As part of the required POLS seminar, students work throughout the year to develop their POLS Project and POLS Talk.
During Autumn quarter, students become familiar with a specific organization of deep interest to them—e.g., an educational non-profit, a charter school, a public school district, a community college, or a unit within a four-year university. As a result of repeated visits to their chosen sites, students will identify areas in need of improvement that will become the core of their POLS Project.
Projects will be further developed during Winter quarter as students collect data and read publications about the kinds of problems or challenges they have discovered in their sites.
In Spring quarter, students create their POLS Projects by combining their learning from their course work, action research at their sites, and published research.
The Project clearly articulates an organizational problem, its root causes, and an action plan to address the root causes.
The POLS Talk is a public, video recorded presentation that is an appropriate condensation of the Project, explaining a clear theory of action for improvement of organizational performance.
A few examples from the 2016 cohort can be found below.
College Track East Palo Alto
Bryan Tomlinson & Emma Rutland
Haas Center: Service and Purpose
Devanie Helman & Annabel Wong
A Question of Opportunity: Philanthropy's Unintended Consequences at Case Study Middle School
Katie Buetow & Anne Marie Gordon
K - 12