This course is designed to familiarize students with the Michigan political system and learn about current policy issues at play both statewide and in local communities. We'll have an overview of Michigan government and political institutions, an examination of the responsibilities of and relationships between state and local units of government in Michigan, and discussion about specific issues and challenges currently facing Michigan policymakers.
On top of that, this course includes an introduction to and hands-on use of survey research data provided by one the Ford School's core research centers: the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP). Twice each year, CLOSUP's Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) program asks Michigan local government leaders about a wide variety of public policy issues. We'll use this data to supplement our discussions of the topics we cover each week, as well as include it in students' final papers. There is no prior knowledge of survey research, its methodology, or statistical software required.