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MSA-HCM Course Descriptions


(2013-2015 CATALOG)


PPA 505 Managed Health Care (5)

As a result of the political and social forces, the American health care delivery system has undergone fundamental change—the caregivers, care, institutions, and relationships between and among system components are being transformed. Central to understanding this changing process is the concept of “managed care.” This course explores the history, current impact, and implications for the future of managed care from the management and patient perspectives. The experiences of the students in their local communities will be used to explore the processes of contracting, the revenue streams, authorization systems, utilization and risk management, quality improvement, and other issues pertinent to administration in a managed care environment. Managed care has also had a profound effect on health policy, especially in regard to the Medicare, Medicaid, and other governmental programs. Course participants will have the opportunity to explore and discuss the dilemmas specific to a managed care environment in general and Kern County in particular. In conclusion, the focus shifts to the roots of “managed care”—the systems of other nations.

PPA 510 Economic Issues in Health and Health Care (5)

Study of health issues using the economic perspective. Topics include lifestyle choices and health outcomes, technology and demand, health insurance, labor markets, role of nonprofits, international comparisons of health care systems, and reform proposals. Cross-listed with ECON 510.

PPA 519 Management in Non-Profit Organizations (5)

This elective seminar will provide students with the managerial and supervisory techniques needed to administer, develop, and market volunteer, nonprofit, and community-based organizations that provide health and human services at the local level.

PPA 520 Fundamentals of Grant Writing (5)

This elective seminar is designed to provide individuals with the practical skills to be a successful grant writer. Topics to be covered include: how to write successful grant proposals; gather information about potential sources (federal, state, local, or foundations); evaluate your chances for success, and make agency contacts. Also, how to evaluate and develop alternative funding beyond grants, to include planned giving and fundraising strategies.

PPA 524 State, Local, and Intergovernmental Management (5)

This seminar emphasizes state, local, and intergovernmental administration in the context of: (a) the Federal intergovernmental system; (b) the Constitutional/legal system; (c) the political and social environments; and (d) the nonprofit sector. The course may be offered for either 2.5 credits in five weeks or 5 credits in 10 weeks. The 10-week course will provide a more in-depth coverage of the topic. Matched with PPA 479 Urban Planning if taught for 2.5 credits in five weeks.

PPA 525 Administrative Law (5)

This elective seminar surveys administrative law and government regulation, the legal functions of administrative agencies, and the legal aspects of the process by which such agencies carry out their policies. It reviews the evolution of administrative authority and Title 5 of the U.S. Code, examining delegation doctrine, rule making, enforcement, adjudication, and judicial review. While this course focuses primarily on the federal system, it also includes an orientation on the California State Administrative law system.

PPA 530 Administration in Multicultural Settings (5)

This elective seminar surveys the theory and practice of effective management in multicultural contexts. The increased presence of ethic minorities and women within the structures of service organizations combined with increased services to multicultural communities and clients have provided challenges and opportunities to management and supervisors to reassess traditional supervisorial practices. Students will explore those facets of organizational culture, which are in this process of change.

PPA 536 Continuous Quality Improvement in Health Care (5)

Quality improvement activities are now essential to the financing and management of health and human service organizations. Third party payers, accrediting agencies, reviewers and regulators at all levels require health and human service organizations to set goals and measure outcomes and processes of care. Additionally, organizations may use quality standards to market services to service recipients that are increasingly aware of the risks and benefits involved in human service activities. This course introduces the student to major quality initiatives and the specific processes of work flow management, statistical process control, patient management, clinical practice guidelines, analytic techniques and research strategies applicable to the quality improvement process.

PPA 540 Leadership (5)

This course focuses on the concept of leadership. Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person is able to enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. This course looks at leadership both theoretically and practically. Topics include trait and behavior theory, contingency theory, and transactional leadership, transformational leadership, catalytic or shared leadership, leadership and change, and decision-making.

PPA 550 Contract Management (5)

This course examines principles, practices, and issues of contract management activities within government, nonprofit, and commercial/business organizations. A comprehensive evaluation of the process addresses the fundamentals of managing the entire contract life cycle of small or large transactions in a management systems approach. Participants develop practical competencies in using different planning, development, implementation, monitoring, and close-out templates and guidelines, as well as techniques relating to critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making. Federal Acquisition Regulations’ principles are integrated into the transaction process to address an extended range of contracting complexities associated with expanded expectations, such as delivery of advanced technology systems or logistical issues involving intricate delivery schedules.  

PPA 571 Seminar in the Administration of Justice (5)

This elective seminar emphasizes research and field investigations of current justice administrative and policy problems, which cut across the total system. Topics may vary each quarter.

PPA 573 Emergency Management and Homeland Security (5)

The focus of this elective seminar is on the broad field of emergency management and its interface with homeland security. The course surveys public and private sector responses to emergencies, disasters, and terrorism. The intergovernmental nature of both emergency management and homeland security is discussed. Particular attention will be paid to mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery; the organization and politics of emergency management and homeland security; and the provision of homeland security in an uncertain world. The course will conclude with an emergency management/homeland security simulation.

PPA 577 Selected Topics in Public Policy and Administration (1-5)

In-depth study of selected topic or topics not covered in regular courses. Topics vary each quarter; prerequisites announced for each topic. Conducted on a seminar basis.

PPA 599 Individual Graduate Study (1-5)

Supervised investigation of an approved project leading to a written report. Project selected in conference with instructor in area of major interest; regular meetings to be arranged with instructor. Department determines application and number of units. May only be used for elective credit.

PPA 610 Public Human Resources Administration (5)

This graduate core seminar provides an in-depth study of the personnel and civil service systems in the federal, state, and local governments and in nonprofit and health care organizations. Review of the methods of the recruitment, promotion, discipline, and termination are explored through case studies, discussion, and simulations. Contemporary issues in collective bargaining and labor relations are extensively explored.

PPA 611 Finance and Budgeting (5)

This graduate seminar provides a survey of current public policies principles, and issues in public and healthcare finance and budgeting. Topics may include: economic functions and goals of public and healthcare entities; public and healthcare fiscal policies; revenues and taxation; debt; public and healthcare budgeting trends; and financial methods related to the management of public and healthcare institutions.

PPA 671 Graduate Seminar of Public Policy and Administration (5)

This MPA graduate core seminar examines the major concepts and issues in public administration. The history and the development of the modern public service and the bureaucracy. The students will do an investigation of the role of the public sector in American society, law, economy, and current trends in the public sector. Key course areas are the national political institutions and processes, and professional standards and ethics are studied.

PPA 677 Selected Topics in Public Policy and Administration (1-5)

In-depth study of selected topic or topics not covered in regular courses. Topics vary each quarter; prerequisites announced for each topic.

PPA 680 Public Management and Organizational Change (5)

In this graduate core seminar, the student will critically examine organization and management concepts and behavior. Emphasis will be on exploring the dynamics of planned organizational change as well as models of organizational development in the public management context. Prerequisite: PPA 400 for MPA and PPA 404 for MSA.

PPA 685 Strategic Management in Health and Human Service (5)

The management of health care and human service organizations has changed dramatically in the past few decades. Management of these competitive organizations now demands strategic thinking, planning, and management. Preparation for this challenge begins with this course that requires students to draw on a foundation of traditional organization theories in management, organizational behavior, leadership, and organization change. However, the focus of the course is building knowledge, skills, and abilities in developing, implementing, and evaluating strategic processes and practices. The course is designed as a hybrid model; seat time is reduced and IT data gathering and group and individual case preparation time is increased. Each student will participate in a community service project as well.

PPA 689 Legal and Ethical Issues in Health Care (5)

This graduate seminar explores legal and ethical issues in health care policy and administration. Legal aspects such as constitutional issues, laws, administrative regulations and court interpretation, and professional responsibilities are examined. Exploration of ethical issues will include an examination of moral systems, identification of ethical principles, and the introduction of analytical techniques to help in choosing alternative decisions and actions. The student is expected to develop expertise in oral and written argument.

PPA 691 Policy Analysis (5)

This integrating MPA and MSA-HCM capstone graduate seminar focuses on the policies in the public and health care sectors. Explores qualitative and quantitative policy models and policy analysis methodology. Selected contemporary policy areas such as energy, the environment, criminal justice, welfare, health care, and education are explored.

PPA 696 Internship (1-5)

An internship experience is required for all students that are considered pre-service (MPA Program) or have not had supervisory experience in a health care setting (MSA-HSM Program) or nonprofit organization. Requirements include at least 200 hours of supervised management level experience and leadership for and completion of an assigned project. Completion of the course follows a formal evaluation by the organization sponsor. This course is graded on a credit, no-credit basis and does not satisfy the requirements of an elective.

PPA 698 Masters Paper (5)

This course is a practicum, which demonstrates competency acquired in the masters programs. Each student will complete a thesis like project that requires the application of both theory and methods. This is the capstone course in both the MPA and MSA programs. It is strongly recommended that students do not enroll in other courses while taking this course. Prerequisite: PPA 536 or PPA 691.

PPA 699 Individual Graduate Study (1-5)

Supervised investigation of an approved project leading to a written report. Project selected in conference with instructor in the area of major interest; regular meetings to be arranged with instructor. Department determines application and number of units.