The Master of Public Affairs (MPA) program is a professional degree designed to prepare students for leadership positions in the public and non-profit sectors. The program integrates public affairs theory and practice to improve the managerial, analytical, and communication skills of students. The program promotes teaching, applied research, and service activities that enhance public and non-profit sector performance, particularly in Western North Carolina. The MPA program provides accessibility to working professionals and flexibility for students to choose from specialized elective courses to fit their personal and professional goals. Program electives are offered to address regional needs.
Accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NSPAA)
In summer of 2014, the MPA program was fully accredited for seven years by NASPAA, the recognized global accreditor of master's degree programs in the fields of Public Affairs, Policy and Administration. NASPAA's twofold mission is to ensure excellence in education and training for public service and to promote the ideal of public service.
Accredited programs must contribute to the knowledge, research, and practice of public service, establish observable goals and outcomes, and use information about their performance to guide program improvement. They must practice truth in advertising and ensure their students achieve learning objectives in five domains essential to public service.
Securing accreditation is a very difficult and time-consuming process, and it is unusual for a program to receive a full seven year accreditation the first time it is sought. It is a tribute to the commitment and dedication of our professors, students, alumni and staff that the WCU MPA program was regarded so highly during the rigorous process of peer review conducted by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) as part of the accreditation procedure.
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