The Status of Small MPA Programs: A Commitment to Quality, Diversity, and Uniqueness


Educational Leadership

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Smaller graduate programs in public administration and public affairs represent a significant portion of NASPAA member programs. As a result, decisions by leaders of the profession concerning these small programs must be guided by a comprehensive assessment of their needs as is done with larger MPA programs. The purpose of this research effort is to identify the needs of the small MPA program constituency. A survey of 84 directors of small MPA programs was conducted to define small programs, review NASPAA guidelines and standards and their application to smaller programs, and to address small program involvement in NASPAA governance. The results show a commitment to quality, from these directors, for all programs regardless of size or reputation, and the findings indicate diversity and uniqueness among small MPA programs.