Employers' Assessment of Texas State University MPA Program
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Research Purpose: The purpose of this research is to describe the perceptions and opinions of employers of graduates of the master of public administration program (MPA) from Texas State University regarding their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The research purpose is descriptive in nature. An employer assessment survey was performed to ascertain the reputation of MPA graduates. The MPA program benefits by knowing how the graduates are perceived by the labor market. The research reviews what employers believe MPA graduates should know, and how the MPA graduates are perceived by their employers.
Method: This study uses two techniques to gather the perceptions and opinions of employers of Texas State MPA program graduates: employer assessment survey and content analysis, with categorization of the responses to the open-ended questions and statements on the employer survey. The content analysis only applies to the responses of the open-ended questions and statements that are part of the employer survey.
Findings: Employers perceive the Texas State MPA program meets its mission in imparting the knowledge, skills, and abilities to its students to prepare them for public administration service. Overall, the MPA program is highly regarded. The positions that MPA graduates hold in public service support Castleberry's argument that "[t]he advantages of student learning outcomes also extend well beyond college campuses." (2006, 16).