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What MPA Students Think about the MPA Program

  • In order to measure the success of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, the Public Affairs Department surveyed current students during the fall 2006 semester.
  • The survey was created, distributed, and analyzed by faculty and students of the MPA program.

METHODOLOGY

  • Print copies of the four-page survey, along with a pre-paid return envelope, were mailed to approximately 110 students, with a cover letter which explained that the survey was also accessible online for ease of submission.
  • One week after the original mailing, colored follow-up postcards were sent to encourage prompt submissions. Both mailings were scheduled to take advantage of Friday or Saturday mail delivery, in anticipation of a better submission rate if students received them at a time which might be more convenient for taking the time to reply.
  • 19 students chose to respond on-line, and 39 mailed their responses. The total 58 responses represent a 52.7% response rate.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • Approximately 89% of those surveyed indicated that they were now working in public service. 59% work for either federal, state, municipal, tribal, or county government, and 14% are employed by non-profit agencies. Another 16% work in public education.
  • Female respondents were far more common than males, with returns from 34 female students and only 23 males (one chose not to answer this question.) The average age of students was 38 for females and 39 for males.
  • 64% of respondents currently earn under $50,000, 23% report earnings in the $50,000 to $75,000 range, and 11% earn from $75,000 to $100,000. Only one respondent earns more than $100,000
  • Fewer current students, 36%, reported commuting more than fifty miles one-way than had alumni who were recently surveyed, 50% of whom had driven that far. Beyond that statistic, students’ responses were fairly equally spread over the three ranges offered: fewer than 10 miles (19%), 10-25 miles (22%), and 26-50 miles (22%).

PROGRAM FORMAT

  • The traditional Saturday format of the MPA program proved to be very popular with most respondents, with 93% stating that it was important in their decision to enroll and 76% saying that they were very satisfied with the format, once enrolled

PROGRAM FACULTY

  • Below are respondents’ reactions to ten statements regarding program faculty.

 

Strongly
Agree or Agree

Disagree or Strongly Disagree

Don’t know or Neutral

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

 

81%*

 

5%

 

12%

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

 

88%

 

7%

 

4%

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

 

69%

 

2%

 

28%

D.  Members of the MPA faculty are accessible and responsive to my needs outside of class meetings.

 

78%

 

9%

 

11%

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

 

81%

 

2%

 

16%

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

 

43%

 

12%

 

43%

G.  MPA faculty members demonstrate scholarly competence.

 

91%

 

2%

 

2%

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

 

81%

 

3%

 

14%

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

 

52%

 

10%

 

34%

*Totals will not necessarily equal 100%, as some respondents chose to not answer some questions.

PROGRAM CURRICULUM

  • Below is a table summarizing respondents’ reactions to five statements regarding program curriculum.

 

 

Strongly
Agree or Agree

Disagree or Strongly Disagree

Don’t Know or Neutral

A. The MPA Program is academically demanding.

 

90%

 

2%

 

7%

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

 

90%

 

0%

 

9%

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

 

93%

 

2%

 

3%

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

 

90%

 

5%

 

3%

COMMENTS

  • What do you like about the program?
    Numerous students made specific favorable comments about the Saturday class format. Another common “like” was that material covered in classes was often immediately pertinent to students’ work situations. Being able to learn from other students who brought interesting and informative perspectives to the classroom was another often-noted strong point of the program. Many students commented favorably about the quality of instruction.
  • What do you dislike about the program?
    Other than a couple of negative comments about the difficulty of arranging for group projects with students living far apart, the only pattern of negative responses had to do with the challenge of completing all the assignments while working full-time.
  • What would you change about the program?
    There were no consistent suggestions for any other changes, other than several requests for more online courses.
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by doctos93 last modified Aug 04, 2012 01:18 PM