CHILDPOL 495S: Capstone Course – Child Policy Certificate

SYNOPSIS: The goal of this course is to help students learn how to translate their scholarship to policy-relevant writing and actions. It is an integrative, multi-disciplinary study of the psychological, social, and political factors that affect American children and families. Specific topics are to be determined by students and instructor. Examples are: the behavioral and economic consequences of juvenile delinquency; the implications of different family structures on infants, children, and adolescents; or the civic and social responsibilities of public education. This course will teach students how to translate knowledge they have gained from their independent research project into public policy and practice. This course will also enhance students’ ability to relate their acquired knowledge to other disciplines.

READER REQUIREMENTS: Readers will help students with the policy brief of approximately 4 pages. Readers should be familiar with child welfare policy. Preferred readers have expertise as law makers, agency administrators in child health and welfare and social services, and are familiar with policy briefs in children and family issues.

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS:
Students will write several products for diverse audiences, an Op-Ed for the public, a scientific poster for researchers in other disciplines, a policy brief for policy stakeholders. Students will learn how to present their academic scholarship in academic, lay-public, and professional forums. Readers will primarily help students with writing the policy brief.

INSTRUCTOR SUGGESTIONS FOR READERS: We focus on the student’s ability to construct a policy brief with logical flow. They need to include a broad introduction that grabs the (professional and lay) reader’s attention, identifies the problem, and engages the reader to continue reading; frame the issue for the reader providing the most direct path to understanding the problem and the proposed policy changes; include relevant supporting sources (cited) and appropriate transitions; focus on the most pressing questions the audience will have and attempt to preemptively answer those questions.

INTRODUCTORY MEETING: Please schedule your introductory meeting as soon as possible after you have received the matching email. Find details for the introductory meeting http://dukereaderproject.org/students/intro-meeting/

HOW TO COMMENT ON STUDENT WRITING

http://dukereaderproject.org/being-a-reader/master-pageinstructions-for-participants/giving-feedback/