Government staffers have a wide assortment of master’s in public administration (MPA) degree programs that they can choose to enroll in. Here is another In our continuing series on MPA degree programs around the U.S. GPN checked in with Daniel P. Hawes, Associate Professor and MPA Coordinator in Kent State University’s (KSU) Department of Political Science. Professor Hawes (photo below on left) offers his views on the KSU MPA below. Go here to learn more about the future of public administration.

GPN: Can your school's MPA degree offer new opportunities to our audience, which includes government administrators?

Daniel Hawes: Kent State’s MPA program offers students a concrete set of skills that are transferable to a wide range of leadership and management positions in both the public and non-profit sector. Our approach is on combining theory with the development and acquisition of real-world skills while also emphasizing a strong commitment to public service ethics.

GPN: Is 2017 a great time to earn an MPA for our audience of  government administrators?

DH: Perhaps more than ever, the need for competent, highly skill public administrators is needed. Administrators are working in an increasing complex environment that includes collaboration with multiple levels of government, nonprofits and private sector stakeholders. Strategic planning, program evaluation, budget and personnel management and data analysis are essential skills public managers and administrators need to be successful. An MPA is an ideal degree choice for those who want to master these skills.

GPN: Do you have any advice for our readers on choosing an MPA program?

DH: Program quality is among the most important things to consider. They should look for a program that is NASPAA accredited and has a core faculty with a strong reputation. They should also look at the course offerings within the program of study to see it they provide a comprehensive set of skills. Finally, prospective students should consider a program that fits with their professional interests as well as their life stage.

GPN: What sets the KSU MPA program apart from other MPA programs. What is unique about the program?

DH: Students in our MPA program at Kent State University can earn their degree 100 percent online. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) has accredited our program. Courses in the program are offered in seven-week sessions, which allows students to take one course at a time so they can dedicate their time to a single course instead of juggling 2 or 3 simultaneously, while still completing the program in two years. This structure works especially well for students who hold full-time jobs while working on their graduate degree.

In the video, KSU Professor Mark Cassell describes the KSU MPA program.

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