Fellows attend the program 1-3 days per week over 9 months, September to June. The "Core Curriculum" occurs on Fridays, and is required of all Fellows participating in the program. The Core Curriculum is composed of seven (7) courses/seminars.
Fellows who are earning a Master's Degree in Public Administration (MPA) in Disability and Health Policy from Suffolk University attend additional courses on Thursdays or Saturdays.
CORE Curriculum (Fridays)
Required 30-hour courses and seminars:
The United States Health System
Fellows are introduced to the major health issues/institutions in the United States with focus on home health services, Medicaid/Medicare, managed care, medical home, integrated service delivery systems, and other health care changes. Students connect health care system issues with issues related to public policy, and the concerns of people with disability who are un-served and underserved.
Legal Environment of Healthcare, Disability and Public Policy
This course provides an evaluation of the legal processes, public policy and social issues that affect persons with developmental disabilities and their families. Fellows examine aspects of public policy/practice in the lives of families and children with developmental disabilities, including the evolution and current definitions of disability, developmental disability and intellectual disability; legislation that has provided for civil rights in public access, employment, education and health; the issues that people with disabilities feel are most important at the current time; and the factors that came together to achieve success in the past.
Health Policy: Disability and Public Policy-Expanding Access
This course is a continuation of the Public Service Law course; it provides an opportunity to evaluate/understand many aspects of public policy and social issues that affect the lives of persons with developmental disabilities and their families, including local, regional, state, and national forces and trends, the principles of self-determination and maximum participation of persons with disability in planning, and implementation.
Fellows consider how technology provides leaders extensive access to a rich array of information resources and many choices about how to communicate with their colleagues and the individuals they serve. This seminar covers a number of the challenging areas and makes use of class discussion, exercises, and guest lecturers.
Family and Community Perspective
This seminar provides Fellows with an opportunity to participate in, observe, and learn about the day-to-day concerns of children or adults with disabilities and their families. Through guest lectures, video discussions and readings as well as a field experience visiting a host family, Fellows learn how programs and policies affect individuals/families, identify the gaps that exist in programs and service systems, and understand what individuals and families require to be successful.
LEND fellows will have the opportunity to explore an issue of their choosing focusing on and addressing an important need in the maternal-child health or disability field. This is accomplished through a series of activities and assignments designed to build skills in planning for the implementation of a strategic leadership project. Fellows conduct environmental scans, identify and interview key stakeholders, review and summarize relevant academic literature, consider potential solutions, and identify and defend a solution that they believe has the best potential for addressing the problem. Fellows will then identify the steps necessary to implement the project or plan.
Additional Courses for MPA Candidates (Thursdays and/or Saturdays)
Foundations of Public Organizational Administration
This course provides an overview of the field of public administration; the structure, functions, and processes of government organizations at various levels—federal, state, regional, and local—are examined. Students explore the historical trends and political rationale for the present operations of the public sector. A review of research methods, techniques, and tools will be carried out, including identification of information sources and communication formats.
Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation
Fellows explore how public programs and policies can be made more responsive, efficient, and effective through the use of social science research techniques and measurement of programmatic outcomes. The course consists of lectures on identified topics, text and supplemental readings on program evaluation (analysis of existing programs) and policy analysis (analysis of prospective programs) techniques and issues.
Fellows build upon the basic statistics and research designs established in Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation. The focus is on using social science research to determine how public programs and policies can be made more responsive, efficient and effective. The primary goal of the course is for students to understand the value of data and statistical analyses as well as the potential weakness, confounding factors, and difficulties in determining causality.
Non-Profits in the Community
Fellows learn to recognize organizational constituencies, analyze their often conflicting importance/opinions and learn to make the appropriate action decisions which result in maintenance of good community relations and mission achievement for non-profit and other public service organizations.