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Master of Public Administration
Catalog Program Requirements

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Capstone

Capstone
 
Students will do either an internship or a master’s project. A student who has not had significant public service experience may choose to do an internship; others will be expected to complete a project.
Internships
Internships

PA 6610
Public Administration Internship Capstone Course
An internship will consist of meaningful work experience in the public administration field. This context of experiential learning is designed for professional development as course content is integrated into work experience. Students also  significantly contribute to area organizations through an internship.

Each internship will be different, but they will all have one element in common: an opportunity for students to gain significant experience that will enhance their academic background and better prepare them to enter the profession of public administration. While some internships are not paid, paid internships are encouraged.

You must complete 320 hours of work at your internship for this course. During your internship you will submit monthly reports, be evaluated by your internship site supervisor, and prepare a final paper.

Enrolling in the Internship Course
The student is responsible for identifying a suitable internship. An internship will provide significant experience with and exposure to the internal administrative and policy operations of an agency. It is important that an internship provides significant professional experience. Also, a significant portion of the final paper will consist of relating internship  experiences to the discipline of public administration, incorporating the concepts learned in MPA courses.

Once an internship has been arranged, you must submit the following to the current Internship Director before enrolling in the internship course:
  1. Internship Site Form: This form identifies the internship and provides contact information for your supervisor.
  2. Current copy of your resume
  3. Internship Agreement Form
After receiving the Internship Site Form and your resume, the current Internship Director will contact your supervisor directly and provide him or her with the Internship Agreement Form. Your supervisor will define your responsibilities as an intern on the Internship Agreement Form. You will then sign this form, indicating that you understand and accept the Agreement.

Internship Syllabus - Please view for further reference
Master's Project
Master's Project

PA 6996
Public Administration Master's Project Capstone Course
 
Purposes

The Master's Project is designed to be the culminating experience for MPA students.
 
Its primary goals are to:
  1. Provide students with an opportunity to apply what they have learned and make a contribution toward an administrative or management-related issue within a public or nonprofit organization.
  2. Certify administrative (both theoretical and technical) competence for those students completing the program.
  3. Allow students an opportunity to further customize their MPA curriculum with a project that is personally and/or professionally relevant.
Options

Within the framework established by the academic standards applied to these projects, the student is encouraged to select his or her own topic or problem that relates to public administration, broadly defined.
 
Ideally, a student will have been stimulated toward further study by a concept, technique, issue, or problem raised in one or more of the courses they have taken during their graduate career.
 
The student may select a project that addresses some issue at his or her place of employment.
 
Among many other options, a project might:
  1. Create and implement a new administrative or operational technique for an office that improves the workplace. Students in the past have created new procedures in data base management or information technology, have prepared and conducted a new risk analysis, and initiated and coordinated a strategic plan.

  2. Conduct a policy analysis assessing the impact of a governmental policy (at any level), using the analytical tools learned mostly in PA 5010 and PA 6100. Students have conducted impact analyses of a local government's economic development policies, of a downtown development authority's policies, and of Michigan School Finance Report proposals.

  3. Develop and conduct a program evaluation or needs assessment for an organization. This uses skills learned mostly in PA 6300. Past projects have included evaluations of several local nonprofit organizations, and a few local government offices.
The possible topics and venues are quite broad. One stipulation: you may not use your normal job responsibilities to count toward the PA 6996 project. This avoids receiving life experience credits for work you are already doing.
 
However, if you can demonstrate that because of this project you are going beyond your normal duties at work, then the topic might be considered appropriate. All topics will be cleared with Dr. Douglas Carr.

Registration

Once all core MPA program courses are completed,
students may register for PA 6996 - Master's Project through SAIL.
 
Any students that register for this course prematurely will be contacted by the program coordinator.