As part of GPN's series on Master's of Public Administration (MPA) degree programs and their value to government administrators, here are the views of Matthew Hale, associate professor and MPA program director at South Orange, N.J.-based Seton Hall University.

The MPA program at Seton Hall offers concentrations in

•  Nonprofit Management
•  Public Sector Leadership
•  Health Policy
•  Data Visualization and Analytics

Here are Professor Hale’s views.

GPN: What makes your school’s MPA offering unique?

Matthew Hale: The Seton Hall University MPA program is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report for its concentration in Nonprofit Management. The school is located just 14 miles from New York City. Seton Hall students have easy access to the largest city government and nonprofit sector in America. The school provides students with small classes (average size 13 students) and a warm and welcoming faculty.

Classes are offered in the evenings to accommodate working professionals. The classes are delivered face-to-face, as well as in online and hybrid environments. The MPA program is nationally accredited by NASPAA, the global standard in MPA accreditation.

GPN: Do graduates of the program serve as a resource to current students?

MH: The active alumni of the Seton Hall’s MPA program serve as one-to-one mentors to current students and help them navigate the ins and outs of the public and nonprofit sector world.  We have a number of students who are “sector switchers” who use the Seton Hall MPA degree as a platform for transitioning between the private, government and nonprofit sectors.

GPN: Can your school's MPA degree offer new opportunities to our readers?

MH: One of the great things about the Seton Hall MPA is that we really focus on making sure that student get a solid understanding of not just how to manage in the government setting but how to manage in the nonprofit sector as well. This is especially important today because more and more people are splitting their careers between the government, nonprofit and even private sectors. Our MPA degree really allows people to easily move between sectors.

Our students can take classes in some really new and exciting areas. For example, we offer a concentration in data analytics and visualization in the MPA program. It is the first of its kind and will position people with both the managerial and technical skills needed to work with Big Data.

GPN: Is 2015-16 a great time to earn an MPA for government administrators?

MH: I wish I could say that times were booming in the government sector. Unfortunately, we are seeing attacks on government and government workers across the country. Our own New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been a leader in those attacks. However, this can’t go on forever. I believe that there will be a huge need for new government workers in the next 5-7 years, as the massive cuts and layoffs we are seeing now start having real consequences. Our degree is designed to allow people to work in the nonprofit, health AND government sectors.  As a result we feel our students will be better equipped to ride out the current storm.

GPN: Do you have any advice for our readers on choosing an MPA program?

MH: No one should get into public service because they think it will be a life of stock options and huge salaries. The main reason for a student to start any MPA program, be it ours or another one, is that you hope to make the world a better place. It is that simple. That is our mission and all of our courses are designed to make it happen.

GPN: What else is unique about the Seton Hall MPA?

MH: As a Catholic university, the Seton Hall MPA program prides itself on providing students with extensive training in ethical decision-making to go along with technical training in financial, human resource and leadership. Our goal is to provide students not only with the tools to make an efficient decision, but the tools to make the “right” decision.

GPN: Thank you, Matthew Hale, for your views.

The video discusses the university and its new facilities. In 2015, the school is attracting more academically accomplished students.

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