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Robert J. Thompson, PhD Associate Professor and Director, MPA Program Department of Political Science East Carolina University August 1, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Robert J. Thompson, PhD Associate Professor and Director, MPA Program Department of Political Science East Carolina University August 1, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Robert J. Thompson, PhD Associate Professor and Director, MPA Program Department of Political Science East Carolina University August 1, 2014

2 Topical Overview Decisions prior to applying Application and admissions process Structure of the MPA Program Financing your graduate education MPA Faculty What some former students are doing Website links Contact information

3 MPA Program Mission Statement The MPA program's mission is: to prepare professional to meet the needs and challenges of public service; conduct scholarly and applied research in public administration and policy; and to engage students and faculty in partnerships with governmental, non-profit, professional, and educational organizations

4 About Graduate Education 1. Understand the nature of graduate education. It is not simply an extension of your undergraduate work 2. Do your homework before choosing a program. Think in terms of your career goals and the strengths of the programs under consideration 3. Each program makes admission decisions for its own students 4. Most programs use a variety of factors in deciding on admissibility

5 Researching Potential Programs Here are a few websites that can provide you with information on various graduate programs.

6 Requirements for Admission ECU Graduate School Application Application fee Undergraduate degree Acceptable GRE or other standardized test score Transcripts – all institutions of higher education attended – official – sealed envelopes Letters of Reference In addition - MPA Program Statement of Purpose Personal Data Sheet

7 Minimum GRE Scores and GPA Required By the Graduate School What are the minimum GRE score required for admission? Answer: Score at or above the 30th percentile on both the GRE verbal + quantitative sections What is the minimum GPA score required for admission? Answer: Have a minimum overall GPA of 2.7 based on a 4.0 scale or a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0.

8 When should I apply? The Graduate School has established these deadlines for admission to graduate programs Fall termsJune 1 Spring termsOctober 15 First Summer SessionMarch 15 Second Summer SessionMay 1 These deadlines are important for ensuring receipt of all materials and if financial aid applications are also being submitted The MPA Program is relatively small and will be as flexible with its deadlines as feasible

9 Step 1 – Applicant Applies Online for Degree/Certificate Status Step 2 – Applicant Sends Application Components to the Graduate School (Fee, Official Transcripts, Statement of Purpose, Letters of Reference, and GRE Scores Step 3 – Graduate School Send Complete Application to MPA Director MPA Faculty and director assess application Graduate Application Process at ECU

10 Step 4 – Accept/Reject response from the MPA Program is forwarded to the Graduate School Step 5 – The Acceptance/Rejection letter is generated and forwarded to the applicant by the Graduate School If positive, then Graduate School and MPA Program notifies student If negative, then Graduate School notifies student Graduate Application Process at ECU - 2

11 How and when are admissions decision made? Admissions decisions for the MPA Program are made upon receipt of each individual student’s complete application Each faculty member of the program reviews each application and makes a recommendation to the MPA Program Director. Admissions Decisions may include: Graduate Assistantship or Out of Tuition Remission Waiver of Internship Requirement

12 Categories of Admission’s Decisions Regular Admission Conditional Admission: Students not meeting regular admission requirements may be considered for conditional admission with the support of the MPA program, plus review and approval by the Graduate School Provisional admission (awaiting transcripts) Professional admission: Individuals whose baccalaureate degree is more than ten years old and who have extensive professional experience related to the intended program of study may be eligible for admission through this policy upon recommendation of the MPA director

13 Additional Information on Admission Conditional Admission: may stipulate admissions conditions which must be met prior to full enrollment into the MPA Program Provisional admission (awaiting transcripts): may take up to 9 s.h. of work pending receipt of transcripts Non-Degree Students: may take up to 9 s.h. of work that can be accepted toward the MPA degree. Transfer of Credit: Students may transfer up to 15 s.h. of work from another regionally accredited institution

14 Prerequisites A firm understanding of American political institutions and policy processes is required. Students in need of a review may be required to enroll in POLS 5000, an introductory survey course of readings in American government and politics that does not count toward the 45-semester-hour requirement. An understanding of statistics is strongly recommended.

15 International Students The MPA Program welcomes applications from international students. The ECU Graduate School governs the admission process and requirements for international students. These processes and procedures can be found at: acad/gradschool/International-Students.cfm acad/gradschool/International-Students.cfm The MPA Program does have access to several out of state tuition remissions and graduate assistantships which can be awarded to international students.

16 Structure of the MPA Program Our MPA program is a 45 hour program: 27 hours of core courses 12 hours in an area of emphasis of your choice 3 hours of internship experience 3 hours devoted to an MPA Professional paper Students may choose their area of emphasis from among an established list or may request a personalized one providing adequate courses are available.

17 When and how are our classes offered The bulk of our classes are currently offered in a face- to-face format 6:30-9:30 pm Monday-Thursdays. Several courses are also offered each term online. These are generally elective courses. Elective courses for the areas of emphasis offered outside the department may be either or online. Most courses are offered only once per year.

18 Program Details Our program generally has about 40 students enrolled in any one semester Our student body has roughly an equal number of full and part-time students Our classes range in size from about 5-15 students Our classes are usually offered once a year All of our core courses are offered once a year and our elective courses are usually offered at least once every two years.

19 MPA Core Courses Politics and Management in Public Agencies (PADM 6100) Analysis for the Public Sector (PADM 6101) Quantitative Methods for Public Administration (PADM 6102) Human Resource Management in Public Agencies (PADM 6110) Public Budgeting and Finance (PADM 6120) Public Policy Formulation and Implementation (PADM 6160) Applied Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation (PADM 6161) Leadership and Ethics in the Public Sector (PADM 6220) Management of Public Information Technology (PADM 6260)

20 MPA Areas of Emphasis Students may choose a general area of emphasis from the following or request a personalized one providing adequate courses are available. Management Public Policy

21 Graduate Certificates Public Policy students may use one of these Graduate Certificates as their area of emphasis electives. Community Health Administration Economic Development Security Studies

22 Internship Requirement All students without significant public sector work experience are required to complete a public service internship. The MPA Committee will review each student’s work history at the time of admission to determine if an internship will be required. The requirements of the internship are: 300 hours of work (for 3 semester hours of credit) in a position approved by the Internship Coordinator, and a written report. A student who accepts a full-time position involving significant administrative or policy making responsibilities after admission to the MPA program may petition for a review of the internship requirement.

23 Professional Paper For this requirement, students must identify a real management problem or policy issue that concerns some level of government or quasi-government agency and then develop problem-resolution strategies to resolve the problem or substantially ameliorate the situation. Students will be expected to develop a set of alternative strategies and evaluation criteria, and then analyze them in order to determine a preferred alternative based on selected criteria. The student is expected to demonstrate that he or she has acquired the skills necessary to solve problems in a practical sense and is ready to begin work in the public sector or to improve work conducted by those already in the public work force. The student is also expected to assess any ethical issues associated with the proposed recommendations and implementation strategy.

24 Registration Procedures/Issues Incoming students are required to consult the MPA director about their proposed courses of study and areas of emphasis. Once students have received their Banner ID #’s they May register online for their courses. If a student does not maintain continuous enrollment for each fall and spring, he/she will need to apply to the Graduate School for readmission.

25 Academic Progression All students are expected to maintain a 3.0 GPA Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 may be dropped from the MPA Program. No one may graduate with less than a 3.0. Graduate students who take an Incomplete in a course have 1 calendar year to complete the work. Failure to complete the work satisfactorily in this time frame will receive an “F” The University Calendar lists the deadlines for making up incompletes, dropping courses, and filing for graduation.

26 Expectations MPA students are expected to display the same characteristics and behaviors as students as will be expected of them as public sector employees. Therefore, they are expected to behave with as professionals with a high degree of commitment and integrity in their personal interactions and in their academic work. They are also expected to ask questions and challenge their fellow student and the faculty. Students, in turn, can expect the same behavior and professionalism from the faculty.

27 Typical full-time student schedule YEAR ONE: Fall PADM 6100 Politics and Management in Public Agencies PADM 6101 Analysis for the Public Sector PADM Elective or Internship** Spring PADM 6110 Human Resource Management in Public Agencies PADM 6102 Quantitative Methods for Public Administration PADM 6160 Public Policy Formulation and Implementation

28 Typical full-time student schedule- 2 Summer Session I PADM Elective or Internship** Summer Session II PADM Elective or Internship**

29 Typical full-time student schedule - 3 YEAR TWO: Fall PADM 6120 Public Budgeting and Finance PADM 6161 Applied Policy Analysis PADM 6260 Management of Public Information Technology Spring PADM 6220 Leadership and Ethics in the Public Sector PADM 6900 MPA Professional Paper Elective

30 Financing Your Graduate Education Graduate Assistantships Loans Out of State Tuition Remissions Federal Work Study Employment – sometimes in other academic units North Carolina City County Managers Association Scholarship

31 Graduation Procedures All incompletes and other degree requirements must be successfully met before one can graduate. The semester before students expect to graduate they should submit an Application for Graduation with the Registrar’s Office. The MPA Program will confirm the student’s academic progress with the Registrar’s Office during the semester of graduation. All students must be enrolled during the semester in which they graduate.

32 Honor Societies There are a number of honor societies for which you may qualify as an MPA student. Pi Alpha Alpha - Public Administration national honor society Pi Sigma Alpha - Political Science national honor society Phi Kappa Phi - a national academic honor society Omicron Delta Kappa - a national academic honor society

33 Internship & Fellowship Opportunities There are a number of opportunities for MPA students to continue their learning beyond their degree and to gain valuable professional experience. These often lead to full-time positions afterwards. PMF - Presidential Management Fellowship Postgraduate Technical Assistant Program -Government Accounting Standards Board New York State’s Public Management Institute Internships Loudon County, VA, Management Training Program Maryland Governor’s Policy Fellows Program

34 Internship & Fellowship Opportunities These are important web sites listing internship opportunities This site is a partnership between the US Office of Personnel Management and the Partnership for Public Service This site is maintained by the US Office of Personnel Management. NC Carolina State Government Internship Program: programs-online/ This site addresses several public safety and service career fields. programs-online/ Our accrediting body, NASPAA (National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration),, maintains a site on which various internships are posted.

35 MPA Faculty Dr. Robert J. Thompson, Director & Associate Professor Health Policy; Leadership Dr. Bonnie Mani, Professor Human Resource Management; Women in Public Administration Dr. Younhee Kim, Assistant Professor Research Methods; Information Technology Management; Performance Measurement Dr. Sharon Paynter, Assistant Professor Non-Profit Management; Public Policy Dr. Carmine Scavo, Associate Professor State and Local Administration; Intergovernmental and Interagency Relations; Public Policy Dr. Olga Smirnova, Assistant Professor Transportation Policy; Public Policy

36 What some of our graduates are doing Federal Positions National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) Department of the Navy Office of Personnel Management Department of Transportation Department of Housing and Urban Development Rural Electric Administration Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Homeland Security State Positions North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Virginia Department of Transportation Office of Budget and Management Department of Environment and Natural Resources State Department Human Health Services Community Insurance Office North Carolina Community College System NC Department of Transportation

37 What some of our graduates are doing Local Positions County, Town, and City Manager County Director of Social Services Environmental Health Specialist Police Chief County Health Director Public Affairs Officer City Planning Director Nonprofit and Private Sector Positions Research Triangle Institute Hospital Administrators

38 Important Websites The basic information concerning the MPA Program: The application for admission to the ECU Graduate School: Graduate Catalog: Tuition and fee information: ECU Financial Aid:

39 Contact Information Dr. Robert J. Thompson Interim Chair and Director, MPA Program Department of Political Science East Carolina University Greenville, NC 27858-4353 252-328-5686 (office) 252-328-4134 (fax)

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