Why Seek Accreditation?
NASPAA’s accreditation process, driven by public service values, is mission- and outcomes-based, and grounded in an in-depth self-evaluation of programs using the NASPAA Accreditation Standards – the quality benchmark of graduate public service programs around the world. Our Standards are intentionally designed to be flexible to each context, mission, and institution, providing room for your program to showcase its achievements and ongoing growth. Accredited programs contribute to the knowledge, research, and practice of public service, establish observable goals and outcomes, and use information about their performance to guide program improvement. They practice truth in advertising and ensure their students achieve learning objectives in five domains essential to public service.
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Why have your peers sought accreditation?
Programs seeking accreditation use the self-study process to support ongoing program improvement, strengthen their commitment to public service and nonprofit education, and showcase their accomplishments. The Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) is the Council for Higher Education (CHEA)-recognized accreditation body for graduate degree programs in public and nonprofit policy, administration, and affairs globally. NASPAA accreditation is awarded at the master’s degree program level only, not at the school or institutional level.
The accreditation process is a mutually beneficial relationship between NASPAA and institutional programs seeking accreditation. Programs gain value through increased international recognition, an ever expanding network of peers, and continuous improvement that stems from the self-study process and ongoing program evaluation. NASPAA also benefits by furthering an international dialogue that moves the field of public service and nonprofit education forward through the development of best practices and international exchange. By focusing on programmatic outcomes, the self-study process hands programs the tools needed to tout program accomplishments.
“Being accredited by NASPAA brings numerous benefits to programs successfully accredited, including providing a sound basis for continuous improvement in the program, confirming the quality of the program to students, employers, and others; increasing the program’s visibility, demonstrating the program’s commitment to excellence in public affairs education, and providing greater opportunities for interaction with leading public affairs programs around the world.” -Shahjahan Bhuiyan, Former MPA Program Director, Department of Public Policy & Administration, and Associate Dean of the School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, The American University in Cairo