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Columbia University

Health, Housing, and Educational Services

Columbia University via Coursera


Course 5 discusses policies in four areas: housing, education, healthcare, and immigration, with an optional fifth module in child protection. This course addresses issues of power, oppression, and white supremacy. -First we’ll look at housing policy, with its contrasting supports for homeowners and renters. -Then we’ll interpret the structure that provides education and examine debates about its future. -The third module will differentiate the issues in the U.S. healthcare system and develop the structure of public healthcare programs. -Next, the course will lay out immigration policies and weigh the push and pull of the debate about immigration reform. -The optional fifth module traces the child protection system its beginnings to the present day and appraises the failures and strengths of the system. The course is part of a sequence in social policy that has an HONORS TRACK. This track will prepare the learner for masters-level work in policy, which involves reading the literature, writing concise summaries and probing critiques. Over the sequence the learner will develop a policy analysis that will create a foundation for professional policy analyst assignments.


  • Housing and Education
    • Housing and education are vital needs for families and individuals. This module will describe the current programs and tensions in the US housing and education system. The module begins with a review of tax expenditures as a significant component of US social policy
  • Understanding healthcare delivery in the U.S.
    • Health care is a permanent state of transition because of new discoveries, population changes and service delivery changes. The learner will distinguish the forces that shape the US health care system and the tensions in the system that lead to conflicting solutions.
  • ACA, Medicare, and Medicaid
    • The US has three major health care programs: the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid. The learner will learn the underlying structure of each of the systems and will probe the debate surrounding each program
  • Immigration
    • Since the original encounter between the western and eastern hemispheres, immigration has been a major economic and social force. The learner will examine the US history of immigration and the current structures of the immigration system. The module will appraise the current immigration debates and critique various reform proposals
  • BONUS: Child Protective Services
    • The safety of children is a concern of the public. The US has a complex child protective system that has been transformed many times in our history. Current policy focuses on protections against child abuse. This module will interpret the development of the goal of keeping children safe from abuse and critique the present mechanisms used to protect children.

Taught by

John Robertson


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 64 ratings

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