California Policy Issues
Winter 2015 - Great class and great professor. Dukakis is about students first; not research, grades, ego, etc. If you are interested in CA public policy, politics, and/or public service, this is a great class to take. If you want an interesting class, this is also a good choice.
Winter 2020 - Professor Mitchell is a very knowledgeable guy, and I appreciate taking his class. You learn a lot about politics, government and public policy in California when you enroll, which can be very useful if you aspire to have a career in public service. Dukakis was a great speaker as well. My only issue is that the grading system is not transparent whatsoever. Though it’s stated in the syllabus about how grades are broken down, your grade ultimately comes down to the professors’ (Mitchell and Dukakis’s) view on your progress, and you cannot do anything about it. Grades are affected by turning in easy weekly assignments and coming to class on time, but the bulk of it is your individual and team reports due towards the end of the quarter. Both of them require submission of a draft, so the professors can correct all the grammatical and factual errors before grading. I did so and followed up on all suggestions and changes they made on my drafts, yet somehow still received a B in the course with no explanation. After you submit the final draft for both reports, you don’t know your grade on each paper until final grades on CCLE are in, to which the syllabus states cannot be changed for any reason. I did everything to the letter of what they asked and still did not receive the grade I deserved, or at least get an explanation as to why. When looking at the grading breakdown of the class, most students in the class receive B’s so I figure I’m not the only one in this boat. I’m not sure if it’s due to me not coming for office hours or familiarizing myself with them to get a higher grade, but nonetheless I put in the work and didn’t get a fair (in my view) outcome. Guess that’s how the real world works sometimes.