The Policy Analysis Practicum is the Price MPP capstone, in which students apply skills and knowledge gained throughout the program to a real-world policy issue and gain practical consulting experience in policy analysis. Students work in small teams to conduct research and identify policy-based opportunities on behalf of a client.
Clients are recruited by the MPP program, and group assignments are made based on an assessment of student skills and interests. Most projects employ a mixed-methodology approach that reflects the breadth of the Price MPP curriculum. Projects integrate quantitative methods such as statistical analysis and cost- benefit analysis as well as qualitative methods such as surveying, interviewing, focus groups, and archival research.
The Practicum is conducted over two semesters to allow for an iterative process of research, analysis and presentation. Student groups begin by meeting with the client to determine the scope of the project. Students work independently to conduct a review of published literature on the assigned topic and collaborate to structure a proposal and work plan. Research continues into the spring semester. Work is supervised by program instructors, but students are expected to meet independently with the client.
Deliverables include a review and proposal (to be approved by the client), a draft report to instructors, and a draft report to the client. At the end of the spring semester, student groups make a formal presentation to the client and deliver the final written report along with a summary brief of findings and policy recommendations.
Clients include non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, private firms, and government agencies.
Recent practicum clients include:
If interested in sponsoring a project, please contact T.J. McCarthy, Associate Professor (Teaching) and Vice Chair, Department of Public Policy ([email protected]).