SIUE’s MPA program aims for continuous quality improvement

T.R. Carr, professor of public administration and policy analysis and chair of that department, recently attended the NASPAA conference in Las Vegas.

From Sept. 30-Oct. 1, T. R. Carr, professor of public administration and policy analysis and chair of that department, attended the annual meeting of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) in Las Vegas to ensure that SIUE’s master of public administration program is doing all that is necessary to remain  among the best programs in the country.

“The conference is attended by department chairs, program directors and faculty teaching in graduate public administration programs from across the United States; there were around 400 faculty and directors that were there,” explained Carr.

NASPAA is the accrediting body for the MPA program at SIUE and the criteria to be accredited by this national body are certainly stringent.

“The accreditation standards are very rigorous. I don’t know how many programs across the country are accredited but I know that there are many that are not accredited,” said Carr. “You have to have a specified number of faculty delivering the program. They all have to have their terminal degrees and they have to be actively engaged in service and in research.”

SIUE’s MPA program is currently accredited and is going up for its third reaccreditation. For Carr, faculty and students in the program, the exclusive label of being accredited by NASPAA is extremely important and speaks volumes about the quality of education that SIUE offers to students. Maintaining this mark of quality is one of the main reasons that Carr ensures that he attends the conference.

“It is important to attend that conference to understand what NASPAA is looking for,” explained Carr. “Their real focus is continuous quality improvement.”

The MPA program at SIUE is the largest MPA program in the St. Louis region. The other two programs that are accredited in the region are at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and Saint Louis University.

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