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TAMIU’s MPA Program, Alumni Celebrate 20th Anniversary with Reception Sept. 18 Posted: 9/12/19

TAMIU’s MPA Program, Alumni Celebrate 20th Anniversary with Reception Sept. 18

 

Dr. Peter Haruna
Dr. Peter Haruna  

This Fall, Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is celebrating its 20th Anniversary and to commemorate this momentous occasion, MPA alumni will host a reception for alumni, students as well as current and former faculty Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 6-8 p.m. in The Helen Richter Watson Gallery in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library.

Dr. Peter Haruna, professor of Public Administration and director of the TAMIU MPA program, said that during the past 20 years, the MPA program has graduated 160 professionals and achieved accreditation by the prestigious Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA), earning national visibility.

“Many of the MPA graduates serve in leadership and management positions in public and nonprofit agencies in Laredo and throughout South Texas,” Dr. Haruna explained, “They include the utilities director of the City of Laredo, acting city manager of the City of Eagle Pass, Webb County treasurer and deputy treasurer, United Independent School District director of purchasing and TAMIU’s assistant vice president for Global Initiatives, among several others.”

Haruna continued, “The program is successfully and strategically executing its mission of providing usable professional knowledge, skills and abilities needed to lead and manage public and nonprofit agencies in South Texas.”

Over the years, TAMIU’s MPA program has opened doors to individuals working for government agencies and programs but lack the means or mobility to relocate to gain professional, public service education elsewhere, Haruna said.

“The creation of the program became necessary to meet the needs of the South Texas area and the Laredo community for trained, professional administrators of public agencies,” he said, “When the program started, none of the several Texas public colleges and universities that offered a Master’s of Public Administration degree was within commuting distance of Laredo.”

Since 1999, the program has evolved in terms of student enrollment and completion, mode of delivery, faculty strength, productivity, and curriculum development, Haruna said.

“Initially, our students consisted mainly of Webb County residents but over time, we have attracted students from several adjoining counties in South Texas, Texas cities and other states,” he said, “This semester, we have recorded the highest number of enrollment of 80 students, the highest since the program was created.”

The mode of delivery has also changed from on-site and in-class delivery to online in order to serve the professional training needs of working professionals outside of Laredo, Haruna said.

“Working with TAMIU’s Graduate School, we revised and simplified the admission process in order to make it more applicant-friendly,” he said, “Applicants are processed and enrolled in an ongoing basis, from semester to semester. When the applicants are ready to apply, we are ready to process them as long as they meet the basic requirements.”

In response to community needs, the program’s curriculum has also changed, Haruna said.

“We have changed from a closed, three-track curriculum structure to an open, non-track online system to afford students more flexibility in the choice of elective courses,” he said.

The TAMIU MPA Alumni Association and MPA Advisory Board have also been instrumental in supporting a strong, community outreach program that enables the program to partner and collaborate with public agencies, Haruna said.

“We have signed agreements with the City of Laredo, Webb County, and the Laredo Police Department to create an MPA program-community partnership and collaborative environment for teaching and learning,” he said, “We have also signed agreements with international counterpart universities in South Africa and Ghana to open the doors to student and faculty exchange programs.”

Finally, Haruna said the MPA program is taught by a diverse faculty with expertise and experience in a wide variety of specialty areas, such as human resources, nonprofit management, budgeting, ethics, policy analysis and organizational processes.

In 2018,  TAMIU’s Online MPA program was ranked No. 15 in online source, Master Programs Guide’s ranking of the Top 50 Online Master’s Programs that Do Not Require the GRE.

Also, in 2017, TAMIU’s Online MPA program was recognized as one of the most affordable online MPA programs in the nation by online source, College Values Online. TAMIU’s Online MPA program ranked No. 13 in the Top 30 Values 2016-2017.

For more information about TAMIU’s Online MPA program, please contact Dr. Haruna at 326.2613, email pharuna@tamiu.edu, or visit offices located in the Academic Innovation Center, room 334 or click on https://www.tamiu.edu/gradschool/mpa/

University office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

TAMIU is celebrating its 50th anniversary and its 25th anniversary at its north Laredo campus throughout 2019-2020.  A dedicated website shares the University’s transformation from a hybrid upper-level university to a full doctoral degree-granting University. It includes a calendar of Anniversary events and more at tamiu.edu/50.

For more on the University’s story, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 956.326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu, click on tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

The University’s story is also shared on its social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

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