Standard 5: Matching Operations - Student Learning

Standard 5.1: Universal Required Competencies 

As the basis for its curriculum, the program will adopt a set of required competencies related to its mission and public service values. The required competencies will include five domains: the ability

  • to lead and manage in the public interest;
  • to participate in, and contribute to, the policy process;
  • to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make evidence-informed decisions in a complex and dynamic environment;
  • to articulate, apply, and advance a public service perspective;
  • to communicate and interact productively and in culturally responsive ways with a diverse and changing workforce and society at large.
Standard 5.2: Mission-specific Required Competencies

The program will identify core competencies in other domains that are necessary and appropriate to implement its mission.

Standard 5.3: Mission-specific Elective Competencies

The program will define its objectives and competencies for optional concentrations and specializations.

Standard 5.4 Professional Competencies

The program will ensure that students learn to apply their education, such as through experiential exercises and interactions with practitioners across the broad range of public affairs, administration, and policy professions and sectors.

Student learning outcomes and assessment are at the heart of NASPAA accreditation's program evaluation. While Standard 1 asks programs to discuss overall program evaluation and improvement, Standard 5 gives programs the opportunity to focus on students, alone.

Standard 5 essentially asks programs to answer three broad questions: What do you expect your students to know and be able to do (as aligned with the universal required competencies)? How do you assess how well students are meeting these student learning expectations? How do you use assessment results for continuous program improvement? An important consideration as you answer these questions is how your answers align with your program’s mission, goals, and values. 

Standard 5