PAdm 802: Quantitative Methods for Public Sector Professionals

3 Credit Hours

Public Administration 702: Research Methods

Course Objectives:

  • Use SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) including how to create SPSS Save (data) Files, data transformation and data analysis
  • Use selected statistics including measures of central tendency, dispersion, chi-square, t-test, analysis of variance, and correlation to inform decision making in public administration
  • Write using quantitative evidence
  • Critically define the problem, evaluate policy options and use empirical evidence to inform public policy decisions
  • Summarize and present findings as they apply to public policy decisions
  • Develop an understanding of community-based networked solutions to governance involving government and nongovernmental organizations

Course Description:
The data used in the class is taken from an applied research project associated with the Center for Urban Studies and the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs. A multistage learning regiment culminating in written exercises is used to reinforce learning. First, students learn how to calculate and interpret statistics including discussion of important assumptions. Second, a series of oral exercises are used to introduce students to statistics and SPSS procedures used to produce statistics. Third, students read and orally discuss selected readings and how they relate to policy concerns and the empirical evidence. Fourth, students are required to write papers tying readings to empirical evidence. Fifth, each paper requires an executive summary that succinctly presents policy concerns and findings. The content of the papers (3) include: discussion of important issues or problems as defined by selected readings; discussion of the empirical evidence and associated findings including ties to literature based expectations; discussion of policy implications; an executive summary of issues and findings; an appendix with hand calculations and a conceptual explanation of selected statistics.

Major Topics Covered:

  • Ethics and Public Administration Research
  • A Research Methods Review
  • Univariate Analysis, Descriptive Statistics and Information Presentation
  • Review of Sampling Theory
  • Bivariate Analysis: Test of Independence - Crosstabs (nominal or ordinal data)
  • Differences of Means between Two Groups (Ordinal or Interval Data= Dependent Variable) by (Groups= Independent Variable)
  • Differences of Means for Two or More Groups (Ordinal or Interval Data= Dependent Variable) by (Groups= Independent Variable)
  • Measures of Association, Correlation and Regression