Academic Program Review Public Affairs and Administration, Doctorate of Public Administration

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1 Academic Program Review Public Affairs and Administration, Doctorate of Public Administration University: University of Illinois at Springfield College: College of Public Affairs and Administration Program: Doctorate of Public Administration CIPS Classification Code: Public Administration (DPA). A program that prepares individuals to serve as managers in the executive arm of local, state, and federal governments; and that focuses on the systematic study of executive organization and management. Includes instruction in the roles, development, and principles of public administration; the management of public policy; executive-legislative relations; public budgetary processes and financial management; administrative law; public personnel management; professional ethics; and research methods. Submitted for: Results Report Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2 Sections Contents I. Program Objectives and Structure... 5 Date of Initiation... 5 Conceptual Design... 5 Mission and Objectives... 5 Curricular Requirements and Coherence... 6 Qualifying Exam... 7 Electives... 7 Closure/Dissertation... 7 For Accredited Programs and Programs Seeking Accreditation:... 8 For Programs without Accreditation... 8 II. Assessment of Learning Outcomes and Curricular Revision... 8 Assessment... 9 Curricular Revisions during the Review Period Core Courses Research Methods Courses: (3 courses: 12 hours) Concentrations Comprehensive Examination Dissertation Future Assessment Goals and Methodology Career Objectives and Job Placement Student Satisfaction Student Achievements III. Student Characteristics and Academic Support

3 Demographics Transfer Characteristics/Feeder Institutions Recruitment Activities Admissions Criteria Advising and Other Communication to/with Students Retention Demographics Fit with Program Faculty Achievements Technology Faculty Development V. Learning Environment and Support Services VI. Student Demand and Program Productivity Program Productivity and Analysis Credit hours, enrollments, and degree production of UIS to other Illinois programs Doctoral Programs Degrees Conferred Doctoral Programs Fall Enrollments DPA Enrollment Generated in Doctorate of Public Administration Courses (Fall of FY) Demand for Concentrations Minors VII. Centrality to Campus Mission Support of the Campus Vision Relationship to Other Campus Instructional Programs Service to Non-Majors Support for General Education

4 Support for Campus Initiatives VIII. Costs Analysis of Costs IX. Summary and Recommendations Previous Program Review Recommendations Proposal for Doctoral Degree Modification: Doctorate of Public Administration Current Program Strengths Areas of Concern Program s Recommendations for the Current Review X. Statistical Data

5 I. Program Objectives and Structure Date of Initiation The Public Administration s Doctoral Program (DPA) was initiated in the fall of The program was created to remedy the absence of a doctoral program in public affairs in the state of Illinois. While numerous political science and public policy programs were already in existence at this time, few emphasized public administration or public affairs. Hence, the Doctorate of Public Administration was specifically designed as a practitioner-oriented program in order to meet the educational needs of professionals in administrative and governmental positions at the state and local levels. To date, this has existed as the only doctoral program to be offered at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Conceptual Design The educational intent of the Doctorate of Public Administration Program has undergone several changes. Initially, the program was practitioner oriented. The program s objective was to provide an advanced practitioner-oriented degree primarily to professionals who worked in public and nongovernmental organizations and had an interest in conceptual development and research in public policy and administration. The program was specifically structured to develop a high level of competence in current and future public policy professionals. Consequently, the core of the original curriculum centered on increasing individual knowledge of public issues and processes and improving student ability to use and apply research. It was anticipated that graduates of this program would be able to contribute significant new perspectives and knowledge about the conduct of state government and the management of non-governmental organizations and also obtain an advanced understanding of comparative state policy and administration. Although the DPA existed as a practitioner oriented degree program, the original intent of this program was later revised and expanded to include educational requirements for students with a possible future in academia. Thus, while the DPA program was designed to be principally practitioner-oriented, it was reformed to prepare students for careers in research or teaching at a university, or as professionals in governmental or nonprofit organizations where research and conceptual skills are valued. The ultimate program goal was to equip graduates with the skills necessary to contribute and utilize significant new knowledge about state government. In 2006, the DPA Program was revised once again. The new DPA program shifted back to the program s original intent in providing a practitioner-oriented degree. Mission and Objectives New DPA Program During the 2004/2005 academic year concerns arose about the continuing viability of the existing DPA Program. As the result of student concerns expressed to the Interim Dean, and consequent analysis of the program, program modifications were developed to be implemented in the Spring Semester of The new design for the doctorate program focuses on the spirit of UIS s initial proposal for a degree program aimed at practitioners. The mission of the new DPA program is to develop graduates who are recognized for their excellence in meeting public challenges and advancing the field through the rigorous integration of theory, research and practice. 5

6 Below is a list of the most recent (revised) student learning objectives. Students who complete the new DPA Program should be able to: 1. Analyze, synthesize and evaluate the theoretical literature from a range of public affairs disciplines as they apply to issues commonly addressed in public administration and relate public affairs disciplines; 2. Draw connections between that theoretical literature and real world problems in public management and public policy; 3. Demonstrate mastery of the core subject matter of the student s area of concentration in either public management or public policy; 4. Critically evaluate the literature in a range of public affairs disciplines; 5. Design and conduct high quality independent research and analysis of real world phenomena in government and the nonprofit sector; 6. Demonstrate sufficient statistical knowledge to be able to evaluate the quantitative information in scholarly articles and practitioner communications; and 7. Prepare unique contributions to the body of disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge about public management and public policy. Curricular Requirements and Coherence Currently, the DPA degree requires completion of 52 credit hours of graduate course work. The 52 hours include 20 hours of required core courses at the 600-level, 20 hours of electives at the 500-level, which must include one 4 hour quantitative analysis course, and 12 hours of dissertation work at the 600- level. Students are admitted and progress through the program as a cohort and a new cohort begins once every two years. The cohort takes the five required courses (DPA 651, 652, 653, 654, and 655) in sequence during the first two years of the degree. Below is a list of the required core courses: Doctorate of Public Administration Core: (5 courses = 20 hours) DPA 651 Conduct of Inquiry & Theoretical Foundations of the Field 4 hrs. DPA 652 Public Management 4 hrs. DPA 653 Public Policy 4 hrs. DPA 654 Research Design 4 hrs. DPA 655 Research Design Practicum 4 hrs. DPA 651 (Conduct of Inquiry & Theoretical Foundations of the Field) The goals of this course are to introduce students to the standards of scholarly discourse, to begin to assist them to bridge the theory/practice distinction, and introduce them to selected major paradigms in public administration research. Offered: Fall semester of the first year DPA 652 (Public Management) Introduces students to the major subfields in public management and guides them in developing an understanding of the connection between practitioner experience and scholarly inquiry. The instructor will draw connections between the paradigms covered in DPA 651 and the major directions in public management research. Prerequisite: DPA 651 Offered: Spring semester of the first year DPA 653 (Public Policy) Introduces students to the major subfields in public policy and guides them in developing an understanding of the connection between practitioner experience and 6

7 scholarly inquiry. The instructor draws connections between the paradigms covered in DPA 651 and the major directions in public policy research. Prerequisite: DPA 652 Offered: Summer semester of the first year DPA 654 (Research Design) Provides students with an understanding of the essential elements of research design so students can design a research project that meets the scholarly standards for knowledge. Students will be encouraged to identify commonalities between scholarly research practices and the best practices practitioners use to ensure they are dealing with trustworthy information. Prerequisite: DPA 653 Offered: Fall semester of the second year DPA 655 (Research Design Practicum) Students work under faculty direction on the design of a research project allowing them to put into practice the knowledge they have acquired during their first four core courses. The instructor will guide the students to select a research question of interest to both the management and policy fields that can be pursued by the students acting as a research team. Prerequisite: DPA 654 Offered: Spring semester of the second year Qualifying Exam After completion of the core courses, students are required to take a qualifying exam. This exam is a take-home exam that covers the material in the five required courses. Students who do not pass the qualifying exam the first time are allowed to take the exam again; however, students who do not pass the exam the second time are not allowed to continue in the DPA program. Electives Doctoral students are required to take 20 hours of electives at the 500-level which must include one 4-hour quantitative analysis course. Students are required to complete a degree plan in their first semester. Desired electives are first sent to the student s advisor for initial screening of acceptability and then forwarded on to the Program Committee for final approval. Closure/Dissertation After successful completion of the qualifying exam and the 20 hours of elective coursework, the student is admitted to candidacy and may officially begin working on a dissertation proposal. The student s advisor will assist with selection of the dissertation committee from among the graduate faculty of the university. A written dissertation proposal must be formally approved by the student s dissertation committee before dissertation work proceeds. Students must complete 12 hours of dissertation credit. University policy requires that a student who has been admitted to candidacy must be continuously enrolled in at least one semester hour of dissertation coursework each fall and spring until the dissertation is completed, defended, and accepted. An oral examination on the dissertation will be conducted by the dissertation committee. The dissertation advisor will chair the oral dissertation defense which will be open to the campus community. A more in-depth discussion of the dissertation and qualifying examination is presented in the Assessment Section (Section II). 7

8 Accreditation For Accredited Programs and Programs Seeking Accreditation: There are no accreditation options available for Doctorate of Public Administration Programs. For Programs without Accreditation Comparison with Similar Programs The most detailed data compiled by the Department of Public Administration on programs at other universities comparable to the Doctorate of Public Administration offered at UIS is from Because this research is dated, only a brief notation of other similar programs will be provided here. Penn State-Harrisburg Ohio State Arizona State SUNY-Albany Virginia Commonwealth University of Colorado-Denver Florida State Western Michigan/Lansing The most recent data available (as of 2005) regarding Public Administration Programs similar to the DPA offered at UIS reveals that there are still a limited number of doctoral public administration programs in Illinois and surrounding states. The following colleges and universities offer either a Masters or a Ph.D. in Public Administration: Governor s State University o Master s of Public Administration Northern Illinois University o Master of Public Administration SIU Carbondale o Master of Public Administration SIU Edwardsville o Master of Public Administration U of I Chicago o Master of Public Administration o Ph.D. in Public Administration II. Assessment of Learning Outcomes and Curricular Revision The DPA program uses several different types of assessment mechanisms to evaluate whether the student learning outcomes have been achieved. The Department of Public Administration currently uses results from the comprehensive exam as the primary assessment mechanism for the old (DPA) program. Students in the old DPA program were required to take a comprehensive exam after completion of all of their coursework and prior to starting work on their dissertation. Under the new program, students will take a qualifying exam after completion of the five required core courses. The DPA program uses results 8

9 from the exams to identify the extent to which the students are demonstrating achievement of the DPA student learning objectives. The DPA program also examines external indicators of student learning including DPA student scholarly publications and presentations and job placement of DPA graduates. Other assessment mechanisms include course-level assessments undertaken by individual professors. Assessment The Comprehensive Examination under the Old Program The comprehensive examination was given at the completion of a student s coursework. Each faculty member in the DPA program read and scored each exam on the basis of the four student learning objectives (see the rubric in Appendix A). The faculty then met as a group to decide a rating for each student s exam for each of the learning objectives. Looking across student performance on the exams allowed the faculty to identify areas in which students generally are satisfying the learning objectives and other areas in which they are having difficulties. This analysis helps the faculty identify areas in which the program may need to be revised to help students master the student learning objectives. See Appendix A. Course Level Assessments Most of the required DPA courses have stated objectives regarding what students are expected to know or be able to do following completion of the course. Throughout the semester, faculty members keep track of performance and grades for individual students. Looking at the performance across students allows the faculty to identify areas where the majority of students may be doing particularly well or may be encountering difficulties. The faculty member can then assess what types of changes to the individual course or, in some cases, to other aspects of the DPA program may be helpful in addressing student weaknesses. Student Products and Other Accomplishments An additional means of assessment focuses on student products or other types of accomplishments. This includes dissertations, presentation of scholarly work at national conferences, publications, and placement of graduates. The second year review includes a review of the students academic portfolio (significant papers from core courses) by the student s advisor, a review committee and then as a discussion in the program faculty meeting. Use of Assessment Results In the past, the assessment results from the comprehensive exam have been used by the faculty to make revisions to the curriculum. For example, the faculty observed that many of the students were more familiar with the classic literature than the more recent literature. Therefore, an effort was made to integrate more recent literature into the courses and let students know they are expected to stay current on the public administration literature. See Appendix C. 9

10 The assessment results for the research skill learning objective also prompted faculty to reexamine the admissions criteria. An effort was made to try to admit students whose interests more directly corresponded to those of the faculty with the intent of fostering a better faculty-student mentoring relationship, especially in the area of research. Curricular Revisions during the Review Period Two major types of curricular revisions have occurred during the review period. The first type of revisions were changes that were made to the old DPA program based on assessment results and an evaluation of the curriculum by the program faculty. The second type of revisions were made as a result of the decision to return to a more practitioner-oriented doctoral program. Revisions to the Old DPA Curriculum Two courses, Public Ethics and Qualitative Methods, were added to the DPA curriculum after the initial creation of the curriculum. The ethics course was added to address the increasing importance of this topic in the public sector and in the State of Illinois. The qualitative course was added in recognition the recognition that qualitative research is a viable and important component of public administration scholarship. Students previously had not obtained sufficient knowledge about qualitative methods because there was too much material to be covered in the advanced research methods course. In addition to these changes, the public policy course offered was revised to present a more balanced approach to the economic and political aspects of public policy analysis and processes. Previously, the course focused primarily on the political aspects. Following the revisions, students were exposed to how microeconomic concepts can be applied to public policy issues and challenges. Course-level and comprehensive exam assessments also led to other changes in the curriculum. For example, the faculty noted that some students had difficulties in critiquing research articles. As a consequence of this deficiency, particular courses were redesigned to offer more guidance and practice in the critique of research articles. Students were also asked to critique research papers in a variety of classroom formats, including class discussions, individual presentations, and the preparation of written critiques. These approaches provided the faculty with the opportunity to provide individual students with necessary feedback regarding their performance. Finally, faculty noted that some of the comprehensive exams indicated that students were having difficulties applying the material they were learning. These students were usually able to provide definitions and descriptions of the theories and concepts, but were less proficient in applying this knowledge to particular public administration or public policy issues. Faculty addressed this issue in a variety of ways. For example, one professor decreased the required readings for her course, choosing to focus more on an in-depth examination of critical concepts rather than cover a broad scope of topics. Another professor revised her course to include more articles and research reports that focused specifically on the application of concepts and theories to particular policy issues. Return to a More Practitioner-Oriented Curriculum 10

11 In Spring 2005, an external consultant was brought to campus to review and prepare a report on the UIS DPA program. The consultant s recommendations, along with input from faculty and students, served as the basis for a major revamping of the DPA program. This section describes the old DPA curriculum. The old Doctorate of Public Administration curriculum consisted of courses in public administration theory, organizational behavior, financial management, public policy, and ethics. There also were three required research courses, including courses on quantitative methods, qualitative methods and research methods. In addition, students took 20 hours (five courses) in a concentration. The concentrations consisted of nonprofit management, state government, or a special interest concentration in which the student could work his/her committee to identify courses related to the student s individual interests. Most of the students pursued the last option. The old DPA curriculum required at least 54 hours of doctoral level coursework beyond the master s degree plus a minimum of 12 hours dissertation credit. The 54 hours included eight required courses (20 hours of core courses and 12 hours of research methods courses), five concentration courses (20 hours) and a two-hour dissertation proposal seminar. To ensure the quality of courses at the doctoral level, the DPA Program adopted standards for course offerings. DPA courses, by virtue of their doctorallevel academic status, were more demanding both intellectually and in terms of the workload than master s level courses. Core Courses PAD 601 Advanced Seminar in Public Administration Theory and Organizational Analysis 4 hrs. PAD 602 Advanced Seminar in Organizational Behavior in Public Systems PAD 603 Advanced Seminar in Financial Policy Management and Fiscal Policy PAD 604 Advanced Seminar in Public Policy Processes and Analysis PAD 605 Administrative Ethics and Public Service TOTAL CORE COURSE HOURS: 4 hrs. 4 hrs. 4 hrs. 4 hrs. 20 hrs. PAD 601 (Advanced Seminar in Public Administration Theory and Organizational Analysis) Exploration of the intellectual and theoretical foundations, historical contexts, and contemporary arguments about public administration as both a field of practice and academic discipline. Intensive readings in original works in the foundation of the field and relevant collateral fields equip the student to analyze the assumptions underlying and framing public administration as well as the current discussions of scholarship in the field and the theoretical underpinnings of government leadership. Prerequisite: a graduate-level course on the American political system or a graduate degree in public administration, political studies, or an equivalent course. PAD 602 (Advanced Seminar in Organizational Behavior in Public Systems) Organizing processes; the connections and interactions between elements and parts of organizations; diagnosing organization problems and managing change; leadership behavior and effectiveness; expectations and values; job satisfaction and individual performance; organizational culture; and norms and values. Prerequisite: PAD 502 or an equivalent course. 11

12 PAD 603 (Advanced Seminar in Financial Management and Fiscal Policy) Historic development and trends in public revenues and expenditures; political, economic, and administrative significance of decisions in the field of public financial management, the limitations of financial policy as a mechanism of social policy and management control. Prerequisite(s): PAD 504 (Budget and Finance) or an equivalent course and a one-semester economics course, preferably one that addresses microeconomics, such as ECON 315 (Economics for Administration). PAD 604 (Advanced Seminar in Public Policy Processes and Analysis) Critical analysis of the policy field; integration of quantitative, normative, organizational, and political considerations in policy formulation; policy research; analytic frameworks in diverse substantive policy formation; policy formation; analytic frameworks in diverse substantive policy areas; ethics and values. Prerequisite(s): PAD 531 or POS 518, or equivalent and a one-semester undergraduate or graduate course in economics. PAD 605 (Administrative Ethics and Public Service) Overview of research and theory development about ethical issues in the management of governmental services; utilitarian, deontological, and moral considerations of ethical controversies; normative traditions of public administration ethics; practical solutions and applied and empirical research about questions of government ethics. Research Methods Courses: (3 courses: 12 hours) In addition to the twenty hours of required core courses, students in the Doctorate of Public Administration Program were required to take 12 hours of research methods classes. These courses provided students with the quantitative and qualitative methods knowledge and skills for future work on dissertations and in subsequent professional, teaching, and research positions. These courses were: PAD 611 Advanced Seminar in Quantitative Methods PAD 612 Advanced Seminar in Qualitative Methods PAD 613 Advanced Seminar in Research Methods TOTAL CORE COURSE HOURS: 4 hrs. 4 hrs. 4 hrs. 12 hrs. PAD 611 (Advanced Seminar in Quantitative Methods) Advanced multivariate techniques, including multiple regression; path analysis; multiple classification analysis; analysis of variance models; and forecasting models. Prerequisite: PAD 503, POS 503, or equivalent course completed within the last five years and proficiency in elementary multivariate statistics and data analysis techniques. PAD 612 (Advanced Seminar in Qualitative Methods) This seminar further develops the methods necessary for public administration qualitative research, focusing on participant observation, interviewing, writing field notes, and transforming these field data into documents. Recent literature on the theoretical and ethical aspects of qualitative methods will be covered. The formulation of a research project to be carried out during the semester is required. Prerequisite: PAD 503, POS 503 or equivalent. PAD 613 (Advanced Seminar in Research Methods) The role of the scientific explanatory research and prescription research in the action-oriented field of public administration is explored. Critiques of current research in the field help identify the choices regarding theories, methods, and techniques of the research process. Seminar readings on advanced quantitative and qualitative methods will contribute to the 12

13 formulation of a research project to be carried out during the semester. Prerequisite(s): PAD 611 and PAD 612. Concentrations In addition to the core public administration and research courses, students were required to complete a minimum of 20 credit hours in a concentration of study. Two concentrations were offered: Nonprofit Management and State Government. Alternatively students could develop a concentration based on their particular interests. With this option students could work with their Plan of Study Committee to identify the classes most appropriate to the student s individual interest. Prerequisites: The DPA Program also required five prerequisite courses to ensure that students had the background in theory and practice necessary to be successful in the core courses. Prerequisite course requirements included satisfactory completion of the following: A one semester undergraduate or graduate course in economics, preferably microeconomics (e.g. Econ. 315); A graduate course on the American political system (or a graduate degree in public administration, political studies, or the equivalent) A graduate level course in analytical tools (PAD 503, POS 503, or the equivalent) completed within the past five years A graduate course in budgeting and finance (PAD 504, or the equivalent); and A graduate course in public policy (PAD 531 or POS 518 or the equivalent) Comprehensive Examination Students were also required to complete a comprehensive examination (see previouis description). Dissertation As the final component of the D.P.A. Program, students were required to take a minimum of 12 hours dissertation credit and a 2 hour proposal seminar. These courses were: PAD 687 Dissertation Proposal Preparation Seminar 2 to 4 hrs. PAD 690 Dissertation 1 to 12 hrs. TOTAL DISSERTATION HOURS: 14 hrs. The purpose of the Comprehensive Examination under the old curriculum was to certify that the student had a comprehensive knowledge of the field of public administration, as represented by the public administration core and research courses, and a thorough knowledge of his or her concentration area. The examination was used to determine whether a student was prepared to write a dissertation in the concentration area. The purpose of the examination was to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the field and competence as researchers in public administration and their chosen concentration. 13

14 The Comprehensive Examination covered the core courses, research courses, and concentration courses. The exam consisted of both a written and a verbal component. The written portion was a takehome exam that consisted of two parts. The first part addressed the core and research courses and the second part addressed a student s concentration area. The core and research component of the exam was the same for all students who took the exam at the same time; however, the concentration portion was tailored for the individual student. Upon satisfactory completion of the written examination, students took the oral examination. Upon satisfactory completion of the written and oral examinations, the student was certified for advancement into candidacy for the DPA. Students who did not pass one or more portions of the written comprehensive exam were allowed to retake the portion(s) that they did not pass. There was no limit on the number of times an examination could be retaken, however, the student had to wait until the next regularly scheduled exam in either the next fall or spring semester to retake all or part of the examination. Students who did not pass the oral examination similarly were allowed to retake it in the next regularly scheduled examination time. The new DPA curriculum is more practitioner focused and more interdisciplinary. In the research courses there is more emphasis placed on the relationship between theory and practice, Students are encouraged to use their experience and knowledge from the practitioner arena to critically examine the literature and to develop important research questions. The courses are designed in a manner that encourages lively discourse among experienced practitioners. a. Past Policy Changes A review of the dissertations produced by DPA students led to discussions among the faculty about what constitutes a good dissertation. The program decided to conduct research on this issue and to develop a set of dissertation policies. The discussions also addressed what is the appropriate role of the dissertation chair, committee members, and the Dean s representative who serves as a dissertation committee member. The development of the dissertation policies involved the following steps: (1) research was conducted on the dissertation policies of other public administration programs; (2) the public administration faculty met to provide their input on policy and procedural issues related to the dissertation, and (3) a draft of the dissertation policies was prepared and distributed to the faculty, the dean, and the Associate Chancellor for Graduate Education. After considerable discussion and revisions, the dissertation policies were formally adopted by the public administration faculty. Highlights of the dissertation policies are listed below. The public administration faculty has identified the following criteria for DPA dissertations: The dissertation should make an original, significant contribution to the scholarly literature of public administration. The dissertation must demonstrate a clear understanding of the research issues and the relevant literature. The dissertation must utilize a research approach that is appropriate for the research question and the state of the related research. 14

15 The dissertation must be presented in a clear and professional manner, with documentation and references that adhere to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) and UIS formatting instructions. The dissertation is the threshold of the student s career and therefore should be of sufficient quality and importance to merit publication in a refereed journal or to form the basis for a book or monograph which other scholars may build on in subsequent work. The dissertation must be the work of a single author- the student. b. Other Types of Changes Several other changes were made to the DPA Program in response to assessment feedback from the comprehensive examinations and from individual courses. The faculty strove to be more diligent in their review of student applications for the DPA Program. The new goal was to admit students whose interests were a good match for the DPA Program and who had a good chance of being successful in the program. Faculty paid more attention to factors such as GRE scores and to the statement of interest and career goals. The faculty observed that very low GRE scores may increase the likelihood that students will struggle with particular courses and may have difficulty succeeding in the program. Statements of interest and career goals that did not reflect an appreciation and interest in research were also looked upon as indicators that students were not sufficiently prepared or informed for the rigors of a doctoral program. In addition, faculty worked to assess whether a good match existed between the student s interest and the expertise of the faculty in determining student admission. Faculty also placed more attention on the importance of advising. For example, after the assessment, students were asked to take more prerequisites if needed (e.g. international students who needed more courses in American Government), and to take additional courses to strengthen their expertise in their concentration area, and, in one case, a student was counseled to consider leaving the DPA program due to his poor performance. The DPA Program, with its new curriculum and outlook has developed a new framework for assessment. This new assessment focuses on advising and review of student progress. The following section will describe this assessment plan in more detail under Future Assessment Goals and Methodology section. Other Factors: Background Information During the 2004/2005 academic year, a contingent of graduate students in the DPA Program at UIS met with the Interim Dean and expressed concerns about the continuing viability of the program. Enrollment was declining and additional departmental resources, including more faculty and faculty members at senior rank, were needed to continue the DPA Program. Members of the DPA faculty argued that the program could not thrive without a substantial increase in university resources. On the basis of this argument, in the fall of 2004, the Public Administration Department, the Interim Dean of the College 15

16 of Public Affairs & Administration, and the Provost agreed that an outside evaluator was needed to come in and examine the program in order to provide suggestions on possible alternative courses of action. In late January of 2005, Professor David Schultz from the Hamline University Graduate School of Management was chosen to come in to examine the program and suggest possible courses of action for the DPA Program. On March 4, 2005, Professor Schultz delivered his report which focused on three questions: 1. Is the DPA Program implementing its original academic vision, and if it is not, what reasons existed for the departure? 2. Is there sufficient financial, staff, and leadership support at UIS for the DPA Program? 3. Does the DPA Program need revision given the academic vision and the amount of support at UIS for the program? Professor Schultz s findings in regards to these questions served as the basis for revamping the DPA Program. He recommended that the program be redesigned to return to its original vision as an interdisciplinary, practitioner-oriented degree that drew on the faculty of multiple departments to provide a sufficient base for student mentoring and course offerings. It was because of this latter suggestion that the DPA curriculum was revised to be more interdisciplinary and practitioner-oriented. A more in-depth discussion will be related in the Summary and Recommendations section at the end of this document. In 2005, a proposal was developed to modify the Doctorate of Public Administration Program. The proposal involved a revision of the doctoral degree from a degree offered by the faculty of a single department to an interdisciplinary degree offered by the faculty of the College of Public Affairs and Administration which was housed in the Department of Public Administration. Changes were implemented in the Spring semester of Future Assessment Goals and Methodology The DPA Program does not yet have significant assessment data on its current program due to the curriculum changes and the new assessment process. Future reviews, however, plan to focus on key aspects of student assessment and achievement using tools such as student portfolios, individual student evaluations based on coursework and grades, and analysis of the student s qualifying exams. A more detailed plan of the new process for the first year review of students is presented below. The Role of Advisors The advisor will provide a formative evaluation in writing of the student s progress during the first year of coursework and will assist in the preparation and grading of the student s qualifying exams at the end of the core courses. During the month of May in their first year of courses, there will be a meeting between each student and his/her advisor to identify strengths and weaknesses the student has shown during the first year of coursework. The advisors will produce a written evaluation of each student on a form agreed upon by the Program Faculty. There will be a meeting of advisors with DPA Program Faculty to examine 16

17 progress of all students and perform program assessment tasks. This first year assessment will provide faculty with an opportunity to assess students progress during the first year and provide students with feedback and direction beyond that provided by grades in individual courses. Standards for Review Students in the DPA program should provide evidence they are able to: Evaluate and integrate the theoretical literature from a range of public affairs disciplines as they apply to issues commonly addressed in public administration and related public affairs disciplines, Apply the theoretical literature appropriately to address real world problems in public management and public policy, Identify and describe the core subject matter content of the student s area of concentration in either public management or public policy, Critically assess and evaluate the literature in a range of public affairs disciplines, Assess and critique scholarly articles and practitioner communications as a consumer. Process for Review 1. Advisors will read the students portfolio. A copy of the student s DPA transcript will also be made available for review. 2. Each student, a subgroup of Program Faculty (usually consisting of a Program Faculty member and a DPA teaching faculty member) will first review the student s portfolio and then will meet with the advisor for the students reviewed. 3. After meeting with the subgroup, the advisor should then draft an evaluation using the first year advisor evaluation form (see Appendix F) and share it with the Program Faculty subgroup by to get consensus. 4. The student s advisor will then meet with the student and share feedback orally. Student comments or problems raised during that meeting will be noted and forwarded with the evaluation form to the program director. 5. Subsequently, the Program Faculty subgroup will present the student evaluations at the program faculty meeting and will suggest additional comments as necessary to supplement the advisor form and student response. 6. The outcome of the review process will be summarized in a letter to the student from the program director. The intent of this evaluation is to suggest corrections so that the student may make progress towards learning objectives and successful completion of the dissertation. While in some cases a review may suggest to a student that continuance in the program may not be the best option, the review itself will not result in the program removing a student from the program. The review forms will also provide good assessment feedback for program evaluation and may serve to suggest changes in the DPA Program. Career Objectives and Job Placement Career Objectives and Job Placement 17

18 Most of the students who enrolled in the old Doctorate of Public Administration Program aspired to improve their status within their respective government or nonprofit organizations. Others already were working in an academic environment or desired employment in an academic position at a college or university. The successful placement of DPA graduates in a variety of professional jobs suggests that the program has been successful in this respect. Students who have graduated from the DPA Program have secured various positions throughout the United States and overseas. See Appendix E: Dissertations & Job Placement for a list of current DPA alumni positions. Student Satisfaction No existing data or information on this topic. The DPA Program plans to implement student satisfaction surveys and begin compiling data for the new program in the coming years. Student Achievements Conference Presentations DPA students are encouraged to present their scholarly work at professional conferences. Usually students are better prepared and feel more comfortable doing this toward the latter part of their studies. Most conferences require the students to submit a proposal for review to a conference committee. The committee then evaluates the proposal and decides whether to accept the proposal. Although the criteria used by conference committees vary, the acceptance of a proposal usually indicates that the committee members found the research topic and approach to be worthy of presentation. See Appendix D. Publications DPA students are also encouraged to submit their written scholarly work for review to journals. Many of these journals have a referee process in which manuscripts are subject to review by experts in a particular field. Having a manuscript accepted in a refereed publication or in other professionally recognized journals represents a scholarly accomplishment by a DPA student. See Appendix E. III. Student Characteristics and Academic Support Demographics Students in the Doctorate of Public Administration Program are older, as a whole, than most students at UIS. The mean age for DPA students has ranged from a high of 49.9 in 2006 to a low of 39 in DPA students are also more likely to be attending college as part-time students than UIS graduate and undergraduate students as a whole. Students tend to be primarily Caucasian, non-hispanic individuals. Although there has been a slight decline in African American student enrollment in recent years, this ethnic class tends to comprise the highest minority enrollment within the program. The ratio of female to male students in the DPA Program is roughly equal. In recent years, however, the number of female students has risen in contrast to male students whose enrollment appears to have declined, particularly from Fall 2002 to Fall

19 The table below presents demographic information on DPA students for 2008 (For more detailed demographic information, see Section X: Statistical Data, Table 1). Status Fall 2008 Full Time 1 Part Time 10 Total 11 Race/Ethnicity* Race/Ethnicity Unknown 0 White Non- Hispanic 8 Hispanic or Latino/a 0 Black/African Am./Non- 3 Hisp. Asian/Pacific Islander 0 Total 11 Age (Categorically)** Less than & over 0 Unknown Age 0 Total 11 Average Age*** Mean 39 Gender Male 5 Female 6 Total 11 19

20 Transfer Characteristics/Feeder Institutions An analysis of active student files suggests that the majority of current DPA students come from graduate programs in the state of Illinois. Past student files reveal a more diverse sampling of feeder institutions. DPA students have come from a variety of Illinois colleges and universities including SIU, Lincoln College, Southern Illinois University (SIU Carbondale & Edwardsville), Illinois State University (ISU), Western Illinois University (WIU), UIS, UIUC, Millikin University, City Colleges of Chicago, University of Chicago, Illinois College and Northern Illinois University. They also represent a number of out-of-state institutions including Arkansas State University, University of Michigan, Metropolitan State University, College of Denver, Truman State University, University of Arkansas, and Rutgers University. Finally, the international colleges and universities represented by DPA students include Sung Kyun Kwan University in Seoul, Korea and University of Quebec, Montreal in Canada. Recruitment Activities The Doctorate of Public Administration Program has a variety of recruitment methods. The program responds to all requests for information about the program through either or personalized letters. Mailed responses include informational program packets and application materials. The program also provides an opportunity for students to come meet department members face to face. A department brochure and student handbook has also been created that contains detailed information about the program and is distributed to potential students either by mail or at recruitment events. In addition to recruitment through graduate fairs and letters sent to professional sites and organizations, potential students are also targeted through NASPAA (the Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration). An annual letter with a program brochure is sent to NASPAA colleagues for dissemination to program students. The program then replies to any student requests for information. Admissions Criteria A cohort of up to 15 students will be admitted to the program in the fall once every two years, however, the first cohort was admitted in a spring semester. Prospective students are asked to submit an application portfolio in addition to the application for graduate admission to UIS. That portfolio must include an education and professional goals statement of at least 600 words written by the applicant, three letters of recommendation, at least one sample of the applicant s professional writing that was written solely by the applicant, and evidence of significant work experience in public affairs. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to submit GRE scores as part of their portfolios. These scores can provide useful information about an applicant s readiness for program coursework. Students are required to have a master s degree; however, there are no individual course prerequisites. Once the applications are received there is a two-tiered review process. The first step involves the Director and Associate Director of the DPA Program who screen applications to select those who will be given further consideration. To be eligible for further consideration the student s application portfolio must have: Transcripts for all graduate work, 20

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