Looking for an online MPA degree? At Post University, it’s totally online
Here is a brief introduction to the MPA degree program at Waterbury, Conn.-based Post University. It is part of Govpro.com’s series on Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) degree programs and their value to government administrators.
Post University offers a completely online MPA degree program for public sector and non-for-profit professionals, as well as military personnel. It is suited for students who have busy work and personal lives and need the convenience of an online offering. The program includes a mix of graduate-level public administration and business courses. MPA students in the Post program develop the management, organizational and financial skills needed to advance their careers in government, non-profit, military or other public sector organizations.
The Post program has integrated its master of business administration curriculum into the MPA course lineup to help students develop their executive administration skills and make an immediate difference in their organizations. At Post University, students can take advantage of an accelerated degree program, which enables completing the 37-credit MPA degree requirements in 14 to 26 months.
Govpro: Can a Post MPA degree offer new opportunities to our Govpro.com visitors?
James Nardozzi: At a time when budgets are shrinking and government agencies are being asked to do more with less, public sector leaders are going to have to learn to be more innovative. They’re going to be responsible for coming up with new ideas for service delivery at lower or no cost. Now, more than ever, it’s imperative that they learn to manage their resources more strategically and bring professional management skills to the table.
Unlike MPA programs that focus almost exclusively on the public sector, Post University’s MPA degree integrates courses from its award-winning MBA program to help students improve their executive administration skills. Our goal is to help existing and aspiring public sector professionals develop the conceptual, analytical and operational knowledge and tools they need for advanced positions in government, non-profit and other public sector organizations. We also place a strong emphasis on leadership, creativity and innovation to help students keep pace as the roles and responsibilities of government and non-profit organizations continue to evolve.
As someone with decades of hands-on public sector executive-level administration and business operations experience, I can attest to the need for public sector professionals who possess both business and public administration expertise.
With that in mind, we designed our program to be the place where private and public sector best practices merge. Post’s MPA program brings together private and public sector professionals with at least three years of full-time work experience in a highly interactive, practice-based learning environment. Courses are taught by faculty who have not only academic credentials, but also decades of relevant professional experience. We also take into account the busy work and personal lives of our students and need for convenience, which is why Post’s MPA program is available completely online.
Our students aren’t just learning theory. They’re gaining practical, actionable knowledge and skills that can be applied in real-time to address challenges or seize opportunities within their organizations.
Govpro: Is 2012 a good time to earn an MPA for government administrators?
JN: In a word, yes. There’s a clear need for more refined professional management skills in government agencies. Post’s MPA program is ideal for government administrators who want to improve both their public administration and business management skills. After all, many government administrators take on the role of chief operating officers within their agencies, requiring knowledge and expertise that extends far beyond traditional public administration roles. I know that was true for me when I served as deputy police chief of a 400-person police department that was represented by four different labor unions and had a $27 million operating budget. Strong business management skills were critical in that position.
In addition, hundreds of thousands of public administrators are expected to retire in the coming years. Even at a time of cutbacks and smaller staffs, we are going to need qualified people to replace a good many of them. To truly make a difference, these individuals will need to be experienced public administrators and understand the concepts of risk management, organizational dynamics, project management, accounting and finance, bringing all those skills to bear to solve real departmental and agency challenges. That’s why our program emphasizes both areas and why we require students to complete a capstone project that can address a problem or offer a solution to a real-world issue within the public sector.
Govpro: Do you have any advice for our Govpro.com audience on choosing an MPA program?
JN: The best advice I can offer is to choose a program that’s going to provide you with the breadth and depth of knowledge, skills and experience you’ll need to respond not only to today’s challenges, but to the ever-changing needs of the public sector. Government administrators should look for an MPA program that is taught by professors who have strong academic credentials and bring decades of relevant, real-world experience to the classroom. At Post, we require our MPA program instructors to have at least 10 years experience in the public or business sector, along with an advanced degree in their field. We want people who don’t just talk the talk, but can walk the walk.
Finally, I recommend students seek out a program that is practice-based and includes plenty of opportunities to learn from, and interact with, other working professionals. One of the most unique aspects of our program is that many of the courses include a mix of students and professors from private and public sectors. We have police officers, business owners, managers and executives, human resource professionals, and government administrators learning together in many of our courses. This creates a truly robust learning environment allowing students to learn from each other’s experience to deepen their understanding of business and public administration.