About this Specialization
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100% online courses

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Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.

Beginner Level

A basic understanding of US government. Concerns about the needs of fellow residents. Interest in understanding the US social policy system

Approx. 2 months to complete

Suggested 7 hours/week

English

Subtitles: English

What you will learn

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    Compare historical, intellectual and cross-national perspectives on the size, structure and outcomes of U.S. social policy

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    Demonstrate knowledge of U.S. social welfare policy and its economic, social, and political contexts, in order to be an engaged citizen

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    Differentiate the various levels and structures of public benefits, and the social justice impact on people receiving them

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    Formulate skills in social policy implementation in order to be more effective in professional practice

Skills you will gain

Formulate practice strategies to overcome the historic biases in social welfare programsdistinguish the values inherent in each social policy initiativedifferentiate alternative approaches to social policy problemsCritique components of a social policy based on their effectiveness at meeting the goals stated in the initiativedevelop social welfare policy analysis and reform proposals

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.

Beginner Level

A basic understanding of US government. Concerns about the needs of fellow residents. Interest in understanding the US social policy system

Approx. 2 months to complete

Suggested 7 hours/week

English

Subtitles: English

How the Specialization Works

Take Courses

A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses that helps you master a skill. To begin, enroll in the Specialization directly, or review its courses and choose the one you'd like to start with. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. It’s okay to complete just one course — you can pause your learning or end your subscription at any time. Visit your learner dashboard to track your course enrollments and your progress.

Hands-on Project

Every Specialization includes a hands-on project. You'll need to successfully finish the project(s) to complete the Specialization and earn your certificate. If the Specialization includes a separate course for the hands-on project, you'll need to finish each of the other courses before you can start it.

Earn a Certificate

When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you'll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.

how it works

There are 5 Courses in this Specialization

Course1

US Social Services Compared

4.7
18 ratings
5 reviews
Course2

US Social Services: Where did they come from?

4.6
8 ratings
2 reviews
Course3

Poverty & Population: How Demographics Shape Policy

4.8
22 ratings
3 reviews
Course4

Social Services for Families, Seniors and Those with Disabilities

4.6
5 ratings
1 reviews

Instructor

Avatar

John Robertson

Policy Lecturer
School of Social Work, Columbia University in New York City

About Columbia University

For more than 250 years, Columbia has been a leader in higher education in the nation and around the world. At the core of our wide range of academic inquiry is the commitment to attract and engage the best minds in pursuit of greater human understanding, pioneering new discoveries and service to society....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.

  • This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.

  • Yes, the courses are in order

  • If you complete the honors requirements and register in the Masters of Social Work program at the Columbia University School of Social Work, you will be given credit for this course

  • Yes, learners can interact in the discussion forums.

  • The United States has an ongoing national debate about the welfare state and the role of government. This sequence tries to present both sides, but it springs from the pro government point of view that believes the welfare state is essential in the modern world.

  • -Any educator, government employee, or health or social service provider

    -Concerned citizens who want to know more about the U.S. social welfare system

    -Learners with the skills to analyze and synthesize a great deal of information

    -Learners with the willingness to expand their views of social welfare policy

    -For the HONORS course, learners with skills to develop a topic, complete research, and interpret findings

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.