A Needs Assessment for a Ph.D. Program in Public Administration for Texas State University
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Purpose: The purpose of this research is to explore the need for a Ph.D. program in Public Administration at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. The research is designed to collect data that will support the development of a Ph.D. program. To do this, the paper attempts to show that a Ph.D. program in public administration would meet the needs of Texas and the nation. This research provides some of the preliminary data that demonstrates the need for a Ph.D. program in public administration. Methodology: The components of the Preliminary Authority Request document, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, led to the development of a conceptual framework. The goal of the Preliminary Authority Request is to establish a need or justification for a particular academic program in Texas, in this case the need for a public administration doctoral program. From the Preliminary Authority Request document, pillar questions were developed to explore the state and national need for a Ph.D. in public administration. The methods used to collect the data for this needs assessment include document analysis, website analysis, survey research, and interviews with key-informants. Findings: Overall, the findings of the needs assessment showed mixed results for the need of a Ph.D. program in public administration at Texas State University. Although some of the evidence did provide a need for Ph.D. graduates of public administration, cumulatively, none of the data provided quantitative or specific market evidence to support the need. In general, more market or concrete evidence is necessary to give a stronger argument for the need of a doctoral program in public administration.