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Public Policy and Administration


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Public Policy and Administration

West Chester University
1160 McDermott Drive #101
West Chester, PA 19380

Phone: 610-436-2438

Facility and Directions

Welcome to the Department of Public Policy & Administration, home to the Master of Public Administration (accredited by NASPAA-The Global Standard in Public Service Education) and the Doctor of Public Administration degrees. The core focus of our programs is helping individuals develop their public service skills. Our dynamic, practical programs enhance your general management and administrative qualifications with the option of developing specific expertise in a number of concentration areas, including: Human Resource Management or Nonprofit Administration. At the same time, many of our students have earned graduate certificates in such areas as Urban and Regional Planning, Healthcare Management and Sports Management & Athletics.

Welcome Statement

Beginning as a stand-alone graduate program in 1979, the department continues to attract and graduate professionals from all types of organizations. As of the 2014-2015 academic year, the program is the proud home of 150 students comprised of emerging and existing public service leaders. Whether your career path is in a public, nonprofit or private (e.g., as consultants to governmental organizations or as governmental service providers) setting, our program meets your needs if you are ready to enhance your general management skills and upgrade your expertise in a specific career area.

Oriented toward emerging and existing public service leaders, our program setting, structure and culture serve individuals who seek to learn alongside working professionals. Indeed, an important strength of our program is the caliber and diversity of our student body and, as a result, the quality of peer learning from which you will benefit.

Our program has a healthy balance of students who are midcareer professionals attending our classes one or two evenings per week and emerging public service leaders who enroll in three or more classes per week, including our online course offerings. Another strength of our degree program is our faculty, who all have experience working in the fields of public administration and nonprofit management. In addition to our regular faculty, we also have an excellent group of practitioners who bring to the classroom an extensive amount of practical experience. In this way, our students are always taught by individuals who have worked or continue to work in the field of public service.

To learn more about our MPA and DPA programs here at West Chester University, we encourage you to explore this website. We trust that it will prove a useful source of information for you and answer many of your initial questions. We thank you for your interest and would be happy to talk or meet with you at anytime, so please contact us.

Enjoy your visit,
Dr. Allison H. Turner MPA
Chair, Department of Public Policy and Administration

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Public Policy and Administration at West Chester University is to provide high quality accessible public service education for a diverse group of emerging and existing public service leaders. Our program prepares students to manage and lead across boundaries of the public, nonprofit and private sectors. A community of accomplished scholars and practitioners instructs and mentors students in pursuing the public interest with accountability and transparency; serving professionally with competence, efficiency and objectivity; acting ethically to uphold the public trust; and demonstrating respect, equity and fairness in dealings with citizens and fellow public servants. The PPA Department, with its affiliated Center for Social and Economic Policy Research, provides community access to faculty expertise, applied scholarship, and guidance in the practice of public affairs, administration and policy.

Learning Goals

In support of the University and Department Missions, both the MPA and DPA programs provide public, nonprofit and private sector employers with leaders, managers and analysts who are able:

  • To lead and manage in public governance
  • To participate in and contribute to the public policy process
  • To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions
  • To articulate and apply a public service perspective
  • To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing work force and citizenry

"I wanted to let you all know I was promoted this past week to Regional Coordinator with the PA House of Representatives. I cannot thank you all enough because I know it was the great instruction given to me at WCU that's made the difference for me." - Tom Konen MPA '14


Check out the information video created by MPA students Joy Drager and Bill Simonson as part of a class project

  • Anne Okelo in Kenya

    Anne Okelo, a 2010 graduate of the Master of Public Administration Program

    secured funding in excess of $35,000.00 to construct a well that now provides her village of Angiro, Kenya access to fresh water. A documentary of Anne's story titled, "Well of Dreams" can be previewed here.

  • Headshot of El'Martez Jones

    El'Martez Jones, a 2012 graduate of the Master of Public Administration Program

    decided to pursue his passion in Human Resources/Public Service after earning his MPA. El'Martez landed a contractual position within the U.S Department of Education's Human Capital & Client Services, Executive Director's Office. One of his highlights at ED consisted of completing a high priority and confidential project within the Electronic Official Personnel Folder system (eOPF) by investigating a privacy breach and providing final report (60 days ahead of timeline) to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). He also reviewed plans and analyzed data to establish the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the Department of Education's Orientation Survey to adhere with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), United States Code (USC), OPM's guidance, and ED's policy.

  • Headshot of El'Martez Jones

    Justin R. Nalley is a recent graduate of the West Chester University Public Administration program.

    His interests lie in American policy, education policy development, evaluation, and analysis. As a student, Justin researched federal influence in education, municipal budgeting processes, and welfare reform legislation. He completed an internship at the University of Pennsylvania's Think Tank for Civil Society program, collecting and analyzing data on public policy research organizations within the U.S. Upon graduating in 2014, Justin accepted a position as a Research Analyst, conducting data analysis and evaluation at Children's Literacy Initiative, a nonprofit organization focused on teacher development to increase student literacy achievement in urban districts. Justin is a member of the WCU chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha honor society, serving on the mentor committee for incoming students.

  • Headshot of El'Martez Jones

    Lauren Richard is a 2013 MPA graduate and former WCU Graduate Student Association (GSA) President.

    As a student, Lauren pursued her passion for Human Resource Management with a particular interest in Organizational Development. In her role as the GSA President, she launched a national network and instituted new policies and programming to better serve the needs of the graduate student population. After graduation, she moved back to her hometown of New Orleans and landed a position as a Project Coordinator in the Office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu. In this capacity, Lauren manages a portfolio of eight initiatives designed to facilitate the advancement of the city's strategic framework and mayoral priorities.

  • Headshot of Tom Konen

    Tom Konen – Class of 2014:

    Enrolled full-time in the MPA program, Tom was a member of the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society and was serving as the Director of Education upon graduation. From the Fall of 2013 until commencement, he was granted fellowship while working as a Graduate Research Assistant for West Chester University's Department of Economics and Finance. This role mainly focused on data mining and research pertaining to mutual funds, which later proved relevant to future job opportunities. In 2014, Tom interned at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and was hired full-time before graduating. He now serves the House Republican Caucus as the Director of Legislation for State Representative Martina White of Northeast Philadelphia. Tom's primary focus is on public policy, legislative initiatives and community and economic development.

  • Headshot of Andrew Best

    Andrew R. Best Jr. is a 2011 Graduate of the Master of Public Administration Program

    currently working for The City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services, Homeless Services Unit in the role of Clinical Specialist (Program Analyst). In this role he provides administrative and clinical oversight to programs that provide services to those who are facing the challenges of chronic homelessness, substance abuse and behavioral health needs. An integral part of this role is monitoring and ensuring the continuity of care for all program participants. In addition to these duties he assists with the DBHIDS Philadelphia Safe Haven Transformation. This project includes analyzing the DHBIDS Practice Guidelines and the policies set forth by The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to ensure successful program outcomes.

  • Headshot of Nicole Whitaker

    Nicole Whitaker, MPA, graduated from West Chester University with a Master's of Public Administration

    with a concentration in Health Care Management. While at WCU, Nicole was a graduate research assistant for four semesters. After graduating, she accepted a staff position with The University of Pittsburgh in the Center for Public Health Practice as a project coordinator with WalkWorks. WalkWorks is a program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to increase physical activity in rural areas through the creation of community-based walking groups. The project works to influence policy areas that directly affect the health of communities including transportation, public health, education and municipal planning. Nicole hopes to pursue her PhD in public administration and continue her research in health literacy.

  • Headshot of Charity Alinda

    Charity Alinda, MPA-2015:

    A Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society member, Charity completed his BA in Public Administration at Uganda Christian University prior to his time at West Chester University (WCU). He began his work in the United States through an international Fellowship with UrbanPromise, an international organization dedicated to serving children and teens in under-resourced communities. After completing a Master of Public Administration at West Chester University in May 2015, Charity joined the Center for International Programs at WCU as an intern before becoming a full-time staff member. In his role, Charity works closely with international students and supports programs that enhance the comprehensive internationalization of the University. He is also a part of the ONE Campaign—an international campaigning and advocacy organization working to end extreme global poverty by year 2030. Charity was part of the ONE Campaign volunteer team that visited Capitol Hill to lobby for the passage of Electrify Africa Act--a law that will help bring electricity to over 50 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time. The legislation passed the House and was subsequently signed into law by President Obama in February 2016.

  • Headshot of Lori Chase

    Lori Chase is a 2015 graduate of the MPA-HR program.

    She entered the program to prepare for a career change and gained so much more. As a former educator, Lori enjoyed teaching and working with people, encouraging them to do their very best. A career in human resource management was an easy transition of skills and interest.

    Lori served as a founding member and the first president of the West Chester University Student Human Resource Association. The group was developed to promote the education and skills of MPA students in the area of human resource management. WCU-SHRA is a student chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and often partners with the Chester County Human Resource Association at their monthly business breakfast meetings.

    Currently, Lori is employed as a Jr. Human Resource Generalist for a national health care provider located in Philadelphia. She attributes her success in her new field to the education and network opportunities she received during her time at WCU. The professors and faculty of the program were supportive to Lori and helped her be the best she could be!

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