Sep 29, 2020  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalogue 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Catalogue Archived Catalogue

Public Administration (Executive) - M.P.A.


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Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Mark T. Imperial

The Executive Master of Public Administration (MPA), housed in the Department of Public and International Affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences, is an interdisciplinary, terminal professional degree designed for working professionals who seek to develop their professional skills and abilities and want to pursue careers as managers, analysts, supervisors, and program specialists in the public and nonprofit sector.  The required coursework emphasizes developing the following learning competencies:

  • To lead and manage in public governance;
  • To participate in and contribute to the policy process;
  • To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions;
  • To articulate and apply a public values perspective; and
  • To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

The program’s coursework emphasizes leading and managing in public governance and students will learn to lead, motivate, and manage a diverse workplace-within and across organizations. Students will also develop their understanding of the impact of changing market and political conditions on organizational practice and resource streams. 

It is also important for leaders to learn how to participate and contribute to the policy process by learning how to analyze policy alternatives and understand the wide range of policy instruments and management tools that are available to address social problems.  However, to contribute to the policy process, leaders and managers need to communicate and work effectively with other government and nonprofit institutions as well as community stakeholders. 

Effective leaders and managers also have the ability to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions.  This requires having the ability to define, frame, think critically about and analyze important problems.  It also requires the ability to utilize managerial tools and techniques to analyze, present, and interpret data, including appropriate design, statistical, and evaluative techniques for both organizational decision making and policy decisions.  It also requires the ability to apply management theories and tools for organizational decision making including but not limited to group decision making, strategic planning, performance measurement, program evaluation, and benefit-cost analysis.

It is also important for managers and leaders to communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.  This requires communicate effectively and professionally to diverse audiences and understanding of how to work effectively in diverse groups.  Since the Executive MPA program also focuses on developing future leaders in the public and nonprofit sector, it is important that our students share the values associated with public service such as the importance of accountability and transparency, professionalism, competence, efficiency, objectivity, equity and fairness, and respecting fellow public servants and the clients we work with.  It also requires the ability to identify ethical dilemmas and then pursuing appropriate courses of action that uphold and reinforce these public service values.

The required coursework and our optional concentrations focus on developing these learning competencies in a myriad of ways through your course readings and assignments, video presentations, case analyses, applied learning projects, and self-assessments.

Admission Requirements


The Executive MPA program is designed for working professionals with at least 3 years of professional work experience.  Applicants seeking admission to the Executive Master of Public Administration program are required to submit the following to the Graduate School by the published deadline:

  1. An application for graduate admission
  2. Official transcripts of all college work (undergraduate and graduate).A GPA of at least 3.0 at the undergraduate level is required for admission. Students with a GPA below 3.0 may be accepted provisionally when there is a record of professional work experience longer than 3 years or other evidence that suggests the ability to successfully complete graduate coursework (e.g., standardized test scores on the GRE or GMAT, successful completion of other graduate coursework).
  3. Three recommendations from individuals who are in a position to evaluate the applicant’s professional competence as well as potential for graduate study (ideally at least one reference should be an academic instructor).
  4. A personal statement describing your professional experiences, reasons for pursuing graduate study in the Executive MPA program, and your professional career goals
  5. Resume

Admissions decisions are based upon the examination of the entire portfolio of information and when indicators of success warrant, individuals who fall below the established criterion in one area may be considered for admission. Students lacking three years of professional experience may be considered for admission provided there is a strong academic record of achievement, strong letters of recommendation, and the resume and statement of interest reflect a strong commitment to public service.  In these instances, the student will be required to successfully complete at least 3-credit hours of a professional internship experience. 

Academic Regulations


In addition to the policies contained in the Code of Student Life, the university catalog, and other university and MPA program publications, students admitted to the MPA program must comply with the following additional policies.

Non-degree Seeking Students


The Executive MPA program allows non-degree seeking students to take a limited number of courses for credit. Non-degree seeking students are limited to taking no more than 9 credit hours before they are required to apply for admission as a degree-seeking student. Additional hours must be approved in advance by the program director. Since non-degree seeking students are subject to different admissions requirements, the MPA director may limit the courses that a particular non-degree seeking student is allowed to take. The courses taken as a non-degree seeking student may be used to satisfy degree requirements when admitted as a degree seeking student provided they are approved by the program director.

Retention Policy


Two grades of a C or lower, one grade of F, or one grade of U results in automatic dismissal from the Executive MPA program. Further, if a student falls below 3.0 GPA at any time, he or she goes on academic probation and has three subsequent courses or nine credit hours to raise their GPA above a 3.0 or they are dismissed from the Executive MPA program. If the student raises their GPA above a 3.0 and it falls below a 3.0 for a second time, they are dismissed from the Executive MPA program. Students must have a GPA above 3.0 to enroll in MPA 596  or MPA 598 .

Minimum Competency Requirement


The core requirements (21 credit hours) are courses that require a minimum level of competency of a B- or better. Any student receiving a grade lower than a B- must repeat the course and receive a grade of B or better. Such courses may only be repeated once and failure to receive a B or better grade will result in dismissal from the Executive MPA program. Both the initial and repeated grades will count towards determining the GPA but only three credit hours will count toward the degree requirements.

Academic Honor Code


The MPA program is committed to the university’s honor code. No form of academic dishonesty will be tolerated (see the university catalogs and Code of Student life for examples of dishonesty). Students are encouraged to report occurrences of academic dishonesty to their course instructors or the program director. Students found guilty of academic dishonesty may be dismissed from the program by the Director of the Executive MPA program regardless of the penalty imposed by the university’s disciplinary procedures.

Student Conduct


The Executive Master of Public Administration (MPA) is a professional degree program. All MPA students are expected to act and behave with professionalism both on and off campus. Acceptance of admission to the Executive MPA program shall be construed as evidence that an MPA student agrees to comply with all rules and regulations of the university as stated in the Code of Student Life, the university catalog, and other university and MPA program publications. Students accused of conduct that warrants proceedings by the Dean of Students according to these university policies may be suspended by the program director pending the resolution of the administrative proceedings. Students found guilty during these proceedings may also be suspended or dismissed from the Executive MPA program following a disciplinary hearing regardless of the penalty imposed by the Dean of Students.

The Executive MPA Program strives to develop future professionals who work in managerial and leadership positions in the public and nonprofit sectors. Therefore, MPA students are expected to act in accordance with the code of ethics developed by the MPA program as well as other applicable codes developed by professional associations in the field of public administration. Moreover, any student accused or found guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude or a crime with the potential to create a danger to the campus community or would create an adverse learning environment or hostile workplace (broadly defined) may be suspended or dismissed by the program director following a disciplinary hearing. Students accused or found guilty of unacceptable personal conduct as defined by the North Carolina Department of Administration’s Disciplinary Action and Dismissal Policy or personal or professional conduct that violates established codes of ethical conduct adopted by the MPA program or professional associations within the field of public administration may be suspended or dismissed by the program director following a disciplinary hearing. Disciplinary hearings conducted by the Executive MPA program shall be conducted by the MPA director (or their designee) and 2 other members of the MPA program’s faculty and students will have an opportunity to present evidence. Failure of the student to participate in a disciplinary meeting or hearing or the failure of a student to respond to a request for information pertaining to the allegations shall be grounds for suspension or dismissal by the director of the Executive MPA program. If a student is arrested or is accused of behavior subject to this policy, the student is required to notify the program director as soon as practicable. Failure to notify the MPA director shall be grounds for suspension or dismissal from the program.

Degree Requirements (36 total credit hours)


The program requires the satisfactory completion of 36 credit hours of approved graduate level courses.  If a student is admitted who does not have 3 years of professional experience, an additional 3 credit hours of a professional internship is required  for a total of 39 credit hours.  All students are required to complete the 21 credit of core classes designed to enhance the skills and abilities needed my leaders, managers, and analysts pursuing careers in the public or nonprofit sector.  Students have two options for completing the degree requirements.  First, students can decide to complete one of the program’s concentrations, each of which requires 15 credit hours of concentrated study in either Nonprofit Management, Public Management, or Managerial and Analytical Tools.  Second, students can decide to complete the general MPA degree option which allows students to build a customized course of study based on their professional needs consisting of courses from any of our concentrations.

Core Requirements (21 credit hours)


All students are required to complete the following classes:

Concentrations (15 credit hours)


Students can also elect to pursue a concentrated area of study in Nonprofit Management (15 credit hours), Public Management (15 credit hours), or Managerial & Analytical Tools (15 credit hours).

Nonprofit Management (15 credit hours)


All students pursuing a concentration in nonprofit management must complete the following requirements:

Public Management (15 credit hours)


All students pursuing a concentration in public management must complete the following requirements:

Students must take an additional six credit hours of an approved elective


Choose six credit hours from the following list of approved electives:

Managerial & Analytical Tools (15 credit hours)


All students pursuing a concentration in managerial and analytical tools must complete the following requirements:

Students must take an additional six credit hours of an approved elective


Choose six credit hours from the following list of approved electives:

Internship


Since the program is targeted at working professionals, no internship is required as part of the 36 required credit hours. However, if a student is admitted who lacks three years of professional experience, they will be required to take a 3-credit hour internship. All students must have their internship placement approved by the Director of the Executive MPA program or their designee and their advisor. Students may also take 3 credit hours of internships as their elective. This option is recommended when students are transitioning to a new career or want to diversify their experience on their resume. The internship placement must be approved by the MPA director or their designee and their advisor. It must also be approved by the Graduate School. Students taking an internship are required to complete 300 hours of service and complete additional requirements (e.g., internship report and self-evaluations).

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