In action this month, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved a new graduate degree in Public Administration at Texas A&M International University.
The Masters in Public Administration (MPA) becomes the University's 23rd graduate degree and will be offered this Fall. It boosts the University's combined undergraduate and graduate degree inventory to 51.
University president Dr. Charles Jennett said the degree addition will provide a relevant educational preparation for those who seek to lead and manage public programs.
"The MPA will help Laredo to locally address its need for professional management expertise in public agencies and non-profit organizations. It will be highly beneficial to our community because it will be able to provide Laredo with a pool of well-trained, professional public managers to address the increasingly complex problems of the city and region," Dr. Jennett said.
He noted that the University's commitment to developing degrees that address community and regional needs continues and spans from the baccalaureate to doctoral level.
Dr. Nasser Momayezi, chair of the University's department of social sciences, said the degree development was in answer to surveys by the College of Arts and Humanities which indicated a growing job market for MPA-degreed individuals.
"There are several factors here that helped to make the case for the addition of this degree. First, Laredo has a large number of government agencies and non-profit organizations; second, the need for publicly provided services means greater demand for public service and non-profit administrators, and third, NAFTA has helped to spawn vital international relationships that are generating a growing new public service area," Dr. Momayezi said.
The degree will be offered with three distinct tracks to accommodate specific student interests, Momayezi explained.
"We will offer a generalist track, a criminal justice track and an international track. We believe each of these tracks will enable the students to secure relevant employment in a variety of scenarios," he said.
Momayezi noted the MPA is a traditional gateway to positions of leadership throughout the public service and non-profit community and should prove a viable tool for self-betterment for students.
"This degree is important in that it offers a local, professional, and terminal degree in the field which will provide a myriad of employment opportunities for our talented and capable students. Their training will enable them to play a vital role in the economic and social development of this region," he added.
The new MPA will be open to any student holding a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and meeting the requirements of the College of Arts and Humanities for graduate admission.
It consists of 30 hours of the core curriculum, three hours of internship or administrative project, and nine hours of electives.
For additional information, please contact Dr. Momayezi in the Department of Social Sciences at 956.326.326.2616, visit offices located in Killam Library, Room 432 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.