Los Angeles Politics
LA Politics is taught in spring semesters by Fernando Guerra and it examines the politics of the Los Angeles metropolitan region. The region will be placed into the larger American urban context, as well as the exceptionalism that is LA. Five major academic themes are discussed using three separate strategies: 1) standard classroom style lessons revolving around theories, concepts, and the literature, 2) the examination of a case study of a policy issue to examine the practical elements, led by guest lecturers or analysis of the readings, and 3) student presentations of current issues as they appear in the media.
Racial and Ethnic Politics
Racial and Ethnic Politics is taught in the fall semesters by Fernando Guerra. The objective of this course is for students to gain an understanding of racial and ethnic politics in contemporary U.S. society. The course will focus on the political inclusion of previously excluded groups. This is accomplished by examining the U.S. political structure and local ethnic communities in comparative perspective. There will also be an emphasis on theoretical models, historical comparisons, numerous case studies and guest lectures.
California Politics is taught in the spring semesters by Fernando Guerra. The aim of the course is to enhance the students’ understanding of practical politics. This is accomplished by classroom discussions, readings, and participation in the Sacramento Legislative Seminar, a three-day trip to the California State Capitol in Sacramento. While in Sacramento, there will be panel discussions with staff, lobbyists, press and legislative leaders. There will also be seminars on politics, elections and public policy. An optional alternative break trip through California’s Central Valley will occur immediately following the seminar.
Introduction to GIS
Introduction to GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is taught during spring semesters by Brianne Gilbert. A majority of the time is spent in the computer lab learning this mapping skill set. Here students gain functional knowledge of GIS generally, and Esri’s ArcMap and ArcGIS online more specifically. You know those cool maps that are coded by color or symbol size and demonstrate things like voting behaviors or population density? Or how about the maps that create the buffers around a point, like a new apartment building, to determine the restaurants within a one-mile radius? Yep, that's what we do.
Political Internships is taught during both fall and spring semesters by Brianne Gilbert. The goal of the course is to assist students in obtaining skills, experiences, and contacts that enhance employment prospects and options after graduation. By the end of the semester students will have gained experience working in a field related to political science and have a greater appreciation for the discussed academic material and how it relates to their desired field. Finally, students will develop a reflective and critical understanding of what it means to not only “do” an internship, but to excel and make themselves competitive.
Political Science Learning Community
Political Science Learning Community is taught in the spring 2016 semester by Fernando Guerra. Students will attend a series of events on and off campus, in Los Angeles and Sacramento, related to politics and public policy. They will have the option of attending the Forecast LA Lecture Series, moderated panel discussions by regional experts, or attending the 60th annual Sacramento Legislative Seminar in Sacramento. Students also will attend LMU Day in LA where they will spend the day downtown interacting with various sectors of local leadership including the County Board of Supervisors, City Council, LAUSD, and City Commissions.
At the heart of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles are research and teaching undergraduate students about that research. Members of the team teach several courses at LMU and integrate research projects into the syllabus of every course. Classes are taught during both the fall and spring semesters and are housed in the Departments of Political Science and Chicana/o Studies, and the Urban Studies Program.