NASPAA Policies Regarding COVID-19

NASPAA policies covid-19

Last Updated:4/15/2020


We are a global community of 320 schools of public governance and administration, and we’re training the next generation of public servant for a changed world. We raise up everyone around the world who is working for the public good at this unprecedented time.

As a global organization that regularly brings people together from all over the world to advance quality in public service education,  NASPAA is carefully monitoring Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and thinking about how to deal with the risks it poses to our membership. NASPAA is following local DC/MD/VA health department directives, the CDC, and US Department of State guidelines (for travel domestically and internationally.) We are also monitoring WHO situation reports for global updates.  NASPAA will adjust our staff and volunteer policies regarding travel and work as the situation evolves. 

NASPAA has now fully adapted to the public health emergency.

  • As of 4/15 NASPAA’s physical office in Washington, DC remains temporarily closed. We have established a virtual office and headquarters with remote work. Staff are working full-time and are providing as full a level of service to member schools and the public as possible. Members are encouraged to contact staff via email. NASPAA will continue to receive mail and packages, and to make payments electronically and by check.
  • As of 4/15, all NASPAA travel out of area by staff and volunteers has been cancelled until further notice, and will be restored when conditions permit. 


NASPAA has taken the following specific actions in response to the public health emergency:

  • The Vietnam joint meeting with Fulbright University Vietnam in April has been rescheduled to January 2021.
  • The KDI South Korea site of the NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition  (originally Feb 29) has been postponed. New date TBA. All other simulation competition sites proceeded as scheduled, with extensive warnings and information provided to participants. 
  • The Accreditation Site visits:  All Spring 2020 site visits are now complete. Those scheduled after March 7 were occurred virtually or, in some cases, rescheduled to Fall. For virtual site visits, COPRA made concerted efforts to ensure that the site visit experience was as comparable as possible to in-person visits.



  • NASPAA will follow the  CDC and US Department of State guidelines and monitor WHO situation reports for global updates when planning FUTURE global  international travel. 
  • NASPAA’s Fall Conference in October WILL take place.  The decision whether it will be in-person, hybrid, or virtual will be made in June (and reviewed as conditions necessitate.)   Panel proposals are positively encouraged, and if accepted, proposers are advised their panel WILL take place in some form! The panel submission deadline has been moved forward to 12 midnight EDT May 1.
  • 2021 site visits will be restored to in-person, as public health conditions and CDC and WHO directives permit.  
  • As in-person global events come back onto the schedule, all volunteers should check with their employer that their actions do not contravene institutional policies regarding employer-sponsored  travel and health insurance coverage.  
  • Other NASPAA international events currently in the planning stages ARE advancing, with contingency plans being put in place for holding virtually or rescheduling for a later date.
  • NASPAA’s physical headquarters in Washington DC will re-open when conditions permit. The re-opening will be announced in advance, on NASPAA’s website and social media. 


NASPAA policies covid-19
copra logo

Together, we are facing an unprecedented, global public health crisis demanding the prioritization of the health and safety of our colleagues, students, and families. As we navigate the evolving situation, the importance of our role as public service educators is unmistakeable and COPRA takes seriously its role in supporting each accredited program during this time. 

NASPAA, COPRA, and accredited programs, are bound through the accreditation process by a commitment to public service values and continuous improvement, ensuring that students and faculty are well-served and successful. This commitment distinguishes our programs, and we are confident in your ability to continue supporting your communities by embracing your strengths even while adapting to the unknown. We encourage you to rely on the NASPAA community for support, reflect on learning opportunities, and continue to find innovative ways to promote public service education and student success.

COPRA understands the fast evolving nature of university responses to the pandemic and acknowledges that in response to the public health crisis most programs are imminently moving to distance learning, canceling important events, and managing large-scale changes to course delivery and faculty and student engagement. As programs and universities grapple with how to best respond, we are sensitive to the extenuating circumstances surrounding these decisions and supportive of moves that place student and faculty health and safety at the forefront. The Standards are designed to be flexible to accommodate varying contexts, missions, and changing situations like this one. 

In the context of current and anticipated academic disruptions, COPRA wishes to highlight several Standards (below) that are immediately linked to the evolving situation. While COPRA has only highlighted some of the NASPAA Standards, it recognizes that university responses to COVID-19 will be varied, student-centric, and will impact programs across all aspects of delivery. This is a unique circumstance and COPRA is mindful of this, anticipating that these impacts will be focused on the short- and medium-terms and that programs will be able to adapt strategically while ensuring conformance to the Standards and student success in the long term.

We will continue to monitor official guidance about the response to COVID-19 and be mindful of how it is impacting accredited programs. (For more on NASPAA's response, refer here). This is a critical time for our society and we are honored to be supporting a field that is so deeply embedded in educating the public servants guiding us through this time.

Please contact with any questions.


Maja H. Holmes

Chair, Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA)




Standard 2.1 Administrative Capacity: The program will have an administrative infrastructure appropriate for its mission, goals and objectives in all delivery modalities employed. 

Standard 2.2 Faculty Governance: An adequate faculty nucleus—at least five (5) full-time faculty members or their equivalent—will exercise substantial determining influence for the Self-Study Instructions – governance and implementation of the program.

COPRA recognizes that many, if not most, decisions regarding responses to COVID-19 will be made by the university. As decisions are implemented at the program level, the Commission emphasizes that the governance arrangement, including administrative leadership, should ensure the ongoing integrity of the program. Because program nucleus faculty members have deep knowledge of their program and a commitment to participatory processes, they also should play a significant role in the governance and execution of the program. 

Standard 4.3 - Support for Students: The program will ensure the availability of support services, such as curriculum advising, internship placement and supervision, career counseling, and job placement assistance to enable students to progress in careers in public service.

Programs should maintain transparent and accessible support for students, especially as there are changes to program delivery and course expectations. These changes may necessitate additional or new support services be available to students to help navigate any academic disruptions, and programs should consider how to ensure the necessary resources and guidance are available to students. Programs should continue to provide services that help students achieve their educational, internship and career objectives. 

Standard 7.1 - Communications: The program will provide appropriate and current information about its mission, policies, practices, and accomplishments—including student learning outcomes--sufficient to inform decisions by its stakeholders such as prospective and current students; faculty; employers of current students and graduates; university administrators; alumni; and accrediting agencies.

When communicating with stakeholders, programs should be transparent, accountable, and truthful, and this is especially important during a rapidly evolving public health outbreak. Programs should be sure to exemplify the public service value of transparency in programmatic actions.



Important Updates

NASPAA’s Fall Conference WILL Go on!

Deadline for panel proposals extended to Friday, May 1, 2020


Given the ongoing public policy and management challenges surrounding COVID-19, now more than ever, it is so important for our network of more than 300 member schools to support each other and our community of public service educators.

This year’s theme, “Building the New Civic Square,” is timely and significant to every program, and we know you have something to say. At this point, we fully expect by October we will return to business as usual and be able to meet in person for #NASPAA2020 in Chicago. However, if this is not the case, the conference will take a hybrid or virtual form. We encourage all of our members to continue to submit your panel proposals!. At the same time we are mindful that many of you are otherwise occupied and working to put new unprecedented plans in place on your campus. Therefore, we are extending the deadline for panel proposal to Friday, May 1, 2020. We would like to assure you that if you submit a proposal that is accepted, you will be able to present it—in whatever form best fits the situation in October. So don’t hesitate to submit—your colleagues will want to hear your voice, your ideas, your experience, your research. The success of our annual gathering depends on that.

We will continue to monitor the international public health situation, and in June, our Executive Council will make the decision as to whether the conference will be in-person, hybrid, or virtual. But please know – the conference will go on: your work in educating the next generation of public servant is too important for it not to! We will be following all guidelines set forth by our federal and local governments and health agencies. We are also in close contact with local Chicago authorities and member schools. In addition, we are working with the hotel to ensure that proper control measures and best practices are being implemented.


View proposal submission details



Greetings Pi Alpha Alpha Chapter Advisors:

NASPAA and Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA) have been following the developments concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and how it is effecting our member schools. Many NASPAA schools have already or will soon transition to online/distance/virtual instruction. We understand how disruptive this transition is on your entire campus community and on the learning process. In the midst of these rapidly changing developments, we would like to encourage all of you to still keep PAA a priority for your students. While we realize induction ceremonies and/or commencement activities may have to postponed or amended in some way, we hope they are not cancelled. Even if a public ceremony is not possible, you are still able offer your eligible students induction into PAA. We understand that many chapters may not be able to collect PAA dues from eligible students. Therefore please follow these instructions that will allow your eligible students to order their certificates, pins, and any commencement regalia directly from our vendor Kenneth E. Jernigan & Associates.

  1. Identify and communicate to all students who have met the PAA induction requirements (GPA of 3.7 or above (3.67 rounded) and completed over 50% of their coursework) that they are eligible to be inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha.
  2. Email a list of all eligible students along with their contact information (preferably in an excel spreadsheet) to Karen St. Claire at Kenneth Jernigan & Associates. Her email address is
  3. Email eligible students the following URL to order their certificates, pins, and any commencement regalia:  1. 2. The students will enter their name as they would like for it to appear on their certificate 3. The students will pay for their order with a debit or credit card. 4. Orders will be shipped directly to the student (or school, if that is your wish) upon successful credit card payment

We strongly encourage you to give your students a deadline by which to order their certificate and regalia. Please communicate this deadline along with the date of your ceremony to Karen St. Claire so she is aware.

If chapter advisors wish to continue to collect dues payment from students and then submit all their orders together as a batch, you may still do that.

Finally, if you are no longer the Pi Alpha Advisor please forward this message to the appropriate person and please notify David Marshall, Director of Membership Development, at