New Penn State Master of Public Administration degree opens this fall

Offered at Penn State Harrisburg for many years, this program will now be available to more government and nonprofit sector employees nearly anywhere in the world

University Park, Pa. -- The federal government expects to hire as many as 273,000 new workers through 2012 to replace retiring baby boomers, according to the Partnership for Public Service. Many of the jobs in medical and public health, security and protection, compliance and enforcement, legal, and administration and program management will require advanced education. State and local governments will face similar challenges in an increasingly competitive labor market. Penn State’s new online Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree is designed to enable more professionals in government and nonprofit organizations to acquire the knowledge and skills they need by learning online. For application information visit online.

“Today, almost any professional position requires a master’s degree to be competitive,” said Jeremy F. Plant, professor of public policy and administration and coordinator of graduate programs in public administration at the School of Public Affairs at Penn State Harrisburg. “An advanced degree will help professionals obtain leadership positions. The MPA also is the degree of choice in the public and nonprofit sector.”

Penn State Harrisburg has offered a resident MPA since 1972 for professionals working in Pennsylvania’s capital and surrounding region. With the new degree, delivered online through Penn State’s World Campus, more professionals will have access to the MPA, without having to travel to a campus.

That’s good news for Tammy O’Brien of Hanover, Pa., who is enrolled in the resident MPA program.

“As a full-time employee, continuing education can be very challenging,” said O’Brien, who is an adult probation officer with York County Adult Probation and Parole Department. “I live an hour from (the Penn State Harrisburg) campus, so taking classes means devoting five hours in the evening, on top of working eight hours.” She plans to take more MPA courses online.

Penn State’s 36-credit industry-standard professional degree for public service professionals is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The program is geared toward individuals who are working full or part time and can be completed within three to five years.

The program emphasizes managerial and analytical proficiencies and fundamental competencies in writing, interpersonal and group interactions, budgeting and public finance, human resources management, political and policy processes, information management, oral communication, ethics and leadership. After students complete the core courses, they can tailor the program to their specific career goals by choosing electives in areas that fit their particular professional interests.

“We have a well-established and nationally recognized resident MPA program,” Plant said. “By offering the program online, we are making a quality Penn State degree available to more students.”

Applications are now being accepted. For information about the online Master of Public Administration program, visit the URL above or call 717-948-6773.

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 60 of Penn State’s most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. Founded in 1998, Penn State World Campus is the University’s 25th campus serving more than 9,600 students in all 50 states and 62 countries. For more information, visit online. Penn State World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 114 countries worldwide.

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Last Updated February 08, 2010