Spring 2020 - 58320 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Solutions for America's Children in Poverty

Over 16 million children in the United States grow up poor, which means one out of every five kids in America faces increased risk of worse health, education, and future economic outcomes. While many US policies, social enterprises, and nonprofit organizations aim to improve life trajectories for vulnerable youths, some are more effective than others. This course explores pro-child interventions with experiences inside and outside the classroom before giving students the opportunity to take their own shot at improving outcomes for children in-need.

This course, which aims to prepare effective social entrepreneurs and advocates, answers three fundamental questions about disparities among America’s children:

What do experts say? Alongside guest lectures, debates, and panels with subject expertise, students will investigate social issues impacting children’s health and wellbeing. We will study the evidence on inequalities, debate US government programs and policies, and explore examples of relevant social enterprises and nonprofits.

What do children (and their families) say? Students have the opportunity to see US social policy and programming up-close by travelling with Dr. Mike’s “Street Pediatrics” team, a mobile clinic serving Austin’s hardest-to-reach, highest-risk youths. Our intent is to learn from local communities’ families and children in poverty.

What do you say do? Applying lessons from both the classroom and community, student-entrepreneurs will practice design thinking in interdisciplinary teams alongside community partner organizations to develop and pitch plans for products, services, or movements aimed at improving life trajectories for vulnerable children.

Students must complete a brief application to enroll in this course.

Link to application:  https://utexas.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0AmpVcA9Uuesozr