International Policy Center Home Page
Series: Admissions

Tools for Influence and Action

December 3, 2020 0:44:00
Kaltura Video

Learn about opportunities to practice these skills in and out of the classroom and how they provide a toolbox of research, analytical, and management skills that are highly transferable across sectors and issue areas.



Hi everybody.

We're gonna get started.

Welcome to our webinar.

We're so happy to have
you participate so we can

share with you what makes the

Ford School's such an amazing.

Hi. I'm Susan Gandy,

director of student
an academic services.

I will introduce our panelists

in just a moment, but first,

want to let you know that
we will leave some time at

the end of this webinar
for your questions.

Since there are quite a few
participants on the call,

please submit your questions in

the chat section and we'll ask

as many of them as
time will allow.

I also want to remind you of

Upcoming upcoming
webinars in our series.

Next Thursday, December tenth at

eight AM Eastern Standard Time.

Faculty will discuss the
Ford School's approach to

engaged learning opportunities
with research centers,

our program in practical
policy engagement,

summer internships and more.

Then the following week,

on Wednesday, December 16th,

at noon Eastern Standard Time,

We will discuss careers
in public policy as

well as the leadership coaching
the Ford School provides.

You will hear from
Jennifer Nick admired,

director of our graduate
career services,

as well as from
several of our alumni.

The final webinar in the
series will be January six,

during which you'll
have the opportunity

to meet Dean Michael Barr

and I and my colleagues in

the student services team
can answer your questions.

I also encourage you to check
out our advanced website.

And as we have some
incredible talks

coming up that will help you

get to know the Ford School

and its intellectual vibrancy.

Now I'm pleased to introduce
our faculty panelists.

Paula Lance as the
Associate Dean for

Academic Affairs. James B.

Huge, a professor
of health policy,

professor of public policy
and health management

and policy, social demographer.

She studies the role of
public policy in improving

population health and reducing

social disparities and help.

Brian Jacob is the Walter
H. Annenberg Professor of

Education Policy and Professor

of Economics at the Ford School.

He is co-director of
the Youth Policy Lab.

His primary fields of
interest or labor economics,

program evaluation and the
economics of education.

Professor Jacobs,
current research

focuses on urban school reform

with a particular emphasis on

standards and
accountability initiatives.

John Hanson is a lecturer in

statistics for public
policy at the Ford School.

He also teaches the politics of

public policy and
other courses as

well as a specialist in

comparative political economy
and political development.

He examines the ways in

which and the channels
through which

political institutions affect

economic performance
and human development.

My first question, I will
direct to Professor Lance.

What makes the school curriculum

standout? Professor Lance?

I love talking about the
Ford school curricula.

So thanks for that question.

I first just want
to say Hi everyone,

and thanks for joining us today.

We're really excited.

You're taking time out
of your busy lives and

busy days to learn more about

our community and that you're

thinking of joining US here.

So the Ford School,

both the MPP, MPA
degrees are really,

they're generalists
degrees there.

Setup to prepare people who
want to have impact and

influence and the broad fields of

public affairs and public policy.

And really prepare people
for a wide array of jobs

and careers in the public sector

and the non-profit sector,

and also in the private sector,

both in the US and abroad.

And the curricula for the MPP,

MPA degrees have some
overlap and there are

some differences and
we're not going to

get down into the
weeds on that today.

But in general, both
of these degrees,

the curricula for both
of these degrees have

really three pillars to
prepare you for your career.

The first pillar is really
strong analytic training,

and this is training and you'll

hear from my colleagues
more in a minute.

But it's training in statistical
and economic analysis,

but also in political analysis
and ethical analysis.

There's lots of different
kinds of analytic skills that,

and critical thinking skills

that people who want
to have impact and

influence in the broad spheres

of public policy and public
affairs need to have.

The second pillar is

strong and effective
communication skills.

And we really pride
ourselves at the Ford School

at how much attention and
how many resources we

invest in producing
excellent writers and

excellent verbal communicators
through our program.

And then the third pillar is

strong management and
leadership skills.

So again, to have impact
and influence in the world,

you need the skills that will
allow you to both manage

resources and including people

and money resources and
manage organizations,

but also for leadership
in, at the Ford School,

we define leadership as having

a positive influence on others.

Organizations. Communities,
and that requires skills.

So again, our curriculum,

either the MPP or the MPA degree.

Those two curricula are designed

to give people the
skills they need.

And those three core
areas, analytic skills,

strong and effective
communication skills,

and then strong management
and leadership skills.

The core curricula are, you know,

our courses are taught
by world-class,

wonderful faculty and a lot of

practitioners we bring
in to teach as well.

And also there's an array

of an amazing array of
elective course work,

both at the Ford
School but also across

the 19 schools and colleges
at the University of Michigan

that Ford School students
can take to go deep in

the policy issues and

policy areas of greatest
interest and passion to them.

And then also there's
just so many extra

curricular or
co-curricular activities

for Ford School students.

Again, the University of Michigan

is a very large
public university.

I always say it's not the
biggest town in the world.

It's kind of a small,
wonderful college town,

but the University of
Michigan is big and

there's so many
opportunities for students,

again, for elective coursework,

but also a lot of

extra curricular activities
that that people can

get involved with to to

buttress and enhance
required coursework.

We have in our, our
thoughtful core curriculum.

A couple of things worth
mentioning in are,

first of all, our writing center.

I think the Ford School is very

unique for any kind of
professional school,

including schools of public
policy and public affairs.

And that we have for
writing instructors whose,

whose job is to
support the writing,

development and success of

our students are writing
instructors are amazing.

They teach courses
and they're also

available for one-on-one
tutorials with,

with all of our students.

They help students with

the papers that they're
ready for classes,

but also with job
application letters.

If our students want
to write op-eds

or other world things,

they even say they'll
help you write

your love letters if you
want to bring those to them.

Yeah, they're, they're
amazing and they're all,

they're all writers themselves.

They write fiction
and actually one of

our writing instructors has

an MPA degree herself

and has worked in an
a state legislature,

but she's also a poet
and she just published

in award-winning book of poetry.

So again, it's

an amazing and really
sort of unique resource

that we have for our
students at the Ford School.

And then the last thing
I'll mention right now

is our, our leadership

We are really at

the port school being
very explicit and very

intentional about
the importance of

your leadership development
as a student here and again,

we define leadership not as being

the head person running

an organization or
running an agency.

But leadership, again, is

having the skills
and the ability to

have a positive impact

and a positive
influence on others.

Organizations and communities.

So in addition to our
required coursework in

this area and a lot of
elective courses in this area.

We have a lot of opportunities
for students to do

leadership assessments
and reflection on them.

We are starting a program where

MPP students will have

the opportunity to
have some coaching,

executive coaching during

their summer
internship experience.

Our MPA students are matched with

alumni and other
practitioners in the air.

In the area.

Back in the day when we
could meet in person,

they would meet in person

for a support and

mentoring around their
capstone projects,

but also wider
leadership development.

So again, we're really

excited about the way in
which our curriculum is,

has been thoughtfully

But all the other layers of

optional an elective
opportunities we have for

students to build on
top of that. Thank you.

Wonderful, thank you,
that was very helpful.

So analytic methods is

something that the Ford
School is known for.

Why is this such a critical
part of our curriculum?

And how is it integrated
throughout the curriculum?

Professor Jacob, you
want to get us started?

Sure. Well, first hello.

Good good afternoon.
Good morning.

Good afternoon. Depending
on where you are.

Let's see. Yeah, do I think to

analytics here we
can define broadly.

And you, I personally teach

quantitative methods,
econometrics, and statistics.

But my colleagues who work
in political science and

sociology and history
teach other classes,

some qualitative research
methods classes.

But throughout the
curriculum we try to focus

on developing I'm
analytical thinking.

And that is the ability to
ask critical questions,

to look for and assess data,

different kinds of data
and different information,

whether it's quantitative
or qualitative.

Critically, I think
the reason why we

feel this is so important
is because it's

likely that whatever you

do when you leave the Ford School

is not going to be on

exactly the topics
that you studied here.

And even if it is,

the state of knowledge and

the policy issues and the
context will have changed.

So we don't want to
just give you a fish.

We want to teach you how to fish.

To borrow some, someone
else's metaphor.

And yeah, so I think that's a,

you'll see that like in

not only the statistics
and econometrics classes.

But in the microeconomics
classes or courses you're,

are probably a bit different than

those you've taken before.

There's much less
kind of wrote solving

algebraic problems and finding

out what prices the widget,

Yeoh In this case
versus that case.

But thinking critically about

taxes and how taxes we

influence other aspects
of the economy.

And how one type of tax

may not have the same impact
as another type of tax.

And what are the
various options toward

government regulation
and what are

the advantages and
disadvantages of each of them.

So and in the,

the ethics and policy
making course,

there's lots of case
studies are not kind of

a single answer given an
order to behave ethically,

you do a, B, and C.
But there's lots of

analytical thinking around
scenarios in cases.

So, yeah, so I think that's
kind of an overview.

Happy to talk more
in the Q and a. I'm

gonna pass it over to Jon Hanson,

colleague of mine, who is

a key teacher and the
quantitative core sequence.

And he can give you some even,

even more l about that sequence.

Thank you, Brian. And thank you

all for coming to
our webinar today.

My job is to tell you about

our quantitative
methods sequence,

which for the MPP program

involves a two course
sequence on and for the MPA,

just the first of
these two courses.

But the core of the
quantitative methods

sequence starts with our
basic statistics class,

which I teach every fall

on along with one
of my colleagues.

And then the second
course is called

quantitative methods
of program evaluation.

Now, so Oliver, MPP students

have to take both
of these courses.

And they're really designed

to be not just
statistics courses,

but teaching of
quantitative reasoning

embedded in a public
policy sort of context.

Now I know a lot of
you have probably had

stats before some other time,

maybe in high school or
maybe as an undergraduate.

And maybe it wasn't

the most exciting
class that you've had.

But I really think it matters
in a fundamental way when

the teaching of
quantitative methods is

embedded and things
that you care about.

So that when teaching of
stats is grounded and

public policy questions and
things that really matter,

then you learn it in an
entirely different way.

And I think that's one
of the reasons why

our quantitative
methods training at

the Ford School is so
strong is because we,

we ground it thoroughly and
public policy questions.

Now in, at Ford,

we've learned that
it's best to offer

to sort of versions
of this sequence.

So we have what's called our

standard version or
our standard sequence,

which has these
two courses taught

in our sort of traditional way.

And then we have what's
called an augmented sequence.

And it's the same two courses

with basically the same content,

but they're taught at sort of

the different levels
of difficulty.

So the emphasis of the
standard course is really to

provide a very solid grounding

in basic data analysis methods.

The interpretation of data,

the ability to think
critically and evaluate.

Data analysis that's
put in front of you and

some sort of
decision-making context.

And to provide that sort
of training in a way that

is taught at a pace

that students are very
comfortable with.

I'm so we've known that
many of our students

come into the program not feeling

especially confident

about maybe their
math skills or maybe

they're not so sure that

statistics is going to be
their cup of tea, so to speak.

And what we found is that

the kind of environment with
the right sort of pay scene

where students have a
lot of opportunity to

ask questions and really go over

the core material in
a thorough way is

a very helpful style of
learning for many students.

And then in our augmented track,

where we cover all of that,

all of those same topics.

We sort of expand on that and we

teach in a little bit more
of an accelerated fashion.

The presentation is more
quantitative in nature,

so there's more math that
goes in front of students.

And the pacing is such that we

try to push students
a little harder.

Especially if they're
interested in making

data analysis like a core and

fundamental part of what they
do in their future careers.

So students can self-select

into one of these two sequences.

It's not a matter of testing or

tracking or any thing like that.

It's really more about
what environments students

feel would be best for
them to learn statistics.

And also what their goals for

learning on statistics will

be for their, for their future.

So in that augmented track,

we spend a bit more time
trying to teach students as,

as Professor Jacob
put it well to, to,

to be the fissures because

they're the ones who
are going to need to

learn how to do the data
analysis and have that to

be sort of a fundamental
part of their careers.

Now, a lot of this I don't know

what heavy-tailed here many years

I know that a lot of people
come into for it a little,

with a little bit of trepidation.

They hear about this analytic
methods training and,

you know, it might seem a
little intimidating or scary.

So the one thing that
I want to reassure

everybody about is
that our program

is really well designed
to accommodate

a whole range of
different learning styles

and different levels.

So people come in with
different levels of

math or different levels
of quantitative training.

So let me just tell you about

a couple of those things and

the way that we provide

resources to make sure
that students are

supported and feel comfortable
all the way through.

One of the things we
do is, first of all,

all of our courses not only have

a faculty member by
the graduate student,

instructor who's
part of the course.

Both of us have office
hours and there's a lot

of time for students to get
their questions answered.

We also encouraged
the formation of

study groups so that students

can work together
on the problems,

set assignments, and so forth.

Another thing that
we've learned over time

is very important
is that when we've

identified scenarios
where students

need a little bit of extra help.

We've, we've provided a
peer tutoring program

that faculty will identify
students and say,

hey, would you like
to take part in

this peer tutoring program?

And it's just a way
to provide some sort

of additional
coaching and support.

Because sometimes students
feel a little bit

uncomfortable asking a question

of a faculty member and they say,

well, I should know this
by now, I know that.

So I'm too scared to
ask you about it,

which is a very bad
approach by the way,

you should always
ask because we're,

that's what we're here for.

And, you know, but

the peer tutoring is
often a way to do this in

a more casual environment
that can be scheduled that

any sort of odd hours that
students want to work at.

And so it's often a nice way for

students to learn
quantitative methods.

The last thing I'll
say is that we do

have the third course
of our sequence,

which is not a required part

of the sequence, it's optional.

But it's called on applied
econometrics and is really

meant to flow off of the
program evaluation course.

And it's the range of
what we teach a rage of

advanced estimation
methods that go

beyond the traditional
linear regression models.

So arrange of causal
inference techniques

and working with kinds of data

that don't fit the
standard model of

the cross sectional survey data

set or something like that.

And so I've taught
that course in,

in recent semesters and it's

a really fun class where
students really come out of

that feeling like they've
learned a whole bunch

of quantitative techniques on.

And by that point in time,

they're actually believe it or

not, they want to take more.

So if that tells you

anything about if we
succeed at something,

it's about creating
this interest and

desire to keep going.

And then students ask me,
well, what do I do next?

And Brian, who's the director

of the of the policy analysis,

concentration, is aware of

a whole bunch of courses that we

can then send students
to after that.

So thanks again.

I'm happy to talk more

later with any
questions you may have.

Professor Hanson,
Can I just also,

when you mention supports,

do you mind saying just a
word or two about math camp?

I know we get a lot of
questions about that.

And since you are often
the one who teaches that,

I think students
would like to hear,

but that of thank you Susan
for reminding me about that.

I meant to mention
our math camps.

So even before the
first semester begins,

we have a couple of weeks of

when students show up and
there's some orientation.

And one of the things
that we offer as

an optional piece of your
training as a math camp.

And that also might

sound like sort of a
boot camp of some type,

but it's really not a boot camp.

I've taught the math camp
several times and what it is,

it's a you know,

we run it over several days,

a few hours a day.

And the whole purpose is to
help students sort of get

back in the groove with math
because you've had math,

but maybe it's a long time ago

and you go back to middle
school and there's

this algebra stuff and

then maybe there's
some things from

high school that have
just kind of faded away.

And so one of the
purposes of math camp is

to try to get those
brain pathways work in.

Again, remind people of

things that they've
once learned long ago.

With a very like
specific focus on

math methods that will

show up in our
quantitative sequence.

So like since I teach stats
and I do the math camp,

like I'm I'm prepping
students for, hey, you know,

in about two weeks
you're going to

see this formula and I want you

to understand the notation here.

Or I set people up to

talk about things that
are going to show up in

their Econ course on
now to understand and

construct a curve
that has declining

marginal utility or
something like that.

So the math camp is
actually very laid back and

students often have
quite a good time

because they get to
meet each other.

And it's a, it's a good way to

generally introduce people
and bringing them back into.

It might be a little scary,

but actually turns out to
be just fine. Thank you.

Professor Lance,
anything you want to add

before we go on to
the next question?

Yes. Their heads 11
thing I meant to

mentioned before
and I I forgot to.

I don't know why because
it's really important.

I was talking before
about the three pillar,

core pillars in our curriculum.

Strong analytic skills,

strong communication skills and

strong management and
leadership skills.

I also wanted to say that
cross cutting in both the MPP,

MPA curricula are, first of all,

a strong commitment
to public service.

We know why people
are investing and

getting a master's degree in

public policy or public affairs.

They want to have a they

want to have an
impact in the world.

They see things about the
world that are broken.

And they, they want

a career in which they're
going to commit to,

again, working towards
the public good.

So we have a strong
commitment to public service.

We have a very
strong commitment to

diversity, equity and inclusion.

And also, I think
it's really important

to mention that at
the Ford School,

where people come to steady
public policy and think about

innovative policy design
and, and policy change.

We understand that public policy

is a way to improve the world.

But we also know that
public policy is

often the root cause of some

of the structural
problems in society,

including structural racism

and institutional discrimination.

A lot of times, again,

the root underlying driver

of different types of
social inequality is PO,

public policy regimes
that had been codified.

So again, cutting cross

our curriculum is the
ability to think about that.

What is the role of public policy

about creating social problems?

But also in working to,

to solve them.
Wonderful. Thank you.

My last question before we
open it up for questions are,

what are some of the other
ways that students can cook,

cultivate the tools they need for

influence and action

And you want to take
a stab at that again.

Share. So for that,

there are MPP
students who are with

us longer and have more
elective coursework.

In front of them, we now have

five optional policy
concentrations that,

that students can earn and

it gets flagged on
your transcript.

So those policy
concentrations are,

as Professor Hanson just
mentioned a moment ago,

the policy analysis
methods concentration.

We also have a concentration
in social policy.

I'm the faculty lead on that.

There's one in public and
non-profit management.

There's a concentration
in International Policy.

And then our fifth
concentration is

an international
economic development.

So I would say at least half of

our students do one of these
policy concentrations.

Also on this large campus,

there are at least 50
graduate certificate programs

that students can participate in.

And here's where you dedicate

some of your elective coursework

to getting a certificate and
a wide variety of areas.

I'm not going to list
all 50 of them to you.

I actually couldn't
do that, but it's

a really popular
certificate programs

among Ford School students
are first of all,

a certificate, a graduate
certificate in science,

technology, and public policy.

And we we run

that certificate program
at the Ford School.

And it's, it's wonderful
for those of you

interested in science
and technology policy.

There's a healthy
cities certificates,

policy certificate program
that we participate in.

There's one on sustainability.

Another really
popular one is one on

community advocacy
and social change.

Again, on, on and on.

And then we don't have enough
time to get into all that.

But the vast majority
of our students are

really active in
student organizations

participating with faculty
both at the Ford School but

across campus in
on their research.

Which oftentimes involves
working with a research center.

And there are, I'm not line over

500 research centers at the
University of Michigan.

You could get involved with
our students are really

engaged with volunteer
work, with community.

We're being on boards,
et cetera, et cetera.

So really the sky's the limit

for how you want to augment and,

and build upon and really enhance

the academic part of
your experience at

the port school. Great.

So we'll turn it over
for questions now.

I do want to clarify
in my opening remarks,

I had said that one of the one of

the upcoming webinar starts
at 08:00 AM. I apologize.

It's 08:00 PM Eastern
Standard Time.

So one of the questions
we've gotten is,

is the Ford School is
known as a community.

It is a supportive community.

It is a small but
mighty community.

How have we foster that,

encouraged, that sustain
that during this pandemic?

Who'd like to take
a shot at that?

I'll say a few things

about that and then see
if my colleagues want to,

want to chime in.

Obviously, this has just been

incredibly challenging
and difficult time

for all of us in our lives.

And then also, you know,

here at the Ford School,

I will say that I
am beyond proud of

how the Ford School
has come together,

students, faculty, and staff,

to try to weather this,

all the ups and
downs with it and to

stay focused on our mission,

research, teaching and service
and policy engagement.

But at the same time, making sure

that all of our
community members,

both their physical
and mental health,

are being prioritized for,

for care as well.

So I think there's

lots we could we could say
about what we've been doing.

But I think the main
things that have

made it work at the Ford School

is one where a smaller community
that helps in some ways.

But I think more importantly,

we made a commitment
at the beginning for

transparent communication
between faculty,

staff and students.

We also made a commitment to have

our students be front and center.

Helping us as a community
navigate what to do next,

how to do online learning
the best, how to,

you know, think
about all the kinds

of supports that students need.

And including financial support.

How to think about, you know,

the summer internship experience.

And all of our students got

summer internship last summer.

In the pandemic.
They were remotes,

almost all of them,
but it happened.

So again, I, I really
feel like as a community,

we came together in a,

in a pretty strong way.

It, it hasn't been easy.

But we're still
committed to that.

We're committed to
having our students

be academically successful and,

and healthy,

both psychologically and
financially, as we always are.

But we've really made special
efforts in that area.

Wonderful. Thank you.

I'll just add a couple
of things to that.

As Paul mentioned, it's
been a really tough year,

but we started we
knew it would be

talked and we
started planning and

early in the summer for how to

address both the academic
side of things that you know,

how can we teach and deliver

the same sort of high-quality
education that we've,

that we've done in
the in-person way.

But also for the social
climate of the school,

because the community is

such an important
part of what we are.

And we, we definitely miss

the sort of everyday casual
interactions that we have

just being around the R Building

where so much of our
community is built.

They'll certainly tried
to replicate that.

And just in one small
way, for example,

we know that students
often form study groups,

but how would that's
much harder to

happen when we don't see
each other in person.

They don't naturally emerge.

So we, we help facilitate

that by creating study
groups and encouraging.

Students to join them.

And I think that's actually
been quite successful.

And a number of other
ways where we just try to

have like ways to get together

online that don't involve an
actual classroom scenario,

but that are just more
for casual interactions.

Like for examples, there
are some people who get

together on Mondays and talk

about whatever happened on the,

on the football game on Saturday,

which has actually turned

out to be kind of
depressing this year.

So absolutely, I think
he's going to talk about,

but just to kinda
thing that we've

done and I feel like we're still

developing quite
a strong sense of

community as I see
the semester go on.

Now. I'll add to that.

And I think individual faculty

have expanded office hours

and other kind of virtual ways
to interact with students.

And I think actually ironically,

I've been surprised
at night talking to

colleagues, other
colleagues here.

I think kind of the attendance at

virtual office hours is much
higher than it was prior.

And I think in some
ways, it's one of

these unintended
benefits of Cove.

It is that it's, you know,

it might be a little
bit easier and more

comfortable for some
students to interact

with faculty online
and in person.

We're certainly trying to make

those opportunities available.

The other thing I think it's

worth mentioning is there's been

a few different initiatives
to different research groups

have started at the Ford School

to directly address the kind of

covert pandemic and to help

state and local organizations
and agencies respond to it.

And I think that's been

a really nice part
of the training,

but also kind of

experience in of itself,

theirs Cove it I think we

call it CCC Coven
consulting core.

This past spring and summer.

And some MPP students,

we're working with local entities

to try to help them work through

all the forms that

various federal agencies
who are acquiring

them to fill out to
get relief funding.

And that was incredibly

appreciated by the
local agency partners.

But also I think you added to

the educational and social
experience of students here.

Wonderful. Thank you.

So this next question is about

the application process where we

asked for previous quantitative
analysis experience,

academic or professional.

What would precisely
be the requirement?

Will, of course, taken

a semester during
undergraduate degree suffice?

Will it affect the selection
prospects if we haven't had

the opportunity to apply

those skills that our
current workplace,

but want to learn
and utilize these.

And for our future
professional goals,

we know that is a question
that comes up often.

Who would like to tackle that?

I'm, I'm happy to say a
few words about that.

The first thing to assure

everyone of is that
you don't need to have

taken statistics or accounting
or calculus or any,

any sort of quantitative
skill class

before coming to the Ford School.

Will, will, as Professor
Hanson was just saying,

We start with intro
stats and take,

take people where they are.

I would say when you're filling

out your application, the thing,

the thing we're going to
want to attempt to assess

is your interest in and you know,

fundamentally your, you know,

your interest in
learning quantitative

and the wider array of

analytic skills
that we teach here.

But also what has prepared
you for wherever you are to,

to build on that at
the Ford School.

So there's there's nothing

in the admission process

where we're going
to be looking for.

Did they take undergrad stats?

Did they take math,

you know, or did they
take writing classes?

How did they do an
English classes?

But again, we're
really looking for

people who are interested
in building on

whatever experiences and
prior educational experiences

they've had when they,

when they get to the Ford
School and that you're

just ready to roll up your
sleeves and ready to go.

Now if you've had, if you
have some work experience

and you have
experience, you know,

analyzing some data using

Excel spreadsheets or
you have other kinds of

experiences that you
think showcase to

us sort of where
your skills are now,

but also your interest in
building on those skills.

That's what we would like to

hear about in your application.

Great. John, I'm going to

direct this next question to

you for the quantitative classes.

Do you use a specific
statistical software

to analyze datasets?

That's a great question
and I'm glad you

asked because one of the things

that I wanted to mention
but forgot about

our broader training is

that we offer a range of
software classes as well.

We teach courses in data
and in R and in Excel.

And then we have a general
course in data visualization,

which works with various
software platforms

just focused on

producing excellent visual
presentation of data.

For our stats sequence.

Actually, this year
has been a year

of transition because we

often prior till this past year,

we've been teaching data as

our main software platform
for these courses.

But this year for a
variety of reasons,

we, we added our as
a second option.

So either R or data
can be used in our,

in our stout sequence.

And that was a part because
the marketplace is changing

and more and more places
are using R in workplaces.

But also because this is
a year where access to

our computer labs would

be restricted because
of the coded.

And so NR is free
and available across

platforms and it just seemed like

a good time to make that move.

So we spent a lot of time and

effort to just shift that way.

And I've been, I act
to say actually in

my beginning stats
course this semester,

I think 80% of the
students are using

R And so the rest using stative.

I think we had a question

about testing out of
the quantitative.

I think it was answered
in the chat line.

But Brian, do you want to
say a word about that?

Shortly? I will read a
quick answer in the chat.

It's certainly possible that

your students that
come in that have

a strong background in
statistics or economics.

It's certainly possible
for you to test

out of the intro courses.

And that, that's something
that every year B0,

a handful of students
do and they either use

that as an opportunity to take

more advanced courses
in those areas,

or they use that as an
opportunity to just

kind of expand their
skill set in other ways.

It's a pretty
straightforward process.

In the beginning,
when you get here,

you or a few weeks ahead,

you talk to a faculty
and there's usually

a kind of placement
exam you can take,

which is just to
check that you do

have command of the basic topics

we cover in these courses.

And I think that's
about it, right?

I see a question in the chat
about how soon can students

get involved in
opportunities like

Poverty Solutions or
volunteer experience?

Poly, you want to dress better?

Yeah, a lot of our a lot

of her students
just hit the ground

running and looking for
those kinds of experiences,

right when they get here
and that, that's great.

Other, other students
want to kind of get,

get into the rhythm
of their classes,

see what the workloads
actually like

before they think
about adding onto it.

Working for poverty solutions.

Or one of the other
research centers

at the Ford School or, or beyond.

Also, it's, I think part
of the question too

is about hands-on experience.

So both the MPP and
the MPA required

curricula include a practical,

engaged learning experience.

So I'm the MPP side,

that's the summer internship that

is required for everyone.

Even if you come in
with work experience,

we want you to do
an internship that

brings you to build

further skills and a new
kind of organization,

new types of policy issues.

On the MPA side,

it's a one-year degree.

The students do a
capstone project

with client that is external to

the University of Michigan in
here we think of that this

primarily like a consulting
gig for the MPA students.

We, um, and I'm thick
in the fund right now

of trying to match our
current MPA students

with a capstone client,

where they're going to have a
project that has a scope of

work and a set of

deliverables like a
consulting arrangement would.

And they were, the
students will complete

the capstone project
winter semester.

Some of the students will

actually have that continue into,

into the summer and then,

and then graduate in August.

Wonderful. Well, we are
unfortunately out of time.

That came quicker
than I expected.

I want to respect
everybody's time.

We may not have gotten
to all of the questions.

So I do want to
encourage students,

prospective students, if you have

additional questions or
want to talk to, uh,

send us an email, fs, PP,

PIF, and admissions
at you

Or you could just
go to the website.

We've got lots of information

about the application process,

but we're happy to

answer any specific
questions you may have.

So I want to thank

our wonderful
panelists for sharing

their insights and
experience with us.

And wish all of you a
wonderful afternoon and look

forward to seeing many of you at

next week's webinar. Take care.