Maxwell’s online Executive MPA program graduates inaugural class
the end of December, 15 students in Maxwell’s online Executive Master of Public
Administration program (EMPA) completed coursework and became the program’s
first graduating class. The program, ExecutiveMPA@Syracuse,
includes instruction in policymaking, organizational management, and decision making.
The inaugural class consists of 15 leaders, innovators, and public servants — a
diverse group of experienced professionals with a common commitment to drive
change in their communities.
in July 2017, ExecutiveMPA@Syracuse is designed to help advance the careers of experienced
public service professionals. The program reinforces Maxwell’s global
perspective by offering worldwide online access to Maxwell’s renowned faculty,
educational resources, and alumni network. Students can complete the 30-credit
degree, which includes multimedia course content and lively online discussion,
in as few as 15 months.
program’s first cohort arrived with diverse backgrounds, interests, and
accomplishments. Within it were career public servants with 15 to 20 years of experience
working in federal, state, or local government; and younger midcareer
professionals (5-10 years’ experience) seeking the analytical framework and
leadership skills necessary to succeed in the next stages of their careers. Close
to 30 percent of students in the program possess military experience, including
currently serving or veteran military professionals, many of whom aspire to
transition out of the military into roles in local government or nonprofit
organizations. The program also attracts private-sector professionals, some of
whom are using the degree to transition into work with foundations, nonprofits,
or other civil society organizations.
of the recently graduating students have already achieved degree-driven
success. More than half have attained a promotion or a new position since
starting the program. Many others have earned accolades through their
coursework, research, or related capstone projects.
of the success of the program, says Nell Bartkowiak, ExecutiveMPA@Syracuse director,
is that it fosters the sort of tight-knit, collaborative environment ordinarily
associated with on-campus programs. “The sense of community created among these
students in the online program is impressive and speaks to the enduring impact
that Maxwell can have on our students, regardless of location or format,” says
Bartkowiak. “Our faculty, the coursework, and the community created within the
program is just as strong as that here on campus.”
additional cohorts are now amid their degree progress, ExecutiveMPA@Syracuse continues
to build toward the next incoming cohort. Maxwell faculty have adapted more
than 10 courses offered fully online, designed and led by the same faculty who
teach on campus, but with the benefit of an advanced virtual campus platform
that is accessible to the students 24/7.
Meanwhile, recent marketing campaigns have generated increased inquiries
and interest from prospective students. Bartkowiak expects the program to build
toward annual admissions of 50-60 new students. The program’s success has provided a proof
of concept for this type of instructional model moving forward. Among online programs currently in
development are a Certificate of Advanced Study in Conflict Resolution,
offerings in non-profit management, and the consideration of an expansion of the
School’s new data-analytics study track to an online platform.
credits the inaugural class with helping Maxwell ensure the successful launch
of the online EMPA. “This is truly a
remarkable group of individuals who have worked hard to be successful in their coursework,”
she says, and “whose feedback has been invaluable to improving the program for
those students who will follow.”