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What MPA Alumni Think about the MPA Program

  • To measure the success of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, in 2005 the Public Affairs Department surveyed MPA alumni who had graduated between 1994 and 2005.
  • The survey was created, distributed, and analyzed by faculty and students in the MPA program.

METHODOLOGY

  • Print copies of the four-page survey, along with a pre-paid return envelope, were mailed to 210 alumni, with a cover letter noting that the survey was also accessible online.
  • To encourage a prompt response, colored follow-up reminders were sent one week after the original mailing. Anticipating a better submission rate if alumni received the surveys at a time which would be convenient for filling out a survey, both mailings were scheduled to take advantage of Friday or Saturday mail delivery.
  • Eighty-two alumni returned completed surveys, and another 13 have responded using the online option, for a response rate of 45%.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Approximately 80% of those surveyed indicated that they were currently working in public service: 54% in either state, municipal, or county governments, 15% in non-profit organizations, and 11% in public education.
  • Both career advancement and increased salary have been experienced by over 60% of the alumni who responded, with 81% of those who gained advancement and 60% of those who received raises stating that they felt that these successes were a result of having earned the MPA degree.
  • Almost equal numbers of female (48) and male (47) alumni responded to the survey. Females reported an average age of 40 at graduation, and males, 39. Years in which graduates were born ranged from 1943 to 1979. Only one respondent reported living outside Wisconsin.
  • Salary ranges differed very little between male and female respondents. Only one respondent reported earning less than $20,000; three chose to not answer the question. Almost 18% of alumni earned $20,000 to $50,000, and over 50% reported earnings of $50,000 to $75,000. More than 27% indicated salaries of more than $75,000; of these, almost one-third earned more than $100,000 annually.
  • An unexpected result of the survey was the fact that over half (53%) of respondents commuted more than 50 miles, one-way, to attend classes in the program. The other half was fairly equally spread over the three ranges offered: fewer than 10 miles (14%), 10-25 miles (19%), and 26-50 miles (13%).

PROGRAM FORMAT

  • The traditional Saturday format of the MPA program proved to be very popular with respondents: 83% stated that it was very important in their decision to enroll and 80% indicated that they were very satisfied with the format, once enrolled.

PROGRAM FACULTY

  • Respondents were asked to indicate their level of satisfaction with the MPA program faculty. Below are their reactions to ten statements on the subject.
 

 

Strongly
Agree or Agree

Disagree or Strongly Disagree

Don’t know or Neutral

A.  Most faculty members in the MPA Program were genuinely interested in my professional development.

 

91%

 

3%

 

6%

B. The MPA Program had a learning environment characterized by mutual respect between students and faculty members.

 

95%

 

2%

 

3%

C.  MPA faculty members worked together to achieve program goals.

 

78%

 

2%

 

20%

D.  Members of the MPA faculty were accessible outside of class meetings.

 

88%

 

1%

 

11%

E.  Members of the MPA faculty were responsive to my needs outside of class meetings.

 

91%

 

0%

 

9%

F.  MPA faculty are aware of new developments in the field.

 

91%

 

0%

 

9%

G.  The number of MPA faculty is adequate to support the program.

 

62%

 

11%

 

27%

H.  MPA faculty members demonstrate scholarly competence.

 

93%

 

1%

 

6%

I.  Members of the MPA faculty utilize a variety of teaching methods in their classes.

 

85%

 

7%

 

8%

J.  MPA faculty members provide appropriate curricular and career advising.

 

71%

 

5%

 

24%

PROGRAM CURRICULUM

  • Respondents were asked to indicate their level of satisfaction with the MPA program curriculum. Below is a table summarizing respondents’ reactions to five statements regarding this topic.

Strongly
Agree or Agree

Disagree or Strongly Disagree

Don’t Know or Neutral

A. The MPA Program was academically demanding.

 

96%

 

3%

 

1%

B. I learned a great deal as a student in the MPA program that was useful in doing my job.

 

92%

 

2%

 

6%

C. Classes in the MPA program stimulated my intellectual curiosity.

 

97%

 

2%

 

1%

D. I learned a great deal in the MPA program that was useful in advancing my career.

 

79%

 

5%

 

16%

E. I would advise a friend or co-worker with similar interests and goals to enroll in the MPA program at UW-Oshkosh.

 

93%

 

2%

 

5%

 

For more information, contact
PA Department Chair Dr. Karen King

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by doctos93 last modified Aug 04, 2012 01:18 PM