Required and Elective Courses
Required Courses for Advanced Certificate in Public Communication (select one)
PAF 9103 Communication in Public Settings
Introduces students to communication in public settings and provides extensive opportunities for practice with basic written and oral forms. Students study interrelationships among communicative activities and organizational goals. Internal and external messages are given equal weight. Students learn about argumentative structures necessary for constructing sound policy and persuasive techniques relevant to funding, regulation, client, and public constituencies.
PAF 9420 Global Communication
Students apply a comparative perspective to the communicative conditions that prevail in countries across the world, from everyday cultural practices (e.g., diplomatic ways of communicating in various societies) to organizational and policy considerations (e.g., free speech protections or restrictions). Students sharpen their professional communication skills by speaking and writing on topics addressing issues of policy and administration in global contexts.
Required Courses for Advanced Certificate in Public Communication
PAF 9139 Communication Strategy
Students learn to design communication campaigns that will change or modify key behaviors; promote a cause, service, or program; or enhance the brand and fundraising capacity of an organization. Course topics cover areas such as fear appeals, message fatigue, working with diverse audiences, and online and social media advocacy. Students develop message strategies using techniques drawn from social marketing, persuasion, and political communication.
PAF 9201 Mobilizing Digital Communication for the Public Good
Students explore how digital media affect people, organizations, movements, and societies. Focusing on the effectiveness and ethics of digital and online media practices, students engage in collaborative work and research/applied projects that examine how to use digital communication strategically to create social changes; how people’s identities, media habits, and ways of relating have been affected by such platforms; and what their architectures do to promote or hinder better social worlds and futures. This course also examines how social movements are built and what makes them successful, with a focus on how digital technologies, or Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), influence movement building.
Elective Courses for Advanced Certificate in Public Communication (select one)
PAF 9104 Media, Politics, and Public Culture
This course identifies how the media advance or limit democratic values. Students examine how policy leaders work with media systems to influence public opinion, and the domestic and global policies that shape media diversity. The course also covers the ways individuals and groups monitor, preserve, or challenge the power of the media.
PAF 9202 Civic and Political Speechmaking in New York City
Students study important speeches delivered by prominent figures in the civic and political life of New York City, and other civic and political speeches. By studying such speeches, students learn about the governance of NYC and gain a perspective on the history of its political institutions. Students collect the texts of the sort of speeches that are the subject of the class and work to produce research about and criticism of them. They also try their hand at writing speeches for particular sorts of speech events.
PAF 9203 Communicating for Equity and Belonging
This course examines the communication strategies of activists, social movement leaders, and politicians who have worked for the equity and inclusion of groups marginalized according to race, gender, class, ethnicity, citizenship, sexuality, or ability. The course explores constraints and obstacles to marginalized groups’ political participation and representation, how members of marginalized groups have rhetorically navigated those obstacles, and how their social protest has been represented in mediated texts.
PAF 9204 Conflict Management and Negotiation
In public and international affairs, every professional will have to manage conflict and negotiate effectively in a wide variety of situations. Through readings, discussions, case studies, and role plays, students will take on the identity of “reflective practitioners” in this course to develop: an understanding of conflict and its dynamics; strategies and processes for eliciting cooperation and producing supportive professional environments; the fundamentals of negotiation; a variety of conflict management approaches used to overcome common barriers to negotiated resolutions; communication skills; and strategies for dealing with public controversy. This class emphasizes cutting-edge ideas and practices each step of the way; students walk away with new perspectives and techniques that can be immediately applied in your everyday work.
The following special topics classes could also count to fulfill the elective requirement:
PAF 9199 Selected Topic: Strategic Storytelling
The ability to find, craft, and tell a story is an essential tool in public and international affairs. Used strategically, a well told story can convey an organization’s mission and culture, attract the attention of the media, raise funds, sell a product, influence decision makers, and even help societies embark on new paths. This course provides students with a deep and broad understanding of stories and how they can be used in public and international affairs. Drawing from a wealth of evidence-based and field-tested work on storytelling from both local and global contexts, students will learn why stories tend to be so powerful and—with a focus on the written, performed, and transmedia aspects of storytelling—gain experience in telling stories to achieve organizational objectives.
PAF 9199 Selected Topic: Improv for Leadership
Some of the most important interactions of our lives are improvised. From job interviews to crucial conversations, the skill with which we handle the “unscripted moments” of our lives directly influences the kind of futures we come to inhabit. Students spend in-class sessions on their feet engaged in various games and exercises designed to help them become more creative, heighten awareness, think faster, build confidence, and improve expression and leadership skills. Everyone maintains an individual journal and group reflections on their growth, and learn to manage the unexpected through a variety of thought experiments, physical activities, and focused debriefs.
PAF 9199 Selected Topic: Applying Technological Innovation to Solve Public Sector Problems
The focus of the course is developing a systematic approach to solving complex problem that arise in the public sector. Within the context of solving problems we also want to account for the role technology can and should play in the solutions we consider. In particular we want to understand the practical implications of AI, algorithms, and learning machines in solving these problems today and explore their potential in the future.
PAF 9199 Selected Topic: Intergroup Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity
This highly interactive course brings together students to examine the roles that race, ethnicity, and other intersecting identities play in their lives. Course work includes an interdisciplinary blend of scholarly readings, in-class dialogue, experiential learning activities, reflective writing, and an intergroup collaborative action project aimed at bettering relationships and communication patterns outside the class itself. The course readings link students’ personal experiences with race and ethnicity to a socio-historical understanding of individual, institutional, and structural discrimination, and to the ways social inequality is embedded in social institutions and individual consciousness, thus constraining life chances Students bring their own experiences with race and ethnicity into the classroom as a legitimate element of learning. Class members explore similarities and differences between their experiences with race and privilege within and across racial identity groups, with the goal of coming to understand the underlying conditions that account for these different life experiences and perceptions.