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QUALITY IN PUBLIC AFFAIRS EDUCATION

NASPAA is an institutional membership organization that exists to promote excellence in public service education. NASPAA serves its institutional membership of more than 280 graduate schools and programs in public policy, public administration, and public affairs. NASPAA’s institutional members are committed to quality in public affairs education and all ascribe to the NASPAA Member Code of Good Practice displayed below. 

NASPAA is also the professional accreditor of masters degrees in public policy and public administration. Many, but not all of NASPAA’s institutional members have chosen to seek NASPAA accreditation.* NASPAA membership signifies a commitment to quality; however it does not necessarily imply program accreditation. NASPAA’s accreditation program is an additional and voluntary process in which member schools can choose to participate.

NASPAA MEMBER CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE

 

A program holding membership in the NASPAA: 

  • Pursues excellence and quality in its provision of public affairs education. 
  • Continuously operationalizes the commitment to public service among students, faculty, alumni, and other constituencies, and holds the profession of public service in the highest esteem.
  • Recognizes its responsibility to the community of public affairs institutions by participating in developmental activities to help other NASPAA schools and by providing enrollment and faculty data. 
  • Posts a link on the program’s website to the NASPAA web site discussion of quality in public affairs education: www.naspaa.org/codeofgoodpractice.
  • Pursues diversity in student body, faculty, and curriculum.
  • Integrates ethics into the curriculum and all aspects of program operation, and expects students and faculty to exhibit the highest ethical standards in their teaching, research, and service.
  • Focuses on the preparation of students for professional careers in public service, emphasizing both the values and ethics of public service, and the development of professional skills and knowledge.
  • Recognizes the importance of contributions of students, faculty, alumni, and employers to improving the relevance and quality of the program. 
  • Uses student learning outcomes and other outcome measures to help improve program effectiveness.
  • Is committed to the holistic development of the individual student as a professional—including admission advisement; support of student learning, research, and service; summative learning experiences, and career placement and advisement. 
  • Offers a multi-disciplinary curriculum that includes coverage of management, organization, policy, human resources, political institutions, economics, quantitative methods, and IT management.
  • Honestly represents the meaning of NASPAA membership without implying accreditation.

( Click here to Download Code of Good Practice )


*What is Accreditation?  
Accreditation is the quality assurance process used in American higher education. All NASPAA member programs are located in universities accredited by a “regional” (institutional) accrediting body, which has assessed the quality of the university as a whole.

In addition to institutional accreditation at the university level, many professions have developed “professional” accreditation of specific degree programs within a university. This type of accreditation connects the profession to quality improvements in the educational preparation for its work. NASPAA serves as the professional accreditor of master’s degrees in public administration, public affairs, and public policy

NASPAA accreditation recognizes that a master’s program in public affairs has undertaken a rigorous process of peer review and has successfully met NASPAA Standards for Professional Master’s Degree Programs in Public Affairs, Policy and Administration. Only accredited programs may display the accreditation logo shown above. Some universities may have more than one NASPAA accredited program; in this case each master’s degree program must meet NASPAA standards independently. NASPAA does not accredit undergraduate degrees or PhD programs.
Because public service is not a licensed profession, the NASPAA accreditation process is entirely voluntary, and not all NASPAA institutional members have sought accreditation from NASPAA’s Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA). 

Click here for the latest Roster of NASPAA Accredited Programs

If you have any questions about quality in public affairs education, please contact NASPAA at naspaa@naspaa.org or 202-628-8965. 

 

 

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