GOV 791 - International Relations and Development (3)

Students are introduced to significant topics in international relations that affect economic and social development. Among the topics to be included will be: theories of the nation-state; theories of peace and war; theories, perspectives and measures of economic and social development; the role of international organizations and international law related to conflict resolution and development; Case studies of development reflecting various perspectives; and the role of women and disabled people as both participants and subjects of the development process.

MPA 710 - Introduction to Public Administration (3)

This course is a basic introduction to public administration for professionals working in public sector and non-profit agencies. Topics include the role of bureaucracy in the political process, theories of public organizations, bureaucratic discretion and accountability, policy implementation, and the changing nature of public administration. This course is designed to use lectures, student presentations, group discussion, and field assignments. The ultimate goal of the course is to help students develop a solid understanding of public administration theory and practice.

MPA 711 - Basics of Management (3)

Presents basic management principles and concepts. Topics include: the historical evolution of management thought and practice; effective techniques for planning, decision making, problem solving, information management, and reporting; organizing and staffing; and principles of budget administration. Technology in the workplace, supervision of diverse individuals and groups, and interpersonal communication styles are featured.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

MPA 712 - Decision Support Systems for Managers (3)

The course focuses on the use of computer-based systems to assist human decision making. Students will learn about a) human decision making in the organizational context, b) the methods that can be used to support it, and c) the issues associated with the use of computer-based systems that deliver the relevant technology. The course will focus on decision support systems for individuals, although a group decision support system will also be discussed.

MPA 713 - Budgeting in Public Sector and Non-Profit Organizations (3)

This course examines the philosophical, political, and practical issues that surround the allocation of funds to publicly supported and not-for-profit agencies, institutions, and other entities. The course of study involves exploration of the structure of government in the United States at the federal, state, and local levels, along with various theories and strategies for raising and distributing public funds, especially within the educational sector. Case studies of public and private educational institutions provide capstones for student achievement.

MPA 714 - Strategic Leadership and Management (3)

This course will provide students with an introduction to strategic leadership, strategic analysis, strategic planning, organizational structure and culture, performance based management, and organizational development and change. The focus is on developing innovative and ethical change aspects capable of utilizing internal and external environmental data to lead organizational transformation in complex organizations.

MPA 715 - Economics for Managers (3)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an introductory overview of the knowledge base in microeconomics and macroeconomics, with an emphasis on the concepts administrators will utilize in practice. At the completion of this course, the student will have first-hand practice critically analyzing common economic concepts such as supply and demand, prices, the price system, markets and market structure, utility, production and costs, marginal analysis, economic indicators, monetary and fiscal policy, international trade and data, opportunity costs and other pedagogies. Critical thinking skills will be gained through understanding of the underlying theoretical basis for these concepts, how they are interrelated with each other and with the overall economy, and how they are applied in policy decisions is also introduced in this course. In addition, students will, through examples based on business and government policies, obtain an introductory understanding of how these concepts are applied in everyday situations, providing additional critical thinking, communication and analytical skills.

MPA 716 - Quality Management in Public Sector and Non-Profit Organizations (3)

This course focuses on core principles of quality management in public and non-profit agencies; for example, customer focus, continuous improvement, employee involvement, and process improvement. Students analyze case studies and design a field project to gain first-hand knowledge of how to implement quality management principles. Students will also learn about the Baldrige National Quality Award program.

MPA 717 - Capstone Experience in Public Administration (3)

The Masters in Public Administration Capstone Experience engages students in field-based activities that allow them to apply what they have learned in their program of study. This field-based learning activity is offered under the guidance of a program faculty member and a field-based mentor. Students may also include this experience in their Personal Learning Plans that they develop at the beginning of their program of study. Students may design their Capstone Experience in a variety of ways, including designing it as a research project, as an internship, or as a team-based project. No matter how the experience is organized, students must document what they have learned in their program of study and in the Capstone Experience. Documentation will be submitted in the form of a comprehensive portfolio. Students will meet as a group in a seminar format periodically throughout the semester.

Prerequisites: Completion of all required courses and completion of at least two of the three elective courses, and a 3.0 grade point average.

MPA 718 - The Policy Making Process (3)

This graduate course is an introduction to the policy making process, primarily as it is practiced in the United States by various actors and institutions. We will examine the processes through which public policies are formulated, adopted and implemented, and the political and organizational contexts which condition these processes. The first part of the course will examine public policy through the "stages heuristic," viewing the policy making processes as a series of stages or steps. The stages usually include agenda setting, policy design, policy adoption, implementation, evaluation and termination/modification. We will then review the background, key concerns and controversies for a number of policy issues using the stages approach to frame discussion. At the end of the course, students will share their own analyses of specific policy issues.

Prerequisite: matriculation in the MPA program

MPA 750 - Data Based Decision Making (3)

The purpose of MPA 750 Data Based Decision-Making is to help students develop introductory level skills in a) identifying the data that are needed for understanding an issue related to a public policy, a public good, or a public service; b) identifying appropriate statistical procedure for analyzing the data; and c) analyzing the data for the purpose of reaching a decision or a recommendation on a plan of action.

MPA 780 - Human Resource Management (3)

In this course, students will have an opportunity to learn the role and responsibilities of effective and efficient human resource management (HRM) practices in managing government and non-profit organizations. HRM is a fundamental component of the competitiveness, effectiveness, and sustainability of any organization, as it influences who is hired, how they are trained, evaluated, and compensated, and what steps are taken to retain them. Key functions such as decision-making, recruitment, selection, development, appraisal, retention, compensation, and labor relations will be studied in and out of classrooms. Implications of legal and workplace environments are appraised and current issues such as diversity training, sexual harassment policies, and rising benefit costs are analyzed. Students will acquire knowledge of HRM and increase an understanding of strategic partnership in the task of managing people that require good work relationship between human resources and general managers in the government agencies and non-profit organizations.

MPA 794 - Successful Grant Writing: From Ideas to Proposals (3)

Successful Grant Writing: From Idea to Proposal. Working in a highly interactive environment, participants will gain hands-on experience in how nonprofits, state agencies, and other can develop successful applications for federal, state and private funding. Topics will include: Dos and Dont's of proposal writing; importance of building relationships with funders; researching funding opportunities; creating a needs statement; defining goals and objectives; developing an evaluation plan; establishing an action plan; preparing a budget; tailoring proposals to specific audiences; and keeping track of grant requests.

MPA 795 - Special Topics (1-3)

Grading System: letter grades only.

MPA 796 - Executive Communication Skills (3)

Grammar is not the problem! Attitude is! This seminar helps the administrator avoid the tics plaguing his or her memos, letters, and position papers--tics such as taking forever to get to the point at hand; using marathon sentences to say what could be said in a dash; mixing metaphors and misplacing modifiers; burying the antecedents of pronouns in the underbrush of prose; and masquerading behind the obscurity of the passive voice. Analysis of style and tone of writing.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

MPA 799 - Independent Study (1-3)

Independent studies enable advanced study of a topic, of interest to the student and the faculty member, not covered in the curriculum. Independent studies should not substitute for required courses, although exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Note: A Registrar’s Office Graduate Student Independent Study Form ( and syllabus must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office before the add/drop period ends to register for an Independent Study

Prerequisite: Appropriate level of matriculation, permission of instructor and Special Independent Study Form.

MPA 809 - Theory of Management and Leadership (3)

Theory follows practice. The application of classical management thought; the conundrum of power, authority, and responsibility; the principles of motivation; the option of Japanese management thought; the influence of personality type; and the ingredients of leadership training--all are interwoven into a masterful tapestry that contributes to the development of each participant's emerging management philosophy. Leadership styles are measured and demonstrated in weekly events.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

MPA 810 - Public Policy and Persons with Disabilities (3)

The focus of this course is on the history, development, implementation, and analysis of those social policies designed to reconcile concerns and to overcome obstacles faced by those citizens of this democracy who happen to have disabilities. The major activity of the seminar will be the analysis of a national policy relative to the provision of services to people with disabilities.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

MPA 821 - Issues in the Administration of Programs for People with Disabilities (3)

This course focuses on current issues of import and emerging trends in the management of special education programs from federal, state, and local perspectives. Concentration is on the broadest understanding of disabilities. Each topic covered in the seminar will begin with a review of the historical trends, theoretical underpinnings, philosophical foundation, and sociological bases of that topic in order to develop management practices that can be coherently and consistently implemented on a daily basis.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

MPA 822 - Executive Management Skills (3)

The theory and application of the following managerial skill repertoires are presented: interviewing techniques, resume writing, time management, stress management, meeting management, parliamentary procedure, conflict management, and assertiveness training. Several case study leadership events are presented. Attention is given to actual management problems that are currently being experienced by the participants.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

MPA 834 - Program Development and Evaluation in Special Education and Human Services (3)

This course focuses on the design, development, and evaluation of programs for individuals with disabilities. Topics to be covered in this course include interpreting policy statements into relevant programmatic goals and objectives; determining organizational components and functions; establishing staffing patterns; setting up program-based budgets; and formulating ongoing process evaluation, product evaluation, and cost analysis plans. Students will be required to submit a proposal in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP), thereby increasing their managerial skills through simulation of an actual grant-writing experience.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

MPA 837 - Interpersonal and Group Behavior in Organizations (3)

The emphasis of the course is on interpersonal and group behavior in organizations. Through experienced-based learning activities, small group discussions, and short lectures, students learn about interpersonal interactions and dynamics in an organization setting. Topics include power and politics, decision making, conflict, and organizational culture.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

MPA 838 - Organization Development and the Management of Change (3)

This course focuses on the processes of organization development and the management of change. In the course students learn how to diagnose organizational problems and how to plan ways to solve the problems. The process of change management is explored in depth. The course uses a combination of structured activities, small group discussions, and short lectures. Because of the nature of the course, active student participation is essential. It is designed for current or future administrators in schools, universities, and public sector organizations.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor

MPA 839 - Organization Theory and Design (3)

Students are introduced to principles of organization theory and design. They examine topics such as organization design; the external environment of organizations; the impact of organizational goals on organizational effectiveness; organizational technology; organizational bureaucracy; classic organizational structures; the impact of structure on innovation, change, information, and control, decision-making in organizations; power and politics; integrating all parts of an organization; and organizational learning and renewal. This course, when combined with ADM 838, ADM 840, and ADM 841, provides students with solid preparation for managing the process of organizational improvement.

Prerequisite: MPA 838 or Permission of the Instructor.

MPA 840 - Organizational Diagnosis (3)

This course teaches students how to plan and conduct a comprehensive organizational diagnosis for the purpose of improving organizational performance. The classic diagnostic procedures of interviewing, surveying, observing, and artifact analysis are taught. Students learn to diagnose 'root' problems related to an organization's work processes, its social 'architecture,' and its relationship with a broader environment. Students also learn how to choose effectiveness criteria for diagnosing organizational performance, accessing the quality of work life, how to reorganize and diagnose data into useable feedback for decision makers, and how to conduct a feedback/action planning meeting. The ethics and politics of organizational diagnosis are also examined. When combined with ADM 838, ADM 839, and ADM 841, this course provides future managers of education and human service organizations with solid preparation for managing organizational improvement processes.

Prerequisites: MPA 838 and MPA 839 or Permission of the Instructor.

MPA 841 - Redesigning Organizations (3)

This course is an advanced course in organizational improvement that expects students to apply what they learned from ADM 838, ADM 839, and ADM 840. Students learn a systemic and systematic model for transforming professional organizations into high performing learning organizations by making simultaneous improvements in three sets of key organizational variables; the organization's work processes, its social 'architecture," and its relationship with its external environment. Students design an organizational improvement intervention in a real or fictitious organization.

Prerequisites: MPA 838, MPA 839, and MPA 840 or Permission of the Instructor.

MPA 855 - Field Experiences (3)

An individual set of experiences designed to give the graduate student in administration an understanding of the operation of several different education-related organizations.

MPA 860 - Ethics in Management (3)

A classical seminar offered every other spring semester during even-numbered years by a team of three to four instructors. The nine-evening, once-a-week seminar covers the gamut of ethical concerns dealt with by line and staff administrators. Instead of traditional papers and examinations, the seminar requires class participation.

MPA 862 - Gender Issues in Management (3)

A classical seminar that alternates with ADM 860 and is offered every other spring semester during odd-numbered years by a team of three to four instructors. The nine-evening, once-a-week seminar involves outside lecturers addressing various issues confronting women administrators. Instead of traditional papers and examinations, the seminar requires class participation.

MPA 890 - Internship (3)

The internship requirement for the degree programs within the department is sometimes waived in the advisory process, pending evidence the student can produce. The advisor(s) reserve the right to determine the weight of such written evidence attesting to breadth and depth of administration experience prior to entry into the program. The internship itself involves a minimum of 360 clock hours of work within an administrative context in any education or human services setting. A written proposal on how the internship will be designed is required before the start of the semester in which it will be done. The department has proposal guidelines available.