Policy - An Interprofessional Approach

A series of illustrated, intertwined gears to depict how How our online, interprofessional public policy course worksHave you ever wondered what people mean when they talk about policy? What is it? Who needs it? How does it work? Why should I care about it? UNE Online’s new public policy course, Policy: An Interprofessional Approach (GPH 702) is a great way to find out answers to these questions. You will work with students from other disciplines to better understand how policy impacts individuals, communities and populations and the importance of cross-sector collaboration and partnerships.

What is Policy?

Public policy refers to any federal, state, or local government action that influences individual or agency behavior. It can be laws, executive orders, regulations, ordinances, court rulings, appropriations, or board and committee decisions. Government decision-making impacts all of us personally and professionally, from federal taxing and spending decisions, to local school board decisions, to judicial court opinions at every level — all aspects of our lives are shaped and impacted by government action and good policy can contribute to a more civil, equitable society.

GPH 702 reviews the structure and function of government and students will finish this public policy course with an understanding of the several types of policy activity in our society. Class discussions help students see the sweeping scope of public policy at various levels of government and its potential for very specific impact on individual lives and in individual communities.

Who Needs Policy?

All professionals should understand the workings of policy and how they can partner across disciplines to influence government officials and legislators in creating informed, evidence-based public policy that benefits as many people as possible. The ability to persuade lawmakers and local boards and officials is a powerful tool to improving our communities and making the world a better, safer, healthier place to live. Legislators and government officials cannot possibly know everything about a particular policy topic; the experts in the field must know how to use scientific evidence to advise policymakers and nudge them in the direction of the most effective, beneficial policy decisions.

Why Interprofessional?

In a complex society, effective public policy should be informed by interprofessional conversations that establish policy priorities and assist policymakers in avoiding negative or disparate impact and unintended consequences. Effective policy analysis requires input from many interested parties and this input must be of value and respectfully delivered and received. Policy: An Interprofessional Approach enrolls students from across UNE’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies, including Education, Nutrition, Public Health, Social Work, and Health Informatics. Students engage across these disciplines and share information and suggestions about how a proposed policy might positively or negatively impact community stakeholders. They help each other craft a persuasive arguments and incorporate the principles of the interprofessional education competencies in peer discussions and in giving and receiving feedback on their policy analyses.

Read more: UNE Online Graduate Selected for Interprofessional Policy Development Work Group

How Does This Public Policy Course Work?

GPH 702 students are provided a policy scenario that can be applied at the federal, state, or local level. The scenario is applicable across disciplines and students work in small, interprofessional groups to share ideas on whether the policy is likely to positively or negatively impact individuals, communities, or organizations. They discuss how the policy proposal might be improved and help one another arrive at the most informed and persuasive policy review, offering different perspectives and ideas about what would work best and why.

What Are Students Saying about GPH 702?

At the end of the course, students reflect on their interprofessional experiences. Here is what they have to say:

“Listening and responding to those that have a different point of view really allows for reflection and problem-solving.”

“The experience in this course changed the way my mindset should be in a collaboration.”

“I was very intimidated by policy when I started this course and thanks to my group mates I was able to overcome that and realized that although it is very important to know how policy works, it is not nearly as scary as I had thought.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to explore policy development and the work that goes into developing public policy.”

“It was very helpful to interact with other classmates throughout the course leading to the final project, as different point of views and perspectives helped to better understand the topic.”

“Pushing myself to think far outside of the box really helped to establish a better policy.”

“Considering the perspectives of others challenges my beliefs and allows me to grow.”

If you’re a current student interested in taking our public policy course as part of your degree program, you can reach out to your Student Support Specialist to add it as an elective.

If you’re interested in taking GPH 702 as an individual, non-matriculated course or learning more about our degree programs, we welcome you to contact us at 1 (855) 325-0895 or publichealth@une.edu!


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