North Central College - Naperville, IL

Public Policy and the Legal Process

Understanding how public policy works gives a deeper knowledge of how the United States functions. Introduction to Public Policy and the Legal Process will explain who or what creates public policy and how public policy is created. By examining classic and ground-breaking public policy cases, students will witness how legal processes inevitably affect public policies.

This course covers topics such as religion of law in the United States law and justice and injustice, policymakers and lawmakers, theories of decision making, approaches to policy study, formation of policy proposal, communicating policies to constituents and implementing policies. By the end of this course, students should understand the basic history and process of policymaking, various ways to analyze public policy, and central ethical and public service issues relating to public policy and law.

Assignments may include a paper that analyzes a public policy case and involves critical thinking about how public policies are created and the results of public policies. Additionally, students may be asked to create a campaign proposal for a public policy issue. By incorporating procedural steps they’ve learned over the 10-week term— such as defining a problem, setting an agenda, gathering evidence, selecting criteria, constructing alternatives, projecting outcomes and trade-offs, understanding law and related technical processes—students will gain a better understanding of how policymakers think.