Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Program Purpose

MPA Seminar

Mission Statement

The St. Cloud State University Master of Public Administration program prepares pre-service students’ and enhances in-service students’ ability to lead, manage, and serve the Public Interest ethically and competently in local government, nonprofit, and international organizations. Students and faculty advance public service values by serving diverse and changing populations as Administrative Statespersons in the global community with justice, integrity, and accountability. St. Cloud State University MPA faculty offer students concentrations in City and County Leadership and Management, Nonprofit Leadership and Management, International Development Leadership and Management, and a concentration allowing a specialization not covered by the three existing concentrations: Leadership and Management.

Purpose, Goals, and Objectives

Consistent with the goals and objectives of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), the goal of the St. Cloud State MPA program is professional education for public service. As such, its mission, governance, and curriculum all emphasize public service values. Public service values include pursuing the Public Interest with collaborative structures, coalitions of interests, accountability, and transparency; serving professionally with competency, efficiency, and objectivity; acting ethically so as to uphold the public trust necessary to have a dialogue about shared values; and demonstrating respect, equity, and fairness in dealings with citizens and fellow public servants.

The St. Cloud State MPA program meets its Mission, Goals, and Objectives by delivering skills, education and practice through exceptional global and local education, research, and service. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in public service are expected to see above-average job growth in Minnesota. The program is a learning organization committed to continuous improvement and will create new concentrations as the need emerges

The Profession

Public administration is an academic discipline and a vocation akin to a “calling.” As an academic discipline, the theoretical foundation of public administration is the broad-based study and practice of Constitutional democratic government and political processes. Scholarship examines such fundamental topics as the meaning and purpose of government, constitutionality and public service, policymaking, the role of the citizenry in decision making, and narrower topics such as leadership styles, effective communication, decision-making processes, accountability, ethics, and motivations of public servants.

As an occupation, the field is multidisciplinary as public administrators formulate, implement, and evaluate federal, state, and local government policies, projects, and programs. Successful public administrators use their knowledge of the law, budgeting and financial management, human resources, community values, professional standards and ethics, citizen interests, organizations, program planning, strategic management, and leadership to address issues related to the common good.

The St. Cloud State MPA program faculty members embrace multiple approaches to effectively mitigate challenges on behalf of the Public Interest drawing on diverse fields such as political science, sociology, psychology, social psychology, positive psychology, criminology, urban studies, and economics. They acknowledge the importance of shared citizen dialogue as a method to discover the Public Interest adding to the cumulative knowledge of the institutions civil servants lead and manage. They recognize that building collaborative coalitions of government, nonprofit, and for profit agencies, are necessary to achieve public goals and objectives. They believe public servants must be responsive to the citizenry, community values, professional standards, norms, and laws.

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