USC Price School of Public Policy

Educational Planning, Policy and Management


Education is a primary vehicle for economic development and social advancement. This specialization prepares professionals for management and leadership positions in governmental, NGO, and other private sector organizations that specialize in educational programs and projects. These organizations design, manage, regulate, monitor, or evaluate primary and secondary educational programs and schools and manage the inputs necessary for improving the quality of educational programs.

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Courses cover the growing role of decentralization of resource allocation and management decisions to more local levels of governance, and the trend towards privatization. This specialization combines the acquisition of analytical and management concepts with technical skills and practical applications in urban design, planning and management. Applications are drawn from current policy issues in Asian and Pacific Rim countries. Policy issues include:

  • decentralization
  • management of educational programs
  • curriculum design
  • educational tools
  • innovations including school–based management incentives that link teacher pay to performance and distance learning programs

Sample courses for this concentration might include:

  • Education Sector Policy and Program Evaluation
  • Public School Finance
  • Organization and Administration of Public Education
  • Education in Asia
  • Economics of Education
  • Management of Instructional Resources
  • Evaluation of Learning Materials and Software
  • Curriculum and Methods for Teaching Multiple Subjects
  • Curriculum Planning in Secondary Schools
  • Advanced Telecommunications in Education
  • Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Environments

Organizations for Site Visits and Internships

Southern California contains one of the largest K–12 School districts in the country (LA Unified), numerous other K–12 school districts run by neighboring cities, and a diverse mix of universities and technical schools. The many school districts in the region provide a rich laboratory for the study of policy design and implementation. In addition, the region has a long history of educational reform and innovation:

  • bilingual education
  • school finance reform
  • public school competition
  • magnet schools
  • decentralization
  • class–size reduction
  • incentive–based payments

California is home to many school districts, not–for–profit educational reform organizations, research institutes studying the effects of educational reform, and an industry of financial and educational consulting agencies providing assistance to school districts in the design and implementation of educational policies. These organizations include:

  • many school district governing boards
  • public and private sector schools
  • educational design and planning companies
  • institutes studying the effects of educational reform
  • citizen groups promoting educational reform

IPPAM has working relationships with many of these organizations, which serve as part of the program’s professional network. The program arranges for participants to visit and study relevant agencies and companies, such as:

  • Los Angeles Unified School District and other school district agencies
  • California Department of Education and other regulatory agencies and planning departments
  • Urban Educational Systems Agencies
  • LA County Office of Education
  • RAND Corporation
  • Public Policy Institute of California