Fast-growing MPA degree program in San Antonio
Enrollment in the MPA degree program at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has doubled over the past decade. The program started with around 70 students enrolled in 2000. Today, more than 160 students are earning their MPAs at UTSA. UTSA’s College of Public Policy offers the MPA degree.
Govpro learned more about UTSA’s MPA degree program from Christopher Reddick, an associate professor and chair of UTSA’s Department of Public Administration.
Govpro: What can you say about your school’s academic offerings?
Christopher Reddick: The mission of the MPA program at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) is to foster a commitment to responsible leadership and ethical public service in a complex society. The program’s diverse graduates, representing a wide range of professional and community backgrounds, serve the public locally, regionally and nationally. Bridging research and practice, MPA graduates are expected to possess the decision-making, management, communication and analytical skills necessary to sustain a responsive and effective public sector.
Govpro: Is UTSA’s MPA coursework suited for any particular kind of student?
CR: The MPA degree is ideal for those that want to work in the public sector or want to advance in their current career. The MPA degree is the degree of choice for those that have a “passion for public service.”
Govpro: What sets the UTSA program apart from other MPA degree programs?
CR: Our program is unique in that it focuses on providing more efficient and effective management of urban and nonprofit organizations. As state and local governments take on more responsibility devolved from the federal government, there is an increasing need to find individuals that can create and manage results-oriented organizations. This is especially important in tough fiscal times like these, where citizens demand results and accountability.
Govpro: So, why has UTSA’s MPA enrollment doubled over the past decade?
CR: I would say that we have experienced impressive growth because of the large market that we serve, and, of course, the national reputation of our program. San Antonio is the seventh largest city in the U.S., according to most recent census figures. Word is getting out that we are able to provide needed skills that employers want locally, where San Antonio has government jobs at the state, local and federal levels, including nonprofit agencies. The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration has accredited our program, which is a reason for the increased enrollment growth, as well.
In addition, since we are in a College of Public Policy, I believe that this has helped out with our growth. Many MPA programs are housed in political science departments, while our program has an exclusive focus on public administration education.