For its series on master of public administration (MPA) programs that can help government officials in their careers, GPN picked up some insight from William Campbell. He is Lead Faculty in the Department of Public Administration at Kaplan University’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Kaplan is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The university is a part of Kaplan Higher Education LLC, which is a subsidiary of Kaplan, Inc., a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company.

Kaplan University’s Master of Public Administration degree is designed to help practicing and aspiring administrators develop the skills and techniques needed to provide leadership in a variety of public service fields. The program is available with multiple start dates, giving students flexibility with their education, life, and work schedules. The MPA program is available with several course concentrations:

Criminal Justice Concentration
Emergency and Disaster Management Concentration
General MPA Concentration
Governmental Management Concentration
Health Care Management Concentration

Below are William Campbell’s views.

GPN: What is the value of an MPA degree?

William Campbell: An MPA degree is an incredible resource. It is not just the title of the degree but the assets that are developed to build the performer’s intellectual capital. A performer can learn how to maximize their potential in all aspects of the public administration forum. This includes management, leadership, ethics, strategic planning, human resources, administrative law and budgeting.

They learn the value of serving as a trustee of the people. Everything a public administrator needs is represented. This means they learn the best techniques, and methodologies as to what works and what does not. They are able to learn from the mistakes of the past and avoid repeating those same mistakes. They place themselves on the cutting edge of collaborative development. They build networking skills with other like experts in similar organizations. This helps them to maximize that opportunity to a greater potential.  This helps performers to be recognized for excellence in merit, and thereby obtain promotions. They are able to prepare themselves for that second career opportunity post-federal, state and local government retirement. They walk away with not only a graduate degree, but also a talent-filled skill set that helps them to master most any issue.

GPN: Can Kaplan University’s MPA degree offer new opportunities to the GPN web audience?

WC: The Kaplan University MPA degree is second to none. The use of theoretical and applied concepts are brought into fruition and demonstrated repeatedly by the performers. The petri dish concepts used to help students to be able to apply real life and public service work linkages allow them to understand the best pathology to success. They are able to grow through the learning experience. Through the program, students are changing their whole mindset.

Many have said that they entered the program with a desire to supervise. After they completed the program, they admit to changing their perspective to one of a desire to manage. They recognized in the Kaplan process that the better they can manage, the less they have to supervise. This is such a critical talent today with reduced resources and greater demands.

Kaplan students draw value from lecture in live seminars, asynchronous discussion, utilizing real world exercises, reading, and practical case studies. They live and grow through a total immersion experience. They build active role scenarios from their discussions and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the decisions they make.

The asynchronous communication and study process allows students to build their skill in real world terms of work-life balance. Many students share success stories of promotions, commendations, and significant appointments both while attending and after completing the Kaplan program.

Students draw from the career center and professors who not only teach but also serve as professionals in their disciplines in the trenches. The faculty members understand the complexities students face today. Many students report obtaining their first job as a result of the Kaplan experience. Countless career professionals celebrate and share stories of subsequent second career opportunities that are brought about because of the Kaplan experience. Many students also report Kaplan opening up new avenues for consideration, such as working in the consulting arena and helping to develop better governance all around the world.

GPN: Is 2016 a great time to earn an MPA for government administrators?

WC: I think that today is the best time to start an MPA degree. The world is changing. There are opportunities everywhere for public service; these include not for profit, and for profit. Most opportunities in public service or consulting require the best performers. The market is highly competitive.

The Kaplan MPA degree can help maximize the skill sets to allow performers to realize the benefits of the real value of the MPA education experience. The MPA can help current administrators to consider greater roles or perhaps post-government career opportunities in consulting or global development. Such opportunities can substantially increase the monetary revenue obtained; not only by having the degree, but also the new and applied skill sets that help to shine the light on issues and problems others may face around the world.

GPN: Does Kaplan University’s MPA program administrators have any advice for our GPN web audience on choosing an MPA program?

I would find a program that presents the academic rigor and offers the flexibility that is necessary for today’s role as a public administrator. The earlier responses can provide much of the detail as to what to look for in such a program. The demanding role of the public administrator is substantial. This is why the asynchronous choice is so critical. I would seek out a venue that is not just a placeholder, but also one that works to help students to maximize their skill, talent and abilities to perform.

I believe from my perspective that Kaplan University exceeds institutional responses in career success. If a student’s goal is career-driven, I would certainly seek out an institution that is proven as a career supportive institution.

In the video, Kaplan University’s Center for Public Service pays tribute to public service leaders who make a real difference in the lives of others.


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