For today's busy professional balancing a fulltime job along with family and other commitments, continuing education can sometimes be unattainable. The University of South Florida (USF) now offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) Degree completely online, as a flexible option for those wanting to enhance their credentials.
Some students travel up to 125 miles round trip to complete coursework in the traditional program on the Tampa campus. The new online program provides savings in the form of transportation costs as well as flexibility. The 36-credit hour program is also shorter than the on-campus equivalent.
"It provides another opportunity for advancing yourself, your career and your knowledge on a flexed schedule," says John Daly, director of USF’s School of Public Affairs
Applications are still being accepted for the first cohort of 25 to 30 students, to begin in August.
The degree is geared toward mid-career employees working in public service, but can also be applicable to those in the private sector.
USF currently offers 26 fully online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and was recently ranked 25th by the National Center for Education Statistics in the 2013 “best overall” list of online programs.
USF is also collaborating with Pinellas County
government to offer a cohort of its Graduate Certificate in Public Management to government employees and the general public at the Pinellas County Government Training Center in Clearwater. The first cohort for the 18-credit hour certificate program began this month with 17 students.
The flexibility and convenience of programs such as these make higher education more attainable, a goal of the Graduate Tampa Bay
(GTB) initiative. GTB aims to increase the number of Tampa Bay residents with college degrees, which would in turn enhance the economic vitality of the region as a whole.
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: John Daly, USF School of Public Affairs