Open Courses for Fall 2022

Now that August is officially here, it is hard to believe that the summer is almost over! With first-year move-in beginning in just a few weeks, Grounds will soon be alive again with all the energy of a new semester. As you make the transition back to "academic mode," you may be searching for another class or two to add to your schedule. We've outlined a few excellent options below for you to consider, particularly with the 15-credit cap on enrollment lifting on August 3. 

If you are looking for a “taste” of Batten, the best course for you is LPPP 2000: Batten Showcase: A Collection of Lectures on Leadership and Public Policy. Batten Showcase is a one-credit CR/NC seminar that will feature revolving faculty guest lecturers spotlighting their research and other ways they are engaging with the most pressing public policy and leadership issues of the day. It will help you start to understand the way we approach problem solving at Batten and give you a sense of whether our approach would be helpful as you think about the impact you want to make in the wider world. As a non-graded course, it will not be a heavy academic lift; rather, it is intended to expose you to concepts in a fun, engaging way.

Another great option to sample Batten’s coursework is LPPL 2100: Resilient Student: Transition, Thriving, and Leadership. This course is taught by Professor Tim Davis, an expert on group dynamics and leadership development, and is a great way to build critical resiliency skills as you face new challenges. As a 2000-level course it does not count toward curricular requirements in Batten’s programs, but it is a great course to take early in your time at UVA that helps you reflect on your own strengths and use them to navigate adversity.

If you are considering the Minor in Social Entrepreneurship, you could enroll in LPPS 3050: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship is an approach to creating system-level change through the application of entrepreneurial thinking to social ventures, non-profit organizations, government institutions, and NGOs to create economic, environmental, and social value for multiple stakeholders. In this course you will be introduced to a range of entrepreneurial approaches aimed at solving social problems - from the non-profit to the for-profit. Since the Minor in Social Entrepreneurship accepts every applicant, taking this course now puts you in a great spot to apply for the minor in the spring after you take ENTP 1010: Start-Ups.

If you have additional room in your schedule, taking a Batten elective, known as a special topics course, prior to application can be helpful! Special topics classes are a great way to take a deeper dive into policy areas that you are passionate about. If you already know you want to study abroad or double-major or double-minor, taking electives in advance gives you greater flexibility after joining Batten to accomplish those other goals. Just keep in mind, our recommendation is to prioritize completing program prerequisites over taking a Batten elective. Seeing grades for prerequisites in your application helps the Admissions Committee in its evaluation; that said, most prerequisites can be taken all the way up to the semester you begin at Batten, including the summer (the exception is LPPP 2200: Introduction to Public Policy which is only offered in the fall or spring). 

With that in mind, here are some amazing open Batten special topics classes for this fall. Each of these courses are offered at the 3000-level and count toward elective requirements for both the Public Policy & Leadership Major and Minor. 

LPPS 3310: Police-Community Relations: Problems and Prospects

The current state of US police-community relations is in a precarious condition. Recent incidents of negative police-citizen encounters resulting in deaths of unarmed citizens and police officers has affected public trust & confidence in local law enforcement. Taught by Brian Williams, this class focuses on problems of police-community relations and deliberates prospects for policy solutions. Students will develop and present policy proposals to address a particular problem.

LPPS 3295: Global Humanitarian Crises Response

Getting access to populations caught in war in Ukraine, finding ways to address the devastating crises in Yemen and Ethiopia, the challenges of providing aid in accountable ways, and the complexity of addressing extraordinary migration and refugee flows are only some of the policy questions being faced in the humanitarian aid sector. Taught by Kirsten Gelsdorf, a former United Nations official with two decades of experience working in humanitarian aid, this course will look at critical questions defining global humanitarian action and policy including the foundations, dilemmas, and operational realities of providing humanitarian aid.

LPPS 3240: Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Taught by Daniel Moy, a retired Air Force Colonel with 27-years of leadership, operations and policy experience in national and international security, this course explores the various ways our federal government, primarily the Department of Justice and the FBI, have responded to the threat of terrorism in the US and abroad. Topics covered include the modern terrorist threat, electronic surveillance authorities, US detention authority, terrorist debriefing, cooperating witnesses in terrorism cases, enhanced interrogation techniques, and the differences between the intelligence & law enforcement approaches to countering this problem.

LPPS 3370: Trauma and the US Public School System

Taught by Kristen Roorbach, a pediatric psychotherapist and educational psychologist, this course explores trauma in the context of child development and how the United States public school system serves to address this issue from a policy perspective. The neurobiology of trauma and stress and the effects of trauma on learning will be addressed, as well as school-based mental health services and educational supports. Students will have the opportunity to look at applied policy through case studies.

LPPL 3450: Resilient Leadership for Teams and Teammates

This course builds students' skills in "the art of getting things done." Students will establish the critical leadership & team-building competencies that distinguish highly effective leaders. We will introduce frameworks that will enhance resilience, team leadership skills, capacity for thriving in times of adversity, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills (including conflict resolution & negotiation skills), and decision making.

LPPS 3460: Introduction to Policy & the Legislative Process

In this course taught by Brooke Lehmann you will study how landmark social policies have shaped this nation, its laws, and its peoples. Students will analyze current policies that strive for equitability, protection, and prevention with respect to those whose access to justice and human privilege has been compromised. Additionally, you will learn about the legislative process and how to influence the course of this process, while also determining how to work within that context to achieve change in real-world social policy. Lehmann has over twenty years of experience providing direct clinical and advocacy services to children and families as well as working to improve the systems that administer these services through policy development and legislative advocacy.

LPPP 3500: Equity by Design: Transformative Social Enterprise

Explore the process for creating transformational social enterprises from a foundation of human-centered design. In this course, you will analyze the historical and social context of inequalities to develop empathy-building to achieve lasting equity. Additionally, you will learn how to build community wealth through developing social enterprises as gateways for accessing new opportunities. In addition to fulfilling Public Policy & Leadership Major and Minor requirements, this course also counts as an elective toward the Minor in Social Entrepreneurship.


If you have questions about courses or our academic programs, please contact the admissions team by email or make a virtual appointment. In September, we will resume Open Office hours for drop-in advising on Fridays from 2-4 PM in Garrett Hall Room 106.