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Department of Political Science

MPA: 2012 Assessment Summary


Two mechanisms inform our evaluation of student learning outcomes.

The first of these is the written comprehensive examination process. Two exams are involved. The first focuses on the coursework in the core areas of public administration – research methods, policy analysis, personnel management, organization theory and public budgeting/finance. The second written exam evaluates student knowledge in an area of concentration within public administration.

The results of these exams over the past five years describe a student body that has mastered the field of public administration at the Masters level. Of the twenty-four students who took the exams since the fall of 2007, only one failed. If we consider all the responses provided on the exams of these twenty-four students, approximately 86% indicate a solid understanding of the field of public administration.

The second tool used to evaluate student learning outcomes among our MPA students is the internship report and the oral defense of it. The report requires students to display substantive course-related knowledge, especially as regards the area of specialization, and the ability to integrate theory from their coursework with practice from the internship (pre-service students) or their professional position (in-service students).

Here also our student performance over the reporting period has met or exceeded expectations. All twenty-three students who completed and defended the internship report passed the oral defense.