What Can I Do with an MPA Degree

View our latest full-length webinar featuring faculty discussing MPA careers and the online MPA program.

Click here for transcripts
Heidi Hill: Our agenda today is for you to meet your support team as well as your faculty panelists. Learn a little bit about the University of San Francisco, and the online Master of Public Administration program. As well as the different careers public administration professionals are employed in, as well as a live question and answer session.

Let me first introduce myself, my name is Heidi Hill, some of you may recognize my voice from our previous phone calls and correspondences. I’m your enrollment advisor for the online Master of Public Administration program. I’ve been working in higher education for several years. It’s my pleasure to provide you with program information and guide you through the enrollment process. I also want to introduce you to your program coordinator, Adrian Nesbeth. Just as I assist you through your enrollment process, Adrian will work with you through your tenure with us. He will act as your liaison to campus and assist your with questions and logistics. Such as registering classes and ordering books, once you’ve become a student.

Next I would like to introduce you to your faculty panelists. First we have associate director of online master of public administration, Dr. Timothy Loney, welcome Dr. Loney. Could you please share a little bit about yourself with us and your role?

Dr. Timothy Loney: Thanks Heidi, good afternoon everybody, first of all let me thank you for considering our MPA program we know you have many choices out there; this is a big decision, for you. And you want to go about this in a responsible way and so we appreciate that you’re doing this with us today. I essentially wear two hats at the university. One as a member of the faculty and also as the director of the online MPA program. in a previous lives I managed programs in four federal agencies, also city of Oakland, and probably my consulting practice work with, at least a couple hundred both public, private and non-profit organizations. And I’ll totally be available to you throughout your program with us, to help you in any way possible thank you.

Heidi Hill: Great, thank you very much Dr. Loney, next I would like to welcome Director of program services Dr. Gleb Nikitenko, Dr. Nikitenko will you share a little bit about yourself with us?

Dr. Gleb Nikitenko: Absolutely Heidi. Thank you very much for having me, and welcome everyone thanks for joining us. I just want to echo Dr. Loney’s words earlier today and I wanted to congratulate you for considering the, sort of taking your education to the next level and basically going for it for the Master’s program. And it’s a big decision and yes there are a lot of choices but I can assure you that this program is going to satisfy your needs as a learner, as well as the emerging or already current professionals. And this program has proven to be one of the most successful, in this ability to basically take the public administration education to another level and create the emerging online community.


My background is in public administration as well non-profit administration. I’m a member of staff but I also teach in the program, I teach various courses, from policy analysis to management and organization theory courses. I have a background in higher education. I worked for USF for a number of years and in my prior life I worked at several places in Europe and the Middle East. Basically teaching as well as working with non-governmental as well as intergovernmental organizations including the United Nations. I have some background in foreign affairs, working for Ukrainian foreign office. So a multitude of experiences and a great deal of passion and advocacy for higher education especially e-learning. Thank you.

Heidi Hill: Thank you Dr. Nikitenko, now I’d like to share a little bit about our program and our school.

The course work of the online Master of Public Administration program is 100% online that means no campus requirements and no required live components. Our faculty works with our course development team to create an online classroom that is as dynamic and goal oriented as the campus classrooms in which they also teach. Students can enroll in fall, spring and summer semesters. We are ranked in the top 2% of the nation’s best graduate schools by US News and World Report. Also Princeton Review has named University of San Francisco a best Western School. A primary goal of the University of San Francisco faculty is to provide a safe, compassionate and challenging learning environment. They are widely published and vastly experienced, but I think Dr. Nikitenko would be a better person to tell you about the faculty than I. so on our next slide, Dr. Nikitenko can you please share more about the Master of Public Administration faculty?

Dr. Gleb Nikitenko: Thank you Heidi, well you’re looking at the picture of our department. It’s not all of us, but this was one meeting when we decided to take a picture, and this is who we are. I’ll just give you a couple of examples, because obviously we don’t have time to talk about all of our very distinguished, experienced and highly dedicated faculty.


The gentleman on the very left is Richard Greggory Johnson. He is literally the first form the left; he’s got a great deal of academic experience. He has been with the University of San Francisco since 2011, teaches in the areas of management, organizational theory, human resources and cultural competence. He is a life member of the Fi Alpha Alpha honor society for Public Administration and a full bright scholar. He is currently our treasure of the policy board of USF; he received the best social equity award in 2012. He’s been awarded the Douglas Wilder School Award, for scholarship in social equity, published several books including a current Cultural Competence text which is now widely used in the country. He has done numerous publications in various sources, such as Public Administration Review, Journal for Public Administration Education and many others.

Just one example the gentleman sitting in the front row, in the white shirt, so closer to the left is our current department chair and program director, Dr. Rich Callahan. And Professor Callahan has been also with us for the last couple of years. His areas of expertise are leadership strategy in public administration and society. He has held a Heinz foundation three year grant for research and leadership in fiscal responsibility. He is the director of the lecture series, Change the World from Here at USF. And the series focuses on bringing speakers in from all over California to discuss social change, at organizational ____ levels. He has published in Public Manager, the National Civic Review, Public Administration Review, Public Management Review, numerous articles. A great deal of professional experience, he’s a former town manager, led a non-profit organization. So he has both academic and professional experience.

And the lady right next to him on the right and this is people by the way who both developed the curriculum as well as teach in the program. The woman on his right is Kimberly Connor. She’s associate professor who has taught courses in administrative ethics, or leadership ethics now. She has expertise in African American Religious Life and Cultural Production and she’s done various journals, reviews encyclopedia entries, related to American religion ethical leadership, as well as literature on multicultural pedagogue. So she’s a very broad based specialist but very heavily published. She’s the current associate editor of the Journal of American Academy of Religion. Just an incredible individual.


And it goes on I wish I could spend more time talking about our faculty I’d be happy to respond maybe in direct Q&A, but this is us. Thank you.

Heidi Hill: Thank you very much Dr. Nikitenko. Now that we’ve learned more about the faculty Dr. Loney will you share more about the online program itself?

Dr. Timothy Loney: Yes, and in terms and there are a lot of things on this slide, but again what the program tries to encompass is our emphasis on Jesuit values through social justice. Our commitment to service obviously to community oriented governments. We’re going to apply organizational behavior and management theory to real life situations. Again this is an opportunity for you to learn about the state of the art, the theories, what the current and sort of the lasting research has been to help us to run affective organizations. And in that sense we’ll look at innovative methods, both for planning activities and organization as well as evaluating public programs. We certainly will emphasize how technologies are being used on sort of a cutting edge, including in the area of social media, which is becoming a very important subject and method to communicate activity in government. So that’s just again a quick overview and I know can answer some questions in more detail as we go forward. Thanks Heidi.

Heidi Hill: Thank you Dr. Loney. And on the next slide you’ll actually see an overview of the curriculum itself. Dr. Nikitenko would you share any thoughts or any relevant information that you feel our attendees should know about?

Dr. Gleb Nikitenko: Sure Heidi, the curriculum, well as you can see is thirteen courses, thirty-nine credits that you can complete over the period of two years. It’s a very solid curriculum that has withheld the test of time while being revised periodically in fact quite frequently, to reflect some of the current developments in the field of public administration and non-profit management as well. So we start out with foundational courses. We call them foundational courses because they’re more broad based, they inform students of the range of topics that are current and extremely important for them to understand, and also set the foundations for developing particular skills. So the introductory course Public Administration the Field of Practice and Contemporary Society, the Leadership Ethics course, which is particularly important, because there are very few public administration courses out there that actually teach ethics as a core course. And we obviously connect it with our commitment to social justice, the University’s commitment and the mission. And this course that I mentioned earlier that Kimberly Connors teaches and some other faculty really provides you with a good understanding of ethical dilemmas in the contemporary work place as well as in society.


So having taking these foundational courses pertaining to understating theory, theory management basic quantitative skills will take you to the, sort of next level and we offer courses that pertain more to management functions that the public manager needs to understand and be able to perform. So courses in public policy, human resource management, understating of economics in the public sector, budgeting, the basics of strategic planning and communication there’s a particularly interesting course, which is called Strategic Management of Public Communication, a fairly new course, which provides students with a broad based as well as specific set of skills, and understating of social communication and new media, that’s being used by the public as well as managers to improve effectiveness and efficiencies. A very unique course that students will definitely take advantage of. At the end they take a capstone course which basically pulls it all together, you know they do the integrative paper analysis which is our capstone requirement, and then they graduate. Thank you.

Heidi Hill: Thank you very much Dr. Nikitenko. Now as we move on to our next slide, it discusses the MPA program and why you might need and MPA for your career goals. Dr. Loney I know you spent a long time, you know you have experience in HR, and have had some experience to that, I wonder if you could speak to that point a little bit more?

Dr. Timothy Loney: You know, again the bottom line I think for you considering an MPA degree is again if you want to be a leader be at the cutting edge either in a professional analyst position or certainly a management or leadership position, in public organizations, non-profit organizations. You’re going to need a certain level of expertise. There’s a cliché out there that says ‘you can’t control that which you don’t understand’. So what we’re trying to do through this program, is again, help you develop those skills so you can be affective in your career. You can understand the dynamics of what is going on and make good recommendations. Importantly for you also, I think as you’ll notice the fourth bullet down talks about staying competitive. Certainly in a public sector, it’s very competitive in terms of having a degree MPA is almost essential when you’re competing with other for higher level positions.


Clearly depending on your career aspirations then the MPA can be very important for you. Indirectly it can also be important for you in terms of finances and earning potential. Having worked with the federal government they do pay and select for grade level positions based on your education. So the more education you have the more competitive you are the higher you can be placed in an organizations. I could go on with that but I think, Heidi that might be enough to get us started.

Heidi Hill: That’s great, thank you very much Dr. Loney. And on the next slide I think you actually hinted to this a little bit you’ll see more of what our MPA graduates typically do, can you speak a little bit, I think I’ll look for input from both of you gentlemen, but let’s start with Dr. Loney since you’re on a roll. Can you speak a little bit to what MPA graduates typically do?

Dr. Timothy Loney: Well again the MPA degree will help you in a significant way in almost any position that you’re in, one that comes to mind recently for me, at least from one or several. Several students that we have in the program of how important it is for them to get this degree in order to advance to the next level. One of those students is a manager at a fairly significant level in a public works department in a large county, and his manager is retiring next year, and frankly he is concerned, while he has a lot of practical experience, and of course that’s important to get ahead, he doesn’t have the MPA degree. And he’s well aware that there are many people out there who will be competing with him for that degree. And so it’s very important to have that. And again this degree is a broad brush kind of degree that gives you some skill sets in a variety of dimensions or responsibilities that will affect you in moving forward. It’s possible at the moment that you’re moving up through the ranks as a specialist in one area, but again as you advance to higher levels of management it’s important that you have some understating of all of the functions that affect an organization.

And again here we’ve sort of given you a list of some of the typical careers that people go into both in terms of all sectors of government, non-profit. There are many intergovernmental, nongovernmental organizations, consultant groups, health organizations that one could be associated with as well. And then our very sophisticated society these days, both public, and any private organizations interface and or even do a lot of the work through contracting arrangement or governments and health organizations. So as I say this slide should give you, hopefully a really broad impression of the kinds of opportunities that are available to you with this degree. Thanks Heidi.


Heidi Hill: Thank you very much Dr. Loney, Dr. Nikitenko I wondered if you could share a little bit more of your perspective you mentioned before about your personal experience and working internationally. Can you share a little bit more with us regarding the types of careers and what you’ve found in the field?

Dr. Gleb Nikitenko: Right, well we don’t really prepare international civil servants per say. That’s not to say that we don’t have alumni who work, I mean we have several alumni who work for international organizations in various capacities, mostly based in California. It’s not extremely unusual but it’s certainly not the focus of the program. most of our graduates work in the united States and particularly in California, however you know the sky’s the limit, and you know the program is very interdisciplinary it’s very cross functional, if you will. Because it’s really kind of combines aspects of Political Science, of management, public administration, public budgeting so you really gain a wide variety of skills. And therefore as you could tell the positions that our alumni hold, they range from program coordinators to chief executive officers to even development officers and non-profit organizations, there’s a number of people working in the health care organizations. Just some examples very exemplary and kind of telling and we have an alumna who is the division chief of Human Resources section for the CALPERS, California Pension and Retirement System, which is the largest pension and retirement system in the US. And she previously worked for the HR department of the prison system. So clearly there was a transition she made, in the state government that was significant and she definitely attributes that to her education and the MPA program. We have current supervisor of San Francisco, board of supervisors member recently elected, who was our graduate just a year ago. A very talented woman who went through the ranks all the way up to the top of the city politics career.

We have a director of cardio vascular institute who works at the UCSF, University of California San Francisco campus. A number of people who are CEOs of the hospitals, the director of the information systems department at Stanford Hospital, and the list goes on, it’s just to give you an idea of how broad based this degree is, and how many different things you can do with that if you leverage it correctly.


Heidi Hill: Thank you very much Dr. Nikitenko, and actually you touched on my next question, the attendees will see that our professional development networking slide, touches on our broad USF alumni based. I know that you have knowledge of that so I wonder if perhaps you can speak a little bit more to that networking and that broad base?

Dr. Gleb Nikitenko: Networking is sort of a buzz word these days. Just like a buzz word itself. But it’s a really important skill to develop. And we certainly enhance it in this program, because number 1 as Woody Allen was saying, some of you may remember in some of his movies, “70% of success is showing up”. So that’s what we encourage in our students and alumni, to show up for various events or various training workshops, opportunities that professional associations present. You can look at the screen and see some of the examples of professionals we’re working very closely with, like American Society of Public Administration; we’ve had a long standing partnership with Municipal Management Association, Northern California, which is now becoming Municipal Management Association of all California, because the southern California chapter is joining. Association for Research non-Profit Organizations, Voluntary Action, which is a top level association for Non-Profit Management, we are associated with the American health Care association for health care executives, or California association for health care leaders.

So you can tell in pretty much every sector or subsector in the public, non-profit and even for-profit sectors, we have connections. And we try to leverage them, we try to make sure our alumni are connected and basically benefit from each other’s professional experience. It’s very important to be a part of this network. It’s very important to enhance your skills. How to be particularly productive and effective using this network, and those are the kind of skills you will develop in the program even though the program is online, I would argue that actually makes it better for you because online networking these days is the name of the game. You know you are connected through LinkedIn, you’re connected through Facebook, and you’re connected through a myriad of other ways to be part of the community. Thank you.

Heidi Hill: Thank you Dr. Nikitenko, and you know you touched on showing up, which certainly made me think of University of San Francisco’s ‘Change the World From Here’ moto. You know it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to come to California, come to San Francisco, of course you’re always welcome, but changing the world from where you are means showing up to the conventions in other places, and being active in your local efforts as well. And not necessarily having to come to campus. This is a worldwide community that we serve so I think that was a good point of showing up and changing the world from here, most certainly. Thank you very much Dr. Nikitenko. Dr. Loney do you have any thoughts that you would like to add to that?


Dr. Timothy Loney: Well I’m going to add to both of you on that because certainly anybody in our program wherever you are can, in a sort of indigenous way, can do networking through the design of our courses. Many of the faculty will actually encourage you to get out in your community or even within your organization. If you’re working, for example for a government now, and ideally you’re actually looking to advance into that organization, this is an opportunity for you to display a new experience to those people, and to take on for example projects that you can use in class to leverage to yourself, either in your current career organization or get you ready for others. So again, so this thought of networking is really a very expansive one, as Gleb mentioned in terms of professional associations. But also very much in terms of your specific activities in terms of your courses within the program, thanks Heidi.

Heidi Hill: Thank you Dr. Loney and actually you mentioned a little bit about faculty and staff, somebody has asked, you know I think this flows along the vein of networking and also just sort of connecting. Somebody asked what type of interaction do students have with faculty and staff when they’re in online MPA program?

Dr. Timothy Loney: Well there’s certainly like anyone else in the ground program they’ll have access to faculty; they’ll certainly have access to the faculty that teach them in the program. we have a number of activities that go on, once they’re a part of our community they’ll be built into our own social media and communications programs, there’s a number of activities. And again they’ll have access to names and backgrounds which they’ll get through the orientation, to all our faculty and certainly can contact them at any time just as anyone else does.

Heidi Hill: Great, thank you very much Dr. Loney, now I think we can open it up to our live question and answer session. We’ve got some questions already thank you everyone for utilizing the chat box throughout the presentation. I encourage you to go ahead and continue putting in your questions. Anybody we can’t get to today, we will be following up with you on an individual basis.


Sort of following along the same vein I think we were just discussing regarding networking and careers, someone asked do you happen to know, and I’m not sure if this is better suited to Dr. Nikitenko or Dr. Loney, someone is asking about the percentage of current students who are working in government and non-profit sectors. I think that question might suppose as oppose to career changers or to folks who aren’t currently in those sectors. Dr. Nikitenko would you like to start?

Dr. Gleb Nikitenko: Sure, well I can give you the percentage of our most recent analysis revealed that 38% of our current students are in the government sector. And another 36% of our students are in the non-profit sector. And the non-profit sector as well as public sector they’re kind of inclusive of the health care organizations and people working in the health care. Whether it’s the public health care, the county or state level or it’s a private health care, mostly non-profit. And we have probably approximately 4% if I recall of folks who work in the private sector, private/for-profit sector. So you could tell it’s a very wide variety of sectors and jobs people are holding. Most of the people are already employed. About 90% of our students are already working; 5%-7% are in between. So it’s mostly a professional crowd, folks who are deeply involved in their professional circles and their careers. You know many of them are looking to change their careers and as a result we have a certain mobility probably 20-30 percent of our students or our alumni change their careers sector wise, over ten to fifteen years, although I would say the majority tend to stay in their sector, so this degree really helps them to move up the ladder and to enhance their set of competencies and skills. Thank you.

Heidi Hill: Thank you Dr. Nikitenko, also just as a follow up questions, one of our attendees asks what about folks who are looking to change their careers? I know I speak every day with folks who are currently not in the non-profit or public admin field however their background or degree might lend itself, or might not, they might work in a financial sector and they’re looking to move towards the non-profit or the public administration sector, would you say this program is appropriate for that, Dr. Loney?

Dr. Timothy Loney: Yeah, certainly anyone who is not in the industry as it were, in the moment, for example either government or non-profit that wants to break into that. Needs to demonstrate in some way that they can operate effectively in those sectors and again if they don’t have a background already, than certainly one way to do it is do it through pursuing this degree. My sense is that folks, for example there are a lot of people in the for-profit world who have very relevant skill set, either in areas like HR or finance which are very indigenous to what we do in the public sector or the non-profit sector, they just don’t understand the dynamics, and the rules and the regulations and the nuances which are different in a different industry or culture. And this will give them some understanding and insight, and will also make a selecting official much more comfortable that indeed these individuals are motivated to want to succeed in that relevant sector, either government or non-profit. So certainly this is a way to make that bridge to a different career, thanks Heidi.


Heidi Hill: Great, thank you Dr. Loney I have another question. Someone was asking about the faculty and they are curious, I think the spirit of the questions is more about having practical experience in public organizations versus academics. I think that they are looking for more understanding of the faculty’s practical experience in the public admin field. I know Dr. Nikitenko you had expanded a little bit upon that for us, do you have anything else that you can add for us so to have insight as to the faculty’s practical experience?

Dr. Gleb Nikitenko: Sure, as I mentioned when I was talking about our faculty, all of our faculty are both academically and professionally qualified. It’s sort of a term in the sector or in higher education, they all have significant backgrounds in management, managing public or non-profit organizations some of the examples included, Rich Callahan who is the current department chair, who ran a couple of non-profit organizations, social service needs oriented non-profit organizations, was a city manager a town manager back in New Jersey. We have Tony Ribera, who I couldn’t mention him during my last presentation; he’s a former chief of police of San Francisco, so definitely extremely experienced in managing large complex organizations. Tim Loney, of course we already know about Tim’s experience managerial, consulting experience, Richard Waters who both extremely well published and also has experience working in the non-profit development sector. We have Larry Brewster who is a former Dean and worked for various non-profits in the past, he’s currently a professor. So all of them have significant professional experience in management administration, in fundraising, in development so various areas of either public or non-profit management. Thank you Heidi.


Heidi Hill: Thank you Dr. Nikitenko and I think I’ll let you gentlemen take a rest and I can field a couple of these questions myself. I know someone here is asking if the GMAT or the GRE is required, No that is not a requirement for the application process or admission process. And I thought that that was relevant to bring up, because it reminded me of when I asked why that was not necessary, I remember when I spoke with Dr. Hirruchi she had mentioned that we’re looking for students who are not ivory tower academics that stuck with me. We’re looking for people who want to get involved who want to, you know sort of get their hands dirty and pitch in. People who are looking to change the world from here, so the GRE is not necessarily something that can fully quantify someone’s potential. So that is not a requirement in the program currently

Someone else asks whether there are any onsite requirements. No there are no live requirements there are no onsite requirements, as I said before, you are never required to come to campus but you’re always welcome. There is one live component I believe in our quantitative methods course, that has a lot of statistic type math involved we actually listen to students, the faculty and course development team got feedback requesting a live session and we certainly heard that and said Ok, we’ll put a live session in. The Caveat being that you do not have to attend that that is something optional. It is recorded you can benefit from it later, if you cannot attend. But that’s something that we did add in. again live. Not required but that’s also proof that we’re always constantly revising, constantly updating our materials and our motive instruction. And you certainly have a voice in your education with our program.

I think someone else had a question regarding the course work, someone was asking a little bit more about the capstone course. I know I’ve gotten questions, do we have a thesis, and what do we have to defend? So, Dr. Loney I know that you had a hand, I think you teach this course at some point, do you not, the capstone?

Dr. Timothy Loney: Yes, actually I’m teaching it right now and the way that we’ve designed that currently, again is to make it with a very practical focus. We’re going back to that discussion we had earlier about networking, connecting out there. We have a fairly new course in the program called Program Evaluation which comes just before the capstone course. And so what we’re trying to do with those two courses is to have students actually go out and identify a situation, a challenge in a public or a non-profit organization and evaluate and assess that situation and make a recommendation. And the intent here is both to learn assessment and evaluation skills as well as demonstrate what you’ve learned in the entire program and how you can use it in a practical way. And finally use this as a product that you can take with you and put it in your portfolio when you’re looking for new positions, breaking into the field or moving up. And it’s to say this can be a work product, certainly demonstrate your skill set out there, I don’t know does that help out Heidi?


Heidi Hill: It did thank you very much Dr. Loney, and I think I’m going to keep you talking here, because I have another questions. And we get this every term so I think it’s always important for us to sort of go over for folks. Somebody is asking about the professional work experience criteria for qualifications and admission. I know that we require at least two years of professional work experience not necessarily in the public admin field but professional experience. Can you give us a little more insight regarding that, I know I’ve got some folks that have really rich intern experience, and things like that I wonder , Dr. Loney if you might be able to speak to that criteria, that work experience.

Dr. Timothy Loney: I can try to do that Heidi, and again just as sort of a caveat as you know and hopefully the folks now that are online with us today, they are always welcome to ask for more specifics and both you and I can engage them in conversation around their specific background, but you know in general obviously ideally we want to see people who have actually been exposed to either the non-profit sector or government. And that can be anywhere from a clerical to a managerial position that they have some sort of understating of how work occurs in this organizations. And then again, secondarily interspersed with it, again some internship experiences could qualify, again the intern field is a very challenging one. Some internship are much more substantial than others and so we’re going to look at those where it’s clear that you really have been able to get engrained and involved in some of those activities within those organizations that they’re working with. So again hopefully that’s helpful. It’s again, this can vary a great deal and that’s why I’d say that it’s probably better that each individual come to us and let us have that chat or conversation and see how we can work with you and if for any reason there are some questions about that background we can certainly give you advice on how to develop that further to make you a highly competitive candidate for our program.

Heidi Hill: Great, thank you very much Dr. Loney. I have some other questions that I think I can give you gentleman a little bit of a rest as well. Some folks are asking about some, I guess I call it, nuts and bolts you; know how does the application process work.


Well first you need to contact me. I need to talk to you about and consult with you about the program admission criteria, and making sure that I assist you with how to construct your documents but we are currently recruiting for the fall semester. The application deadline is July Seventeenth, so we are approaching that rather quickly. Still plenty of time to get it done but now is the time to go ahead and give me a call and let me know how I can help you through that. Also we do have spring and summer, as I mentioned earlier. You can start your application process at any time. So if you are interested in the spring term, I know some of the participants have asked about that. Go ahead and login talk to me, give me a call, I certainly, if I see you login will be giving you a call, to just touch base.

But we will need, of course two letters of recommendation, your essay, your resume, as well as the completed online and your uploaded unofficial transcripts. So that’s the short of it. We can discuss that in further detail later on. Somebody just asked good questions, I think about the course work. If you’d like Dr. Loney I can certainly give your voice a rest and ask Dr. Nikitenko here about the course work, somebody is asking how you are assessed, is this going to be primarily test based. Is it going to be writing, project based? So can you speak a little bit, Dr. Nikitenko to how students are evaluated throughout the program?

Dr. Gleb Nikitenko: Sure Heidi. The assessment system is very advanced and flexible at the same time. We utilize all methods, basically qualitative methods such as: papers, reports, various group projects and so on and of course online contributions and discussion forums. As well as we use tests sometimes. You know these are not necessarily, tests or any sort of standardized assessment is not the hallmark of this program just like any other MPA program is not relying heavily on that assessment tool because obviously it has its limitations. Including, you know methodological issues, like such as internal validity, content validity and things like that. So we do not test you to death because it’s just counterproductive, as managers you have to be able to utilize your management judgement, and those are the kind of skills that are particularly well developed in a sort of more formative evaluation way, which is reports, analytical memos, projects, things that you can do over time and really spend some time thinking through. Time pressures are there, but testing is not really maximizing that kind of a competency or skill, you know by subjecting you to sort of time pressured environment where you have to produce really quickly and sometimes, quite frankly really incorrectly. So we do have some tests that are timed, you know you can just take it over an hour or something like that on your own of course in the comfort of your own home, but I would say the majority of the assessment is the qualitative assessment such as papers, projects and so on. Thank you.


Heidi Hill: Great, thank you very much Dr. Nikitenko, Dr. Loney do you have anything else to add, I know that since you’re in the middle of teaching the course, I wanted to know if you had any other comments or recommendations for our attendees?

Dr. Timothy Loney: Heidi, you know of course each year, we have to be careful. Each faculty person has their own approach to learning so as Gleb said we have to be careful how we approach this. I would say in the aggregate as was indicated that we don’t do so many written quantitative kinds of exams but again try to really focus on the practical application of their learning. And again this is where we try to make that connection and nexus to the between the academic world and the real world. I know my preference is that you find a burning issue or challenge in your organization or organizations that you’re familiar with, try to form that networking linkage, find out what their needs are, their concerns and then use your learnings from our program to assess that situation and make appropriate recommendations. So that at the end of the program you’re ready to go at a full scale way. Hopefully that’s helpful.

Heidi Hill: That is helpful, thank you very much Dr. Loney. And I know somebody just real quick asked what type of a time investment folks can expect on a weekly basis. I know that we’re looking at to complete course work in a time investment in total we’re looking at about fifteen hours per work week of course that’s given your comfort level with the materials. Dr. Loney would you say that’s a fair assessment?

Dr. Timothy Loney: you know I think that’s a fair assessment, now again, some of it will vary from course to course, and based on a student competency and familiarity in a particular area. And again in a more challenging area they may have to devote a little more time to that. Obviously we can work with them, and they’ll be working on their own to develop their schedule or structure for learning. And again depending on what happens in their life, either around their work life or you know their family life whether they’re early morning people or early evening people, or what have you. There are strategies and ways to handle the work. You know the old cliché is you get out of it whatever you put into it. So again I think each student will have to decide in their life how important this is and how much they want to get out of this program, at this time. And that certainly will drive the time that they put into this. I think something that they should be aware of, from a dynamic of a faculty point of view, you know those of us who have taught for many years, and most of us in this program are very experienced, you know we can also tell when somebody is trying to slide by rather than really devote themselves, and motivated to the program. And certainly we’re always ready to work with students on any challenges or issues that they have.

They also have Adrian as the program coordinator and we have writing centers and other resources at the university, you know to help them through the program. I think that if they are accepted into the program I think we believe that they have the potential to get through it and it’s just a matter, if they’ll bring to our attention, working with them to find the best way to max out on the program. Thanks Heidi.


Heidi Hill: thank you very much Dr. Loney, and I think that you bring up a great point, one of the things that you’ve provided students who are newly entering into the program is the best practices letter, and the welcoming letter that you’ve provided, and we send out to the students, sort of welcoming them into the online experience and giving them some best hints and helpful hints on how to do that. You know everybody that I’ve heard back from has had some great feedback as to how interactive the professors are, how engaged everyone is in the course work and how much ownership each faculty member takes in the curriculum and also in their individual student success. And honestly I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that faculty really do help make this the program that it is and they’re certainly invaluable in their passion for the subject as well as passion for what they do. And so we certainly appreciate both you and Dr. Nikitenko attending today and sharing with us and taking some time to speak with us. Of course as you see on the screen, attendees’ thank you so much for being here with us you’ll see that the fall application deadline again, is July seventeenth, and classes begin August twenty-seventh.

I’m sorry if we didn’t have time to reach everyone’s questions today we did have quite a lot. But I will be happy to follow up with you on an individual basis. Feel free also to reach out to me. I’m excited to be working with you and again thank you so much again for attending, gentlemen.


Dr. Gleb Nikitenko: Thank you very much Heidi. And thank you everyone.

Dr. Timothy Loney: Thanks Heidi.

Close X

call to action
Post a Comment or Question

Leave a Reply

nine − = 2