The Nova Southeastern University (NSU) master’s in public administration (MPA) program is suited for today’s busy student. The MPA offering develops skills to lead public and community agencies, as well as to understand the social, economic, and political context in which public decisions are made. The school offers MPA courses on-campus as well as through accessible distance-learning offerings. The school is based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 

GPN reached out to the department chair, Jack Pinkowski, to learn more about the program. Pinkowski was a Fulbright Scholar consulting for the city of Dublin, Ireland on economic development initiatives for an entire year. His views are below.

GPN: In what ways is your school’s MPA offering aligned with the needs of today’s students?

Jack Pinkowski: Classes are structured in short eight-week terms and are available online and in-person on Saturdays at our 300+-acre main campus in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The entire curriculum can essentially be completed online or through a mixture of in-person and online sections, as you choose, to meet your schedule. The program may be started four times a year. At NSU, we believe in providing education at the times and places convenient to the students.

Entrance requirements are modest to allow for qualified applicants who may have not been in class for years to return to school and earn the master’s degree required for most mid and senior level management position in public sector agencies. There is also the possibility to complete a bachelor’s degree and the master’s in public administration in reduced time by dual admission programs.

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

JP: Today there are increasing numbers of job opportunities for experienced public administration candidates with the requisite education credentials. As the baby boomer generation retires, the number of opportunities will grow. Our school’s focus is to prepare students to accept such opportunities.

GPN: What makes the Nova Southeastern University MPA program special? What sets it apart from other MPA offerings?

JP: One of the main differences that distinguishes the NSU MPA program is our utilization of faculty with practical experience in public administration. Our permanent faculty are augmented by doctoral qualified, adjunct faculty who may currently be working in the field and have extensive practical experience. Our full-time faculty also have practical public and private sector backgrounds beyond academia. This includes a retired sheriff major from one of the largest accredited law enforcement agencies in the USA.

Another NSU MPA permanent professor has extensive local government experience in municipal and state agencies as well as practical consultancies with local governments in Africa. The NSU public administration staff of active full- and part-time professors includes several former city managers, chief executive officers of major charitable agencies and other private, non-profit foundations.

Because you will be going to class with other working professionals and directed by highly qualified academics with practical experience, you will be the beneficiary of up-to-date practical, hands-on experience combined with theory.

The Nova Southeastern MPA program is fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), “the global standard in public service education,” as well as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), one of the nine regional accrediting authorities for higher education in the United States. Onlinecolleges.net ranks the NSU MPA program #21 for 2016 in its list of Best Online Master’s Degree Programs in Public Administration. In March 2015, TopManagementDegrees.com recognized the program among the Top 50 in Online Master’s in Public Administration.

GPN: Thank you, Jack Pinkowski, for your views.

The video offers an overview of Nova Southeastern University.

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