Final Examination OR Final Paper and Oral Defence (4 hours)


The final educational component for the MPA is the final examination or a culminating paper (project or thesis).

Final Project: Students are required to develop a major report that focuses on either a policy issue or a management problem confronted by a public service agency with which the student has direct experience. The paper should demonstrate the application of theoretical knowledge to practical problems. Students completing project should enroll in MPA 695.

Thesis: A thesis is a comprehensive research project similar in scope and scholarship to articles written in peer reviewed journals. A thesis proposal must be approved by the MPA faculty prior to enrolling in MPA 696.

Examination: A culminating examination option is offered once an academic year. Students must enroll in MPA 697 to utilize this option.


Portfolio


A professional portfolio consists of materials representative of one’s work. It is a collection of one’s accomplishments and a demonstration of one’s abilities. The MPA Portfolio is a required developmental component of the program, designed to assist students and their advisors in planning course selection, and to encourage students to reflect on and integrate their experiences while in the program. Portfolios can also communicate the quality of one’s work to future employers. Primarily, constructing a professional portfolio should be seen as the basis for continuing career development.

Students begin keeping their portfolios in MPA 500, recording self-assessments of strengths and weaknesses, and developing an individual plan for professional development. MPA students will collect their work throughout each course in the program, choosing the best to showcase in the final portfolio prepared in advance of taking the capstone class, MPA 600.

Portfolios should have at least the following sections, with others added according to the student’s goals:
  1. Academic Abilities
  2. Leadership and Team Skills
  3. Ethics and Professional Standards
  4. Public Service / Management
  5. Professional Growth and Continuing Education

Academic Abilities:
The development and improvement of skills in writing, speaking, research, computer use, and quantitative and qualitative analysis. Keeping track of program requirements and taking responsibility for individual progress.

Leadership and Team Skills:
Giving directions, setting and communicating expectations and values, learning how to understand group dynamics and work with a group, and developing teams are all important abilities in developing greater public management capacities.

Ethics and Professional Standards:
Understanding and applying professional standards and codes of ethics for public administration and the academic world. This includes a sensitivity and ability to promote democratic values, constitutional principles, human dignity and diversity.

Public Service and Management:
To value making a contribution to society, to develop and exemplify the core ethic of public sector management, and to better understand the larger community.

Professional Growth and Continuing Education:
Involvement in continuing education through professional organizations. To pay attention to becoming well-rounded as an individual, particularly in support of management effectiveness and to take advantage of opportunities to renew oneself.

Project/Thesis Presentation


The final educational component for the MPA is the final examination or a culminating paper (project or thesis).

Final Project: Students are required to develop a major report that focuses on either a policy issue or a management problem confronted by a public service agency with which the student has direct experience. The paper should demonstrate the application of theoretical knowledge to practical problems. Students completing project should enroll in MPA 695.

Thesis: A thesis is a comprehensive research project similar in scope and scholarship to articles written in peer reviewed journals. A thesis proposal must be approved by the MPA faculty prior to enrolling in MPA 696.


Graduate Writing Test


All Cal Poly Pomona students must pass the Graduate Writing Test in order to graduate. The Learning Resource Center University Writing Center offers helpful tips, study skills handouts, and practice essay prompts for students preparing for the GWT.

If you have graduated from a CSU you have already taken this test and you are not required to take it again. However, if you are not an alumnus of the CSU system, you need to contact the Learning Resource Center to register for the test, get an assigned date, time, location and any related information. See http://www.csupomona.edu/~testcenter/tests/gwt.shtml for more information.