1 Tyler P. Reinagel Department of Public Administration and Policy University of Georgia Grace E. Bagwell Department of Public Administration and Policy University of Georgia Prepared for the National Outreach and Scholarship Conference Tuesday, October 2, 2012 University of Alabama; Tuscaloosa, AL
2 Masters of Public Administration Largely a practitioner degree Preparation for students wishing to enter federal government, state government, local government, and non-profit agencies for management rather than politics Pulls students from a variety of undergraduate fields, including History English Political Science American Studies In the academic structure, the PA faculty and MPA program take on one of two forms: Housed within the Political Science department Independent department of strictly PA faculty
3 Two year program as full time student Coursework MPA Socialization (Orientation) 2 Hours Public Administration and Democracy Public Personnel Administration Public Financial Administration Economic Foundations of Policy Analysis Organizational Theory Research Methods in Public Administration Data Applications in Public Administration Elective Courses/Specialization (6 Courses) Internship 300 Hours Professional Experience Paper Comprehensive Exam
4 Health Policy and Administration Higher Education Administration Local Government Administration Nonprofit Administration Public Budgeting and Finance Administration Public Management/Organization Theory Public Personnel Administration Public Policy Generalist
5 An increasing number of UGA MPA students are entering as full-time, preservice students with a small or nonexistent portfolio of work and experience Geared toward second-year students with significant coursework-based training Allows students to apply coursework to real world scenarios Client-consultant relationship rather than employer-employee relationship that stems from a traditional internship Project-based Tangible results and portfolio building Reports, Plans, Documents, and Presentations
6 UGA Department of Public Administration and Policy Offers the course on a regular basis Acknowledges the value of the course in multiple specializations Devotes faculty and facility resources to the course Georgia Municipal Association Recruiting city participation Uses existing relationships with member cities to facilitate a new relationship with MPA students Matching students with experts and GMA officials based on assessed needs and interests Georgia Cities Identify projects for student participation Provide communication, resources, and professional relationships for students to apply coursework in a client-consultant role rather than an employer-employee role MPA Students Apply classroom material to active project/policy development, implementation, and analysis Hone skills in effective communication and public speaking
7 Has been offered 7 times since inception To date, clients include 36 cities, the Atlanta Regional Commission, and one non-profit agency Students have completed 51 projects Cities are generally council-manager form of government, rather than mayor-council or commission This ensures a full-time, experienced point of contact for the student Client cities include: Roswell, GA Douglas, GA Decatur, GA St. Marys, GA Sky Valley, GA Atlanta, GA Tybee Island, GA Valdosta, GA
8 To protect the interests of the student, client city, Georgia Municipal Association, and coinstructors, an MOU was developed such that all parties understood expectations from the outset. For students: Regular communication Identify scope of project Clarify expected deliverables within 1 month For client cities: Connect students with appropriate staff Provide clear, written direction Attend presentation in Atlanta at conclusion of semester For GMA: Provide feedback throughout semester Connect students with field experts through GMA relationships Arrange final presentations in Atlanta For Instructors: Remain in contact with instructors throughout semester Connect students with appropriate resources within and beyond the university setting
9 Benchmark 1 1 page summary of the project/challenge facing the client city Week 4 Benchmark 2 Executed Memorandum of Understanding Week 4 Benchmark 3 Presentation of Research Design to Co-Instructors and Classmates Week 6 Benchmark 4 Mid-Semester Presentation of Project Status to Co-Instructors and Classmates Week 9 Benchmark 5 Rehearsal of Final Presentation to Co-Instructors and Classmates for feedback Week 13 Benchmark 6 Final presentation to GMA Officials, City Officials, Co-Instructors, and Classmates at GMA Offices in Atlanta, GA Week 15
10 Personnel Assessment Millennials in the Workplace Municipal Composting Business Plan Assessment of Development Codes and Standards Urban Garden Business Model Consolidation of Policy and Fire Services Downtown Marketing Plan City/County Consolidation Plan Corridor Redevelopment Plans Capital Improvement Plan Implications of courthouse relocation
11 7-8 Students This ensures that there are plenty of viewpoints and ideas to be shared as students work through their respective projects, but not so many that it becomes overwhelming. Based on the number and variety of projects, this also ensures that students will be assigned a project/city that is of interest to them and their career objectives. Non-weekly meetings UGA s MPA program is generally composed of once-perweek class meetings of 3 hours. This regularity is not necessary, as students commit significant time to independent research, field visits to their assigned client cities, and research/presentation preparation. Meeting days are fluid and designed to meet the needs of students. Conference room setting The course is not lecture style, and should be treated as conversation, discussion, constructive criticism, and a time to get creative with new and innovative ideas.
12 Travel License to Drive Can students be assigned projects with the same city and carpool? Access to Transportation Are there University vehicles available? Can students rent vehicles with reimbursement? Reimbursement for Travel Can the city (particularly those far away) make accommodations for student travel? Representation by Cities City officials must be present in Atlanta (GMA Offices) at the conclusion of each semester for results presentations by the students This can involve 300+ miles of travel and potential overnight stays Cities were frequently not showing up, prompting a clause requiring attendance in the MOU in recent semesters Enrollment The course had been offered every fall and spring semester for three years Enrollment was inconsistent and availability of projects from cities slowly dwindled The course is now offered during the fall semester only and geared toward second-year students
13 Continuous 100% success is difficult to achieve Of the 51 projects completed in the seven offerings of the Practicum at UGA, one was not completed to the standards expected by the client city, GMA, or the co-instructors Study on feasibility and a cost/benefit analysis of municipal annexation Relationship with the client city The city invests time, energy, and resources into the project Meetings with city leadership, department heads, employees Potential financial investment in reimbursements for travel The partnerships are vital Because of the joint effort between the five actors, the coinstructors of the course were able to work together and deliver a quality document to the city that successfully met their expectations and needs Maintains a healthy relationship between the city, GMA, and entities within UGA
14 165 MPA programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) in 41 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico Accreditation is not a prerequisite There is often a disparity between number of MPA programs in a state and accredited MPA programs in a state There are 19 accredited online MPA programs, but online coursework does not lend itself toward a practicum-type model of on the ground application of skills State Municipal Organizations 49 States State County Organizations 38 States BPA Degrees Public Administration programs are largely limited to graduate-level there is not a general flow, such as BBA to MBA, BA to MA, BS to MS, etc. Undergraduate students may not be as well equipped to work directly with cities
15 Consider the MPA curriculum Does a practicum fit into the curriculum? Are there specializations that would benefit from the model? Contact your state s association or league of cities/counties Are any of our alumni staff members of these organizations? Identify partners within the university setting Are we a land-grant school with public service units? What is the municipal setting of our state? What are the distinctions between cities, towns, villages, townships, and other incorporated areas? Do forms of government lend themselves to a healthy, constructive environment for students? Home Rule or Dillon s Rule? Embrace the reality of your state Nevada s only accredited program is at UNLV nearly 8 hours from Reno and Carson City Characterize the students Are these pre-service or mid-service students? Is the program full-time or part-time?
16 Public Administration/Policy programs lend themselves toward the model because of their education and training for public and non-profit services and existing/established actors Other academic programs can utilize the model or adapt it to their own needs City, Urban, Community, Regional Planning Civil Engineering Business Environmental Design/Landscape Architecture Historic Preservation Social Work Agricultural Economics Others
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