Spring 2023  |  PA 5962 Section 001: State Governing and Legislating: Working the Process (57605)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
A-F only
Instructor Consent:
Instructor Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person
Enrollment Requirements:
Graduate Student
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
01/17/2023 - 05/01/2023
Mon 06:00PM - 08:45PM
UMTC, West Bank
Hubert H Humphrey Center 20
Enrollment Status:
Open (19 of 20 seats filled)
Also Offered:
Course Catalog Description:
The Minnesota Capitol and rules and reality of state governance and legislating. Classroom discussions, high-profile guest speakers (including legislators, lobbyists and potentially the governor), and an extensive State Capitol practicum to explore state politics and policies.
Class Notes:
Note: A practicum in Spring 2023 is part of the course requirements. Students must contact the instructor, Briana Bierschbach, at brianabierschbach@gmail.com by December 14, 2022 to obtain a permission number and to arrange a practicum. More info at http://classinfo.umn.edu/?bier0136+PA5962+Spring2023
Class Description:

Using the Minnesota Capitol as our laboratory, this course will dive into the rules and reality of state governance and legislating. The course will include classroom discussions, guest speakers and a significant State Capitol practicum to give you a deep look into state politics and policies.

This is a praxis-oriented course, not a theoretical course. You are expected to be active learners, absorbing readings, lectures, guest speakers' talks and your practicums to become equipped to understand and operate within the state decision-making process.

The goal of this class: If you participate fully and complete this course, by the end, you should be prepared to approach a job or issue in state government with an understanding of the role you can play and the roles of those around you.

Briana Bierschbach is a veteran Minnesota political reporter who covers politics for the Star-Tribune. She has also worked for Minnesota Public Radio. She has covered state politics and campaigns for nearly a decade with publications like the Associated Press, Politics in Minnesota and MinnPost. She's been twice named one of the top political journalists in Minnesota by the Washington Post and was the Society of Professional Journalists' 2015 Young Journalist of the Year.

Note: A practicum in Spring 2022 is part of the course requirements. Students must contact the instructor, Briana Bierschbach, at bier0136@umn.edu by December 14, 2021 to obtain a permission number and to arrange a practicum. More info at http://classinfo.umn.edu/?bier0136+PA5962+Spring2022

Learning Objectives:
● Identify and analyze the pressures on state government and individuals in state government.

● Explore the real world relationship between elected officials, lobbyists, interests groups, voters and the public.

● Gain the ability to interact with powerful decision-makers, by listening with respect and questioning with authority.

● Improve public speaking skills through practice.

● Develop the tools to build relationships within state government and have a network of resources to tap.

Final paper - 30%

Practicum - 30%

Class participation -- 16%

Other assignments -- 12%

Question memos -- 12%

There is no extra credit in this class.

A = 100% - 90%

B = 89% - 79%

C = 78% - 69%

D = 68% - 59%

F = less than 59%

Exam Format:
No exams
Class Format:
Discussions/guest speakers
8 hours per week practicum at the Capitol

Three monthly reports from the practicum

Weekly question memos/short readings to prepare for speakers

Active participation in class

Final project on issue/bill and mid-semester memo outlining project

Past Syllabi:
http://classinfo.umn.edu/syllabi/bier0136_PA5962_Spring2019.docx (Spring 2019)
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
3 November 2021

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