International College to Offer New Dual Track Within the MPA Program
In response to community need, International College will offer a new dual track this Fall that gives public administration graduate students the option of pursuing a traditional government track or a distinctive nonprofit track.
International College launched the MPA Program last Fall with a traditional government focus on policy, budgeting and human resources, said Frederick Nerone, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Business.
After the School of Business surveyed 25 public sector employers in Lee and Collier County earlier this year, however, it was determined there was vital need for a MPA program geared specifically for the nonprofit sector. Of those employers surveyed, 40 percent said an MPA nonprofit track would benefit their organization. Additionally, College officials learned that 63 percent of their current MPA students are employed by nonprofit organizations.
“The survey findings were so compelling, that the MPA program was redesigned,” Nerone said. “The new dual-track MPA is expected to be more effective in responding to the needs of our students as well as the communities served by the college.”
International College will be the only school in the region to offer a Dual Track MPA program with a separate, nonprofit specialization.
Susan Casey, MPA and MBA Program Administrator, said the goal of the dual track is to improve academic preparation for executive careers in the nonprofit sector.
“The dual track gives us the ability to focus on what makes nonprofits special and unique,” Casey said. “Our hope is that classes with that nonprofit focus will better prepare students to be contributors to the workplace and will give them the skills to create positive change in our community.”
NCH spokeswoman Debbie Curry praised International College administration for offering students a choice.
“International College has found an innovative and practical approach to this advanced degree,” said Curry, also chairperson of the International College Business Administration Advisory Board. “There are distinctions between working in government and working for a nonprofit. Nonprofit organizations have a mission directed more toward meeting the needs of local community. Establishing curriculum that supports this mission will give students a great advantage when they enter the nonprofit professional world.”
Deborah Horvath, executive director of Collier County Chapter of the American Red Cross also believes the nonprofit track will help create better-prepared nonprofit employees.
“I think this nonprofit track at International College is the best thing that can be done, given the fact there are so many nonprofits in Collier County.,” Horvath said. “Nonprofit management can be an overwhelming task. Nonprofits don’t have the resources that for-profit organizations do, so we have to deal with small staff, fundraising and other issues. I only see this as a great plan on International College’s part.”
Of the 16,500 businesses in Collier County, 50 are nonprofit organizations, according to the Economic Development Council of Collier County.
A total of 30 hours is needed to complete the government track or non-profit track within the MPA program. The nonprofit track will include courses such as nonprofit budgeting & finance and nonprofit strategy & policy. All MPA students are required to complete a Public Administration Capstone Project and take a MPA comprehensive exam.
An additional MPA general Management concentration or Environmental Management concentration also will be offered, which requires an additional 9 hours of coursework (or three classes).
Fall registration is ongoing at International College. Classes begin September 9. International College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Degree programs are offered in 13 fields of study in management, business, legal studies, accounting, healthcare, computer information technology and criminal justice. Classes are held at night, on weekends, during the day and online. Call the admissions office at 513-1122 for more information.