical and adaptive challenges and the content of these courses highlights those most critical to public policy and public affairs.

In this class, students will design a qualitative research project involving their own data collection. They will collect qualitative data, using participant observation and interviews, conduct iterative analysis of qualitative data, and interpret the findings. At the conclusion of the course, they will communicate the essential elements of a qualitative research study.
Who Should Take This Class?:
Only those who are admitted into the MPA or Public Affairs Leadership (PAL) certificate programs are eligible to register for this class.
Learning Objectives:
  • Expand personal leadership capacity by strengthening a sense of personal purpose, voice, agency, and experience in leading a group and communicating publicly about professional work.

  • Strengthen capacity for adaptive problem solving through reflective analysis of complex organizations, community conditions, programs, and policy networks.

  • Cultivate ability to engage effectively with others, while holding tension, by strengthening one's theoretical understanding and practical experience in instituting change.

  • Deepen understanding of program design and factors affecting implementation.

  • Learn strengths and limitations of quantitative and qualitative data analysis to inform decision-making.

  • Improve one's ability to collect, evaluate, and use research-based evidence in defining public policy concerns and making recommendations for improvements.

  • Enhance skills to connect with community and to confidently and productively engage with others in the context of diverse cultures, virtually and face-to-face.

  • Deepen understanding of social conditions and engage with complex dynamics of difference and diverse perspectives to strengthen public value.

  • Develop an appreciation of the value of "otherness" by establishing new relationships, gaining diverse perspectives, and creating professional networks in a trusting community of praxis.

Class Format:
The Cohort meets for an orientation in early August, a 3-day "foundations week" at the end of August and two days each month (Friday and Saturday) from September - May.
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
28 April 2022

ClassInfo Links - Fall 2022 Public Affairs Classes

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