Texas Tech MPA offering: It prepares students for professional careers
For its series on MPA programs around the U.S., Government Product News has spotlighted a number of offerings. The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at Texas Tech (TTU) in Lubbock, Texas, is accredited by the NASPAA – The Global Standard in Public Service Education.
TTU’s Department of Political Science in conjunction with the Center for Public Service confers and administers the TTU MPA.
The MPA degree offers track concentrations in the following areas:
• Health Care Administration
• Nonprofit Management
• Public Management
Here are the views of David Hamilton, program director of the MPA program at TTU.
GPN: Can a Texas Tech MPA degree offer new opportunities to our readers?
David Hamilton: An MPA degree is recognized as the terminal professional degree for government careers. A Texas Tech MPA degree combines academic theory and practical skills to prepare those who are entering a government career as well as experienced administrators who are seeking the professional credentials to enhance their careers.
GPN: Is 2014 a great time to earn an MPA for government administrators?
DH: Large numbers of government administrators at all levels of government are nearing retirement. As these administrators retire, there are tremendous opportunities for those with professional degrees. The need for highly qualified public leaders is critical, making 2014 the perfect time to earn the MPA.
GPN: Does Texas Tech have any advice for our readers on choosing an MPA program?
DH: A rigorous academic program, academic support, a good placement record and an active alumni network are all important in the choice of an MPA program. The MPA Program is housed in the Department of Political Science and has strong ties to the Center for Public Service, an outreach and service unit that provides students with opportunities for practical, applied research experience.
The program is fully accredited by the NASPAA. Recognized for its rigor and quality, the program is proud of its strong placement record that is aided by a loyal and active alumni network. Texas Tech graduates hold positions at the highest levels of municipal government in state and federal government, and in a variety of private sector and nonprofit settings, especially in the healthcare sector.
GPN: What makes the Texas Tech program unique? What are some of the school’s outstanding features?
DH: We attract students from a wide array of social, cultural and economic backgrounds. We offer small classes and one-on-one mentoring with an accomplished faculty dedicated to student success. A full-time student can complete the program in two years. Part-time students work at their own pace with most part-time students completing the program in little more than three years. We also have all the advantages and facilities of a comprehensive university. The MPA program offers depth, scope and vision. Above all, it prepares students to make a difference.
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GPN: Do you have an internship requirement for students without experience?
DH: An integral part of each student’s program is an internship assignment with a governmental, healthcare or nonprofit organization. The experience provides the opportunity to develop further managerial and policy skills and to apply classroom knowledge in work settings. The internship requirement may be waived by the MPA program director if students document substantial administrative or policy experience. We have placed interns in a variety of locations including Washington, D.C., and locations throughout Texas and in many other states. The program also has an impressive record of obtaining Presidential Management Fellowships and other prestigious internships and scholarships. Many internship experiences result in employment offers.
GPN: How does your school’s MPA program prepare students?
DH: The MPA program at Texas Tech University immerses students in a far-reaching education that empowers them to be effective and ethical decision-makers, able to handle daily challenges, to negotiate at all levels in all types of organizations, and to implement positive change in the social and moral landscape of our cities, neighborhoods and towns.
GPN: What about your school’s course offerings?
DH: The MPA curriculum offers an impressive breadth and range of program areas and coursework. Our students gain a thorough background that will not only help them direct others in a variety of public and private settings but enable them to cross administrative boundaries in government, health and nonprofit organizations. Our courses prepare students to administer programs and analyze and understand public policy and deal effectively with a wide diversity of people, places, and issues.
GPN: What is the mission of the MPA program at Texas Tech University?
DH: Our mission is to provide students with the highest quality education in preparation for careers, or advancement of careers, in public, nonprofit and healthcare organizations. The program stresses the acquisition of academic theory and practical skills to foster an ethical and enduring commitment to the public service values of serving the public interest with accountability and transparency; serving professionally with competence, efficiency and objectivity; acting ethically to uphold the public trust; and demonstrating respect, equity and fairness in dealings with the public and fellow workers.
The program provides students with a public service perspective to:
• Lead and manage organizations
• Understand and contribute to public policy
• Critically analyze policies, programs, problems and issues and make pertinent recommendations
• Communicate effectively in oral and written discourse with a diverse and changing workforce and public
GPN: Thank you, David Hamilton, for your views