This semester, you will practice the skills of policy analysis through a number of assignments that are designed to build on one another, and all of these will make extensive use of your community-based learning experiences.

Your assignments are briefly described below:


Our on-line research notebook.  You will post to a blog about your CBL, and this blog will serve as the collective repository of our CBL observations, experiences, and thoughts, which all of you can draw from to write your papers.

Metro Richmond Paper

An analysis of Richmond, using the introductory course readings and preliminary data sites, this is your first formal assignment for the course.  In it, you apply the concept of the “ghetto” to Highland Park and use qualitative and quantitative evidence to support your argument.

Data Presentation

A 15 minute presentation on your topic using data featured on the course website’s RESEARCH page.  In you Data Presentations, you teach the class about the policy problem we are studying: What does it look like in Highland Park?  When you are done, I will post these to the COMMUNITY PROFILES page, and you will be able to use these Data Presentations for your own research.  The presentation is a collaborative project, and you will receive a group grade for it.

Policy Analysis Paper

In this paper, you will evaluate how well a federal law or other initiative works in Highland Park or the Northside.  You should draw from the data available from the Data Presentations, data from the course website’s RESEARCH page, the course readings, library research (if needed), and your own observations and experiences at your site.

Final Exam

A reflection on Tania Mitchell’s call for “critical service learning” given what you now know about the community of Highland Park.


Your participation grade will be based on what I can observe of your engagement and participation (contributions to in-clas discussions and blog postings and communications with site supervisors).

For further instructions on each of these assignments, please see the pages for each of these assignments.

Header Image: Stately Queen Anne homes in Richmond’s Northside.