MPA Diversity Philosophy

Master of Public Administration Diversity Philosophy

The Norwich University MPA program recruits faculty and students globally.  We strive to insure that our faculty and our students represent those communities they serve, whether those communities are virtual or actual. This is compatible with our mission statement. Faculty and staff participate in the same annual diversity and inclusion training and workshops during residency week.

Definition: In the MPA program at Norwich University, whether referring to faculty, staff, or students, social equity, diversity, and inclusion do not refer solely to differentiating easily observable characteristics. We use the broadest definition of the ideas of categories and concepts. We believe that being diverse means including everyone and that we do not define “diversity” or “inclusion” by limiting identifiers such as gender, age, ethnicity, country of origin, sexual orientation, religion or any other limiting identifier. We value the individual differences brought by students, faculty, and staff. This definition supports our mission statement, “to prepare and support diversified adult learners who are military and non –military to become knowledgeable innovate public sector leaders.”


The Norwich University MPA program is committed to diversifying its faculty to meet our definition of diversity and inclusion. Our goal is to have faculty who represent a broad range of characteristics and beliefs not limited to any specific qualifiers or identifiers.

Strategy: As an online program, the Norwich University MPA program recruits faculty, staff, and students from around the world. We are not constrained by our physical plant, we are constrained by any applicable state laws with regards to recruiting. It is important that our faculty are representative of the communities in which they live and serve. Because we recruit faculty on a global basis Our faculty represent a far more diverse population than that typically found in the state of Vermont.


The Norwich University MPA program is committed to recruiting, hiring, and maintaining the best qualified and most diverse staff to support the program. When searching for and hiring staff, the MPA program recruits from around the United States.

Strategy: The MPA program staff attend the same diversity and inclusion training and workshops during residency as do the faculty and students. This helps insure that the staff hold the same diversity and inclusion values as the MPA program faculty. At the end of each workshop, participants are asked to take a short survey to help us evaluate our diversity and inclusion training. That input is then used to make recommended revisions to upcoming workshops.

Student Recruitment and Selection

Student Experiences from recruitment through acceptance, retention and graduation: In order to support the mission statement of the Norwich University MPA program, “to prepare and support diversified adult learners who are military and non-military to become knowledgeable innovative public sector leaders,” to best implement and institutionalize our equity, diversity, and inclusion definition and philosophy, the MPA program recruits digitally on a global/international basis. As our program is 100% online and asynchronous, we offer flexibility in time and place. This same system gives students the best support possible by having tech support in place 24/7/365.

Since conducting and writing our first self-study report, we have strengthened our MPA program’s social equity, diversity, and inclusion policies to include a definition and strategies for faculty, staff, and students. We have created assignments in each of the core courses that require students to use a new software package to create a folder into which they submit assignments. This information is used to assess students, the courses, and the program as a whole. The required assignment is designed to gather information on whether or not the course met the student’s expectations, needs and goals and was it appropriate for the course, and if not, why not, what does that student need that we did not supply; whether or not the course materials met the student’s expectations, needs, and goals, if not, why not, how/what would they like us to improve the materials; whether or not this program helped the student in their pursuit of their career in Public Administration. In our final course, AD 561, the assessment assignment includes those questions plus questions about the program as a whole.

We ask students to self-evaluate their cultural beliefs based upon our 34 question survey in the first course, AD 511 and in the last course, AD 561.

Our program’s mission, goals, and values are placed in each of the core courses and we ask the question, “given our mission, our goals, and our public service values as stated in each of the core courses, was this course appropriate? Did the content of this course reinforce those elements of the program?”

The folders students create to meet the requirements of these assignments are automatically uploaded to the next course so that the students can assess their earlier work in addition to faculty and the program director assessing that work. Over the course of the four core courses, this activity and these assignments give the students, faculty, and the program director the ability to see growth over time.

We believe that by assessing the student’s goals at the beginning of the program and whether or not our program meets those goals at the end of the program, we will know whether or not we are recruiting and accepting the right students. This will also inform whether or not revisions should be made to the program or courses. This should help us retain more students—a measurable student retention assessment tool.