The School of Public Affairs and Administration doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) program in public administration consists of the knowledge foundations of the field of public administration and the research skills needed to make original, scholarly contributions to theory and new knowledge in the field.
Faculty evaluation of the curriculum takes place throughout the academic year in both formal and informal meetings and discussions sometimes generating formal proposals and sometimes leading to informal adjustments. Ongoing measures of curriculum and program performance are: qualifications of faculty who teach in the program as measured by scholarly, professional, and service contributions; curriculum proposals and changes in the context of program and student goals; faculty teaching, assignments, and feedback to students as measured by teaching evaluations and other feedback from Ph.D. students; evaluation of students' understanding of knowledge foundations and emerging research in the field as measured by grades and faculty feedback; timely student completion of curriculum components (such as coursework and exams); feedback from professional colleagues about students based on conference presentations and professional interactions; successful employment in the academy where that is the graduate's goal and effective participation in selected areas of the academy (papers, publications, and professional associations).
Learning Goal 1: The development and attainment of research, scholarship, and teaching skills in the field of public administration
Assessment of student achievement, Goal 1:
Grades in graduate courses.
Successful completion of the general comprehensive examination upon completion of all core courses; successful completion of a specialization examination upon completion of elective courses; successful completion and defense of dissertation proposal.
Annual review of students by the Ph.D. program committee.
Successful teaching reviews for those students engaged in teaching and pedagogy.
Attainment of employment in positions requiring the expertise obtained with the degree, including tenure-track positions in academia.
Role of the program in helping students to achieve Goal 1:
Close advising by Ph.D. director and other faculty mentors to ensure that students are being prepared in a coherent and academically rigorous fashion.
Effective monitoring of student progress at every stage.
Mentoring of students who receive low reviews during the annual review of Ph.D. students.
Assisting students with information and support, including funding, as they prepare to make paper presentations at research conferences in public administration and related fields.
Encouraging students to join professional associations, including funding to join leading associations in the field.
Evaluations of teaching effectiveness of instructors.
If effectiveness is below expectations, working with instructors to improve effectiveness.
Review of the curriculum by the Ph.D. program committee to ensure that course offerings are sufficient and current in content.
Providing guidance on job market preparation.
Learning Goal 2: Conducting and producing original research
Assessment of student achievement, Goal 2:
Attendance and presentations (posters or talks) of original research at regional, national, and international conferences during the graduate career.
Attainment of internal and external grants/fellowships for research.
Attainment of awards for research.
Submission and acceptance of peer-reviewed articles.
Completion and defense of Ph.D. proposal.
Role of program in helping students achieve Goal 2:
Introduce students to research possibilities during orientation and in the first year of the program.
Organize a biweekly research colloquium where students can learn from the work of experienced scholars, including Ph.D. faculty as well as visiting scholars, and to provide students with a forum for presenting and discussing their own research.
Assist students in preparing paper presentations for regional, national, and international conferences. Provide funding for students to attend conferences.
Encourage students to turn their specialization exam essays into publishable papers, in part by providing detailed reviews and requiring revisions as part of the examination process.
Track publications and presentations, and nominate eligible student candidates for awards.
Nominate eligible dissertations for "Best Dissertation Award" in the field.
Advise students on avenues and opportunities for publishing the dissertation, including articles and books.
Encourage opportunities to write and submit grants for external funding.
Learning Goal 3: Professional career preparation
Assessment of graduate student achievement, Goal 3:
Student-teaching opportunities and evaluations.
Preparation of updated curriculum vita.
Advisement on relevant places to submit job applications.
Track number of publications, presentations, and outreach activities.
Placement of students upon completion of degree.
Role of graduate program in helping students to achieve Goal 3:
Provide students with an academic culture that fosters professionalism by treating students as junior colleagues.
Provide students with access to teaching experiences and mentoring.
Provide networking opportunities by providing access to seminar speakers, visiting scholars, and professional organizations.
Keep students informed of academic and other job opportunities available to them.
Keep students informed of professional development opportunities as they become available through the university and from professional associations.