MPA Mission and Goals
The MPA program at Valdosta State University advances service in public and non-profit organizations, accommodating working students and professionals through the primary delivery of online instruction. The program focuses on developing competencies in critical thinking and professional writing as well as analytical, policy, and decision-making skills that prepare students for effective public service in a diverse environment.
To accomplish our mission, our program strives to achieve the following goals:
Program Goal 1: Provide a rigorous and adaptive core curriculum linking theoretical and practical underpinnings of public service with concentrated areas of study in public sector management, human resource management, and public policy.
Program Goal 2: Provide a rigorous MPA education that is accessible to working students and professionals
Program Goal 3: Utilize diverse perspectives and comparative approaches to prepare pre-service and current public and non-profit professionals to lead and manage diverse organizations
Program Goal 4: Create opportunities for faculty and student involvement in applied research and in the creation of partnerships with public and non-profit organizations at all levels of government.
The public service values that are reflected in the MPA program's mission, embedded in program goals, and imparted through the curriculum are as follows:
1. Respect for democratic values in public service
The program strives to create public service professionals who can lead, manage and work in the public sector following democratic principles and processes.
2. Public service professionalism: competency, efficiency, and objectivity
Program graduates will be trained in critical thinking, professional writing and analytical, policy and decision-making skills to become competent, efficient and objective public service professionals.
3. Program accessibility for working students and professionals
The program will proactively recruit in-service professionals and working students.
4. Appreciation for diversity
The program strives to create a climate that supports and nurtures diverse perspectives, and where students learn alongside diverse peers and by faculty from diverse backgrounds.
5. The promotion of ethical conduct in public service: equity, fairness, and accountability in diverse public sector environments.
The program curriculum familiarizes students to the ethical obligations of public managers and employees.
6. Service to and collaboration with our local and state public and nonprofit partners
The program strives to serve public and non-profit organizations in South Georgia and the state of Georgia by hiring in-service professionals from the region and producing graduates who will seek employment in the region.
7. Climate of mentorship between faculty and students
The program strives to promote faculty mentoring of student research projects to meet applied research needs of public and nonprofit agencies and the community at large.