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In today’s rapidly evolving and interconnected world, much is required of our public administrators. They must be able to respond strategically and nimbly to the needs of their communities, work effectively with other individuals and groups, navigate complex ethical and legal issues, and operate within increasingly limited budgets.
Norwich University’s Master of Public Administration program helps working professionals from a wide range of public service organizations - from law enforcement agencies to city departments to non profits - gain the knowledge and skills needed to not only help advance their careers, but also make a greater difference in the communities they serve. Our online Master of Public Administration curriculum provides students with a broad foundation in areas such as organizational leadership and change, strategic planning, ethics, and financial management as well as the opportunity to focus their studies on one of the following five concentrations: public works administration, criminal justice, leadership, organizational leadership, and public organization fiscal management.
During their final seminar, students develop a capstone project that outlines a practical or theoretical solution to an existing program, policy, or operation. Students can use their capstone project to design and implement a solution to an administrative issue within their current workplace or to explore in-depth an area relevant to their desired career path. As an accompaniment to their capstone projects, students also write a paper suitable for submission to a professional journal.
A degree from Norwich’s online Master of Public Administration program can help you advance within your current organization or serve as the foundation for a variety of public service careers in areas such as city and federal management, law enforcement, and non profit management. Examples of positions held by our alumni include supervisory accountant for US Citizenship Immigration Services, white-collar crime supervisor for the FBI, city public works manager, executive officer in the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, and manager of global sponsorship services at Save the Children U.S.
With so much to learn and do, it’s easy to lose track of how to get started. Don’t worry: Norwich works hard to make it easy for you. We can guide you through the application process, give you tips on how to get the most out of your Norwich experience, and assist you in getting the required materials for the Master of Public Administration program.
Students in Norwich’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program first complete three core courses to gain a foundational understanding of public administration. Following completion of the core courses, they may enroll in either two six-credit elective courses or a concentration of two specialized courses of study for a total of 12 credits. Following completion of the specialized courses, students must enroll in a final course of capstone studies, in which they produce a project related to their professional interests and an article suitable for publication in a professional journal. The program culminates in a one-week residency and a graduation ceremony at Norwich University in June.
More information about program requirements is available in our course catalog.
This course introduces students to public administration in the United States. The course focuses on governance, inter-governmental relationships, organizational theory, policies, and strategic planning as affected by fiscal constraints, public needs, social change, and politics. Students are introduced to the role of leadership, the necessity for professional ethics and accountability, and personal competence. Students also begin the program-long requirement of developing their skills of critical analysis, research, integration of information, and effective writing.
This course reviews major research method designs and their application to policy development and evaluation. Students are also exposed to statistical techniques commonly found in public administration and social science research from the perspective of managerial control and application of research design/program evaluation. Particular focus is placed on quality assurance and best-evidence management.
This course explores three areas of public administration: the legal environment of the public organization, human resources, and organizational leadership. The first section of the course focuses on creating agency authority, public participation, civil liability, employment law, and due process. The second section focuses on selecting and retaining quality employees and managers, evaluations, coaching, and training. The third section focuses on strategic leadership, organizational analysis and culture, managing conflict, and organizational vision and change.
Strategic communication is a vital skill in today’s demanding, fast-paced, virtual, or global workplace. In this course, students will identify a personal leadership style, tendencies and preferences as a professional, and how one assimilates and applies information. Experiential learning is a large component of the course, and students will practice their skills on the job and report their experiences in a Leadership Development Portfolio (LDP).
This course recognizes the fundamental importance of a leader believing in and utilizing an ethical strategy. Students will examine how principled decision making promotes triple-bottom-line thinking and promotes awareness of the importance of ethical practices to promoting a lasting, honored, and socially responsible brand. Case studies will be reviewed to contrast the paths and results of several organizations whose leaders practiced a strategy that was not grounded in ethical principles.
Human Capital Management (HCM) and Succession Planning in a Face-to-Face and Virtual World
This seminar examines the forward-thinking concepts of coaching, mentoring, and succession planning in promoting a learning organization that is prepared for the retiring baby-boomers, emerging Gen-Xers, Nexters, and others who co-exist in the workplace. Using the new human resources model, Human Capital Management (HCM), you will explore ways in which learning becomes a strategic function formalized via a corporate, university, or learning management system. You will learn the importance of the organization’s embracing of the Internet or intranet facilitation of learning in order to foster knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing among employees – particularly as more functions move overseas in the expanding global marketplace. This seminar also addresses ways leaders can recognize the key components of the knowledge-based economy within their organization.
This course focuses on political, technological, and operational issues in the areas of public utilities, water resources, waste management, transportation, facilities and structures, and parks and grounds. Topics include historical development, technological advances, best practices for leadership and management, public works policy, communication challenges, public affairs, environmental enforcement, and emergency management.
This course focuses on local, state, regional, and national master public works planning, contract administration, and project management. It addresses multiyear financing of public works projects, environmental impact, and other cost-benefit analyses, decision making-modeling, multijurisdictional services, and public-private joint ventures.
This course introduces students to the principles and strategies of sustainability as it applies to public works services in the community. Specifically, the course will present students with a study of: 1) the connections between the environment and mankind, 2) how air and water pollution affect public health, 3) the impact to the economy when water and transportation policies are not well thought out, 4) the importance of using long-term economic models in public policy decision making, 5) learning how to think in a holistic manner, 6) the attributes of a sustainable work culture, and 7) how to build community support for a sustainable program.
This course examines law enforcement best practices, police leadership, workforce development, accountability, internal affairs, productivity, and the management of special units. Students will also study the role of community policy, community policing, restorative justice programs, crime prevention, and the role of technology, integrated justice systems, and information system security.
This course examines administration in the corrections environment. Topics include personnel management, budgeting and public finance, workforce development, staffing, special units, correctional policy development, and planning. The roles of technology and integrated justice systems are examined, as well as information system security.
This course explores public administration within the scope of critical incidents and crisis management. Topics include domestic terrorism and counterterrorism, the roles of the National Incident Management System and the National Response Framework, best practices for first responders, and constitutional issues related to the execution of first responder duties. Students will also study the use of specially trained and equipped units such as SWAT teams, and the roles of community policing and community partnerships in responding to crises, whether manmade or natural.
This course explores the legal and regulatory foundation of financial reporting and accountability for public organizations. Topics include development of transactions, enactment of appropriations, and incurrence of obligations or encumbrances. Other topics include financial reporting, analysis of governmental financial performance, costing of government services, and auditing governmental organizations. Students will be provided with the current study guides published by the Association of Government Accountants' Certified Government Financial Manager, designed specifically to prepare professionals and students for the CGFM certification examination.
This course introduces students to four major areas of financial concern: preparation of budgets, creating management strategies for the organization based on the principles of strategic financial management, obtaining financial resources by issuing bonds and levying taxes, and managing cash and employee retirement funds. Students will also examine contemporary perspectives on professional ethics and ethical behavior of leaders in the public sector, particularly in regard to their fiduciary responsibility in investing and managing public funds.
This course focuses on differentiating the conceptual and theoretical aspects and models of leadership and leadership studies to enable students to apply leadership skills and principles in their workplace. The fundamentals of leadership are taught within the context of present and past leaders, with an emphasis on practicing these fundamentals in an ethical manner.
This course provides information about evaluating emotional intelligence, or EQ. Students are given the tools and opportunity to evaluate their capacity to think about work through the lens of reflection and introspection as a guide to understanding the behavioral aspects of working with others and providing customer service. By examining thought patterns, students gain new skills in developing intuitive reasoning that will enhance professional relationships with peers and customers.
Students in this course will learn to proactively manage business or personal change, explore various change management models, and engage in problem solving to discover the best ways to leverage change agents. They will gain the vital skills of understanding and collaboratively following the change management process.
Strategic communication is a vital skill in today’s demanding, fast-paced, virtual, or global workplace. In this course, students will identify a personal leadership style, tendencies and preferences as a professional, and how one assimilates and applies information. Experiential learning is a large component of the course. Students will practice their skills on the job and report their experiences in a Leadership Development Portfolio (LDP).
At the present time, we anticipate that December 2013 will be the last time that the Continuity of Government Operations Concentration will be offered as a concentration option for students to pursue. Per the course schedule, December 2013 will be the last time that BC511 - Continuity of Government Operations will be offered, and March 2014 will be the last time that BC521 - Public Sector Incident Management & Emergency Response will be offered.
This course presents the elements necessary to develop a Continuity of Operations Plan for a governmental agency. Topics include organizational analysis, risk and threat analysis, mitigation and control strategy development and implementation, and implementation of the organizational structure needed to sustain a continuity program over time.
This course instructs students in responding to incidents and emergencies that affect governmental agencies. Topics include developing a response plan, emergency operations centers, emergency communications, and working with the first responder community. Students will also learn best practices for developing off-site backups and work areas and the placement of personnel and equipment for continuing operations during an emergency.
This final core course offers students the opportunity to apply their learning in two tangible ways: the preparation of a capstone paper/project that offers a practical or theoretical solution to a program, operation, or policy; and the writing of a paper suitable for publication in a professional journal.
The final academic requirement for the public administration program is a week-long residency at the beautiful and historic Norwich University campus in Vermont. Students have the opportunity to meet with fellow students, faculty, and program staff in both formal classroom and informal settings. Norwich covers the cost of all meals and accommodation on campus. Academic recognition ceremonies and commencement cap off the week, and family and friends are encouraged to attend.
Dr. Rosemarie A. Pelletier is the program director for the Master of Public Administration program. Dr. Pelletier has several years of experience in education, public policy and real estate. She has been teaching in Virginia for 15 years in the classroom and for about 10 years online, where she wrote and developed courses and chaired dissertation committees. Dr. Pelletier was the president and founder of a company responsible for the identification, research and development of projects suitable for construction by the formation of a public-private partnership. At George Mason University, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy, her MPA, and began her PhD work. She then went on to the University of Baltimore to receive her Doctorate in Public Administration, specializing in policy and project implementation.
Jennifer Gagnon has worked at Norwich University since August 2006 and is currently the Student Services Advisor for the Master of Public Administration and Master of Science in Leadership programs. She began her career at Norwich supporting the Master of Arts in Diplomacy program. In 2009, she completed the Master of Justice Administration program. She credits that experience with providing her with a greater understanding of the daily challenges our adult students encounter. In addition to her master’s degree, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.
George R. Crombie, past president of the American Public Works Association (APWA), is a senior faculty member for public works administration in Norwich’s public administration program. He is the president of Crombie Consulting, which specializes in public works/utility management, education, and sustainability management.
He previously served as the secretary of natural resources for the state of Vermont and undersecretary of environmental affairs for Massachusetts. He is a past president of the New England chapter of the APWA, former chair of its diversity committee, and current chapter director. At the national level, he has served on the Association’s board of directors and on various committees.
In 2002, he was named one of the top 10 public works leaders of the year, and in 2004 he represented APWA in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. He is an honorary member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers for his contributions to the field, is a board-certified environmental engineer (BCEE) and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Northeastern University.
Paul Katsampes teaches public administration and criminal justice management courses at Norwich University. He is also a professor emeritus of criminal justice and criminology at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.
He has served as a sheriff’s office administrator, deputy director of a community corrections program, police officer, and detective. As a consultant and trainer, he assists organizations in solving law enforcement and corrections problems and conducts workshops in management team building, jail administration, police and corrections budgeting, and situational leadership with the National Institute of Corrections, the American Correctional Association, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the American Jail Association, and the National Academy of Corrections.
He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver, a master’s degree in criminal justice from the State University of New York at Albany, and a bachelor’s degree in criminology/psychology from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Frank Colaprete is an adjunct faculty member at Norwich and an associate professor of criminal justice administration at Keuka College in Keuka Park, New York. He teaches, consults, and conducts independent criminal justice research as the owner and lead consultant of Justice Systems Solutions, LLC.
He is a certified litigation specialist and certified master instructor and instructor evaluator through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services Office of Public Safety. A retired police lieutenant, he is the author of three textbooks: Internal Investigations: A Practitioner’s Approach, Mentoring in the Criminal Justice Professions: Conveyance of the Craft, and Pre-Employment Background Investigations for Public Safety Professionals. His work includes numerous articles on police management, training, and investigations.
He holds a doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University and a master of science in organization management/strategic management from Roberts Wesleyan College.
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Big government or small government. No matter where you stand on the issue philosophically, no one would argue that the world could benefit from skilled public servants who can effectively manage ever-tightening budgets; have a vision for bringing a community back from the brink by attracting more jobs and development; increase student performance and decrease joblessness by creating unique partnerships with community groups, public schools, and private enterprise; and find creative and sustainable ways to improve a crumbling infrastructure. Yet, in today's times, many are left to ask whether the age of civil service has passed.
The preparation of leaders in public service is not just a thing of myth or legend at Norwich University. It's truly who we are and what we do every day. Our history and present are rooted in leaders who serve their municipalities, states, nations, and global community with optimism, knowledge, and integrity. Our online Master of Public Administration program makes it possible to prepare tomorrow's leaders today - whether they're in Seakonk, MA, Eugene, OR, or Saudi Arabia. And, our MPA alumni are making an impact all over the world.
The Norwich Master of Public Administration program helps working adults in public service organizations develop the specialized skills and knowledge needed to help them advance into leadership positions. Our graduates emerge with comprehensive knowledge in areas such as organizational leadership and change, strategic planning, ethics, and financial management, as well as focused expertise in one of five concentrations: public works administration, criminal justice, leadership, organizational leadership, or public organization fiscal management.
Public administration alumnus and Secret Service agent Clarence Jorif describes it in this way:
"Everything I have learned in the last 18 months I have already applied. Everything I can encounter now and in the future I know I can conquer based on things I have learned through my career augmented through my education at Norwich."
Examples of positions held by our graduates include:
Our public administration graduates work in a wide range of organizations - from law enforcement agencies to city departments to non-profits. Examples of employers include: