Serving its missions of competence, diversity, knowledge, and service, the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) applies a performance management approach to efficient, effective, equitable, and accountable public policy implementation. SPAA carries out these missions first and foremost by offering academic education programs. At the graduate level, Ph.D., Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.), and Executive Master of Public Administration (E.M.P.A.) programs prepare those who seek to educate, lead, or manage in the over 87,000 governmental units at U.S. federal, state, and local levels and the hundreds of thousands of philanthropy, advocacy, and contract organizations engaged in implementing public policies. SPAA also provides qualified advanced undergraduate students with opportunities to add the public administration careers option to their undergraduate major by beginning the M.P.A. before receiving their undergraduate degrees. SPAA' s proposed public service major at the undergraduate level will provide public service educational offerings that span the higher education and lifelong learning spectrums.
SPAA also serves its mission by providing ongoing education to practitioners and citizen activists through noncredit, online certificates and for-credit certificates that may be applied to the M.P.A. or E.M.P.A. degrees. In addition, SPAA arranges faculty-monitored student internships and research-based analyses for local government agencies to provide students with applied education and agencies with useful information for achieving performance improvements. A robust national research center (the National Center for Public Performance [NCPP]) provides a broader scope for initiatives supporting performance measurement, management, and improvement for governments; members of NCPP's network listserv learn tips and sources for a wide variety of performance measurement needs.
Internationally renowned SPAA faculty members are engaged in NCPP initiatives in a variety of research fields related to government performance effectiveness, and also directly support local, state, and regional governments through research, participation in projects, lectures, monitoring interns, and presentations. SPAA maintains close relationships with New Jersey's local and state government agencies, and these relationships provide students with learning opportunities, graduates with career opportunities, and career mobility for those seeking career change. We are especially proud of our association with the city of Newark because it provides our students with access to an urban laboratory where the elected administration seeks performance improvement in every facet of policy implementation from government effectiveness and transparency to smart growth and infrastructure development amid challenges of achieving safety for citizens and visitors and viability for areas of economic stagnation.
SPAA's mission success is attested to by thousands of graduates now serving in positions of leadership in the public and nonprofit sectors, the expanding numbers of inquirers and participants in our programs, and by the respect of our peers, who elevate us to top rankings in U.S News & World Report's evaluation of public policy and public administration schools nationwide. In its most recent report, U.S. News ranks Rutgers-Newark the Most Diverse National University and 12th in Campus/Faculty Research among small doctoral-granting institutions. SPAA ranks among the top 20 in a number of categories: 9th in Information and Technology, 10th in Public Management and Administration, 11th in Public Finance and Budgeting, 14th in City Management and Urban Policy, and 18th in Nonprofit Management.