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MPA students begin Executive Leadership/MPA Workshop – Combined Capstone – Today

studentsin lectureWhile all of our MA IR students head off on their global program adventures.. (check out the Global Programs Blog here to see what they get up to away from campus!) today, our MPA students begin a seven week combined capstone course.

Executive Leadership and MPA Workshop are the two integrated capstone courses for our MPA degree. Professor Robert Murrett will lead the Executive Leadership course which will bookend the four week capstone projects students will complete for MPA Workshop.

Executive Leadership is designed to expose MPA students to leadership in all its dimensions, including ethics, roles in an organization, and understanding how they will fit into the overall structure of decision making and leadership within any organization. The goals of Executive Leadership are focused around our students developing the core competencies of “leading and managing public governance”, “articulating and applying a public service perspective” and “communicating and interacting productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry”.  Students will meet daily for one week before disbursing into the Workshop teams to complete their public sector projects. They will come back together for the final two weeks of the Leadership Course where they will also have the opportunity to debrief their workshop projects and continue with this final course.

This year, students (in groups of 4-5) will complete MPA Workshop projects for a variety of organizations – across all public sectors. These include:  the Global FoodBanking Network; the Partnership for Public Service; the Congressional Management Foundation; the US Department of Justice – International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program; the City of Syracuse; NASA; the Eastwood Neighborhood Association; the Women’s Foundation of Oregon; AtrocityWatch; the NY State Division of Local Government Services; the Syracuse City School District, RAND corporation; the Institute for Defense Analysis; the 11th Street Bridge Park Project; Public Agenda; Refugee and Immigrant Self Empowerment; CNY Arts; HeatheConnections; and the Syracuse VA Medical Center among others.  Each project has a designated faculty advisor and agency contact. Most project work will be completed locally with skype, some travel, and other mechanisms to meet, coordinate and deliver project results. All MPA workshop projects are designed such that a student team can collect data, analyze data and formulate recommendations for future actions – so, not just studying the presenting problem or issue, but also to actively help move that organization forward in its goals.  This course tends to be an amazing “Aha” moment for our soon to be graduates – as they realize how much they have really learned over the course of their studies and how applicable these skills and knowledge are to the real world challenges faced by governments, non-profits and other public sector organizations on a daily basis.

The Capstone courses complete that final Wednesday (June 29th) so that all students can attend the PA Convocation on Friday, July 1, when the department comes together – all faculty, staff and students – to recognize our MPA graduates and their families! That ceremony will be held that Friday morning in Hendrick’s Chapel with a reception following.

 

 

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