Classes, Workshops, Mastermind, and Private Coaching

The Science and Technology Policy Academy (S&TPA) offers a wide variety of educational opportunities to transform student thinking about S&T policy.  All classes, workshops, and mastermind activities are offered virtually.  They are also all professional development, learn-by-doing, classes as opposed to traditional academic offerings.

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As an individual, you can take classes of 6-8 weeks, working at your own pace, as part of a cohort of other similarly-minded individuals, so you can learn from your peers as part of a learning community.  New cohorts will begin in the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.  Not all classes, however, will be offered every season. 

You can also sign up for independent study with private coaching, or receive private coaching without studying a particular topic such as to gain help on a specific piece of work (such as analysis, op-eds, etc.) or career guidance.

If you are an organization, such as a university, agency, or student S&T policy group, you can sponsor or host any S&T policy topic as a workshop, group class, webinar, or coaching.  For example,

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  • The Idaho Science & Technology Policy Fellowship Program offered all four topics in the S&TPA’s Level 1 for an unlimited number of students and faculty at three Idaho universities over four mornings at no cost to their participants.  They also are supporting individual coaching for the fellows in their program and a seminar on a specialized topic (benefit cost analysis) for anyone who is interested.

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  • The National Institutes of Health’s FAES offers the S&TPA topics as both classes and workshops where students pay tuition directly to FAES and pay the instructor a flat rate with minimum and maximum student levels.  They successful offered the Level 1 class as a workshop over four mornings, and are currently registering students for the Level 2 class that will meet two times per week over six weeks.

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  • West Virginia University sponsored the Level 2 class for a group of faculty and students working on a project related to water policy in their state over six weeks.

If you are a small group (4-8 people), you can do a mastermind.  In a mastermind, you and friends or colleagues work as peer group to support each other through brainstorming, education, and peer accountability to set and accomplish strong goals over several months or longer – perhaps meeting once or twice a month. 

For example, you might work together to solve problems, share best practices, set goals, make each member accountable for meeting their goals, and meet consistently.  For the world of S&T policy, this might include working together to achieve goals related to policy-related:

  • fellowship program applications,

  • thesis and dissertations,

  • analysis, or

  • advocacy. 

The S&TPA staff acts as a facilitator, providing expertise as needed.  It is not a class where the expert provides an answer or sets the agenda for the meetings, rather it supports the group to help the members think productively and creatively.  It is also not a group coaching experience, where an instructor might work with an individual with other members observing, or meant for networking. Think of it as a democracy with a leader who facilitates group interactions, providing expertise and training as needed.

 

Workshops and courses can offer a mix of the following options relative to you or your organization or group’s needs. These include:

  • Recorded topical lectures that students can watch at their own pace.

  • Live lectures that are also recorded, so students who cannot make it can watch later.

  • Interactive exercises with peers during live sessions.

  • Expert guidance via live Q&A sessions (Zoom).

  • Homework forum and instructor review via a learning management platform (Ruzuku).

  • Peer support community (Slack) that also provides information on current job/fellowship and informal educational opportunities.

  • Templates for analytical exercises.

 

Regardless of the educational mode, students have long-term access to:

 

  • Videos of content, lectures, and Q&A sessions

  • Emails with instructor

  • Slack community with job/fellowship opportunities and peer support.

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