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This minor will provide students with an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of educational policy. Employing interdisciplinary perspectives, students will analyze and evaluate the effects of key policies and reform movements in education on students, teachers, and society at large. Students will consider how educational policy reshapes the institution of schooling, affects teaching practices in the classrooms, regulates curriculum decision making, and manages diverse student populations in education. This minor will enable students to pursue graduate education for research and teaching and, subsequently, to participate in Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) dedicated to educational policy, education policy think-tanks, as well as jobs in academia and leadership positions in NGOs, consultancies, and public service.

Requirements (15 hours)

  • PSC 370 American Public Policy
    • This course provides a broad overview of public policy in the United States. In addition to learning about the policy process and policy analysis, we will examine the historical context and contemporary status of several policy issues. 
  • BEF 483 Educational Policy and Reform
    • This course introduces students to the fields of educational policy and reform in the United States by focusing on the relation of the public school to the state, on the principles of education, and on the possibilities for reform. Students will analyze contemporary policy debates and reform efforts in regard to philosophical perspectives, historical contingencies, and empirical support. 
  • BEF 484 Church, State, and American Education
    • This course provides students with a critical look at the role of religion in public education, the separation of church and state in American education, and educational policies emanating from debates about the separation of church and state. 
  • BEF 485 Language Politics
    • This course provides students a broad overview of language policy and planning. Drawing on international case studies, students will identify different foci of language planning, including status, corpus and acquisition planning, as well as the different linguistic and political views that inform policy, especially language in education policy. 
  • BEF 486 Educational Policy Analysis
    • Prerequisites: PSC 370, BEF 483, BEF 484, BEF 485
    • This is the capstone course for the Educational Policy Studies undergraduate minor. The purpose of this course is to have the students create a small research project that reflects on their learning from previous courses in the Educational Policy Studies undergraduate minor. (In limited cases, the instructor will make pre-requisite exceptions after discussion with individual students on a case-by-case basis). 

 For more information, contact Dr. John Petrovic, petrovic@ua.edu, 348 0465