Georgia Southern’s M.P.A. Program Receives Accreditation from NASPAA

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) has granted the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) program at Georgia Southern full accreditation for seven years.

The University’s M.P.A. program joins more than 190 degrees accredited by NASPAA worldwide, and was recognized by the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation for substantial conformity with NASPAA standards. The program is housed in the Institute for Public and Nonprofit Studies and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Trent Davis, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Public and Nonprofit Studies, led the program through the rigorous peer-review process and has served as the director of the institute since 2012.

“It is a mark of quality in terms of the cutting edge training in public and nonprofit management that students can expect to receive,” said Davis. “Successfully accrediting the M.P.A. program required commitment from the program faculty, our students, University administration, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Dean Curtis Ricker, D.A., and the M.P.A. Program advisory board.”

Georgia Southern was one of eight other M.P.A. programs that received accreditation on July 18.

“It [NASPAA accreditation] is also a signal that the program’s faculty are leaders in the field and are actively engaged in public service-based education and research,” Davis said. “The M.P.A. program’s NASPAA accreditation coupled with the department’s status as a member of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC), demonstrates our strong commitment to training the current and next generation of public and nonprofit sector leaders.”

NASPAA is the global standard in public service education. It is the membership association of 325 schools of public policy, public affairs, public administration, and public and nonprofit management. NASPAA is also the recognized global accreditor of master’s degree programs in these fields, having accredited more than 190 programs from its member schools. NASPAA’s twofold mission is to promote excellence in education and training for public service and to promote the ideal of public service.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 118 degree programs serving 20,673 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit


MPA Student Competes in the NASPAA-Batten Global Student Simulation Competition

On February 25 this year, about 400 graduate students from various public administration and public policy programs journeyed to eight locations (Maastricht, New York City, Washington D.C. area, Indianapolis, Bogotá, Tempe, Seattle, and Beijing) to compete in a one-day computer simulated challenge that tests NASPAA-Battents students ability to deal with issues concerning food security.

The NASPAA-Batten Global Student Simulation Competition conducted by NASPAA is organized yearly to deal with what is termed as “wicked issues”. NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) is the global standard in public service education. NASPAA is a membership association of public administration and public policy programs that accredits master degree programs in universities across the world.

This year, Kortnie Maxoutopoulis represented Georgia Southern University’s (GSU) MPA program in this competition. Kortnie recounts that, her experiences participating in the competition were exciting and eye-opening. Kortnie, a second year MPA student recalls how beneficial the competition was, suggesting that students of GSU will be excited if a small-scale university-based competition is held every year to find solutions to “wicked problems” facing the institution.

To enumerate further, the NASPAA-Batten Global Student Simulation Competition groups students randomly into the different regions to formulate ideas and policies to tackle these global issues and this year’s was no different. Kortnie recalls acting as the program director for the first round, brainstorming with other participants and then switching roles throughout the other rounds of mediating. After each round of mediating on global solutions, the region presents its solutions to a panel of judges. Each round represents a four year global growth, informing the progress of your region with respect to the policies implemented over the 4-year period. Every group is accorded a budget to embark on these projects that will combat food insecurity and global hunger.

Kortnie narrates how exhilarating and challenging it was in her first role as program director on the projects. She specifically points out that cutting budgets and deciding what projects to embark on was no joke. “The basic challenge was how to equip these regions to overcome hazards including floods, droughts and fire outbreaks as well as creating an atmosphere of environmental sustainability”, she discloses.

Kortnie believes that she has come off from the competition with the experience of teamwork and she believes her thought processes have shifted towards wicked problems and the processes that can realistically be employed to tackle these problems. Not only did she experience teamwork, problem solving and the decision making tactics, she has also forged networks with professors, competition judges and students alike.

MPA and Certificate Programs Recognized

The Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Management programs were recognized for outstanding assessment reports for the 2015-2016 academic year. The Programs received formal recognition for this achievement at the Academic Assessment Symposium held on February 15th and were two of only 30 programs out of 165 to receive this honor.

Academic Assessment is critical to our accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), the official regional accrediting body for institutions of higher education in the southern states. The process involves the following:

  1. Evaluation of the program’s mission statement;
  2. Evaluation of the program’s learning outcomes for students in the program;
  3. The mapping of learning outcomes to specific courses in the program;
  4. Development of measures and documentation of the relationship between measures and student learning outcomes;
  5. Development of a methodology for collecting data for measurement and maintaining the integrity of the data;
  6. Development of achievement targets for each student learning outcome;
  7. Compiling and presenting the results of the assessment process;
  8. Interpreting the results of the assessment process;
  9. Discussing the impact of past action plans for improvement; and
  10. The development of new action plans to use the findings from the assessment to make improvements to the program.

The programs’ efforts in the assessment process are reviewed by members of the University Academic Assessment Steering Committee each year and are ultimately reviewed by SACS-COC for accreditation purposes. The maintenance of this accreditation is important to our program and our students, and has been successfully maintained since the inception of the program. The assessment process is not only important for accreditation, but is used by faculty to drive continuous improvement to the program.

Recent MPA alum lands city manager job!


The Clintonville City Council approved a contract for Sharon Eveland to be the next city administrator for the city of Clintonville.

The Council approved the contract by an 8-0-1 vote when it met Monday, Feb. 27. Alderman Brad Rokus abstained from the vote, while Alderman Chuck Manske was excused from the meeting.

Eveland’s contract calls for her to be paid an annual salary of $75,000. It also includes a bonus for living within city limits.

The contract states, “During any time period that the employee has established primary residence within the city of Clintonville, she shall receive an annual bonus of $2,000, paid in increments consistent with the regular payroll of the employee.”

The contract takes effect April 10, and Eveland will be on probationary status for a period of one year from the date of the start of employment with the city.

Eveland’s salary will increase by $500 after her six-month anniversary date if she receives an overall positive performance evaluation After that, compensation increases will be based on results of performance evaluations.

Eveland grew up in Richmond Hill, Georgia and recently received a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia Southern University. She also interned with the deputy city manager/interim city administrator for six months for the city of Statesboro in Georgia.

She said her main responsibilities were working with the fire and police departments with recruitment and hiring issues. She also worked on award recognition for the city.

Prior to going back to school, she served in the military for eight years. While in the military, she worked in Naval Intelligence and was an Arabic translator.


Dr. Patsy Kraeger visits Beijing and Seoul


Patsy Kraeger, PhD attended the 2016 ISQOLS (International Society for Quality of Life Studies) Annual Conference (Bridging Quality of Life experiences from East to West in Seoul, Korea in September at Seoul National University.)  She was the lead presenter along with Rhonda Phillips, PhD Dean, Honors College, Purdue University and President of ISQOLS a paper on American State Arts Commissions: Incubators for Civic Engagement and Community Development.  Academics from 53 countries presented at the conference.  Dr. Phillips and Dr. Kraeger are co-authors and co-editors on the upcoming book in Routledge’ Community Planning and Development Series, Critical Concepts in the Built Environment.

Prior to the conference, Dr. Kraeger met with her research collaborator Dr. Xianming Huang on Social Enterprise/Benefit Corporations at the Capitol University of Economics and Business, College for Urban Economics and Public Administration in Beijing.  Dr. Kraeger gave a talk on East-West University Study Differences to the Dean, Assistant Dean, Director, Professors and students as well as other staff and a national government official.  Dr. Kraeger also discussed opportunities for international students to study public administration at Georgia Southern’s Institute for Public and Nonprofit studies.  In January of 2016, Dr. Kraeger presented research on California Benefit Corporations at the CLASS Great Minds Lecture Series.

Dr. Kraeger presented her colleagues at the Capitol University of Economics and Business with a commemorative cup from IPNS.  She also brought Chinese candy back to share with her MPA students!

INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC AND NONPROFIT STUDIES • P.O. Box 8048 • Statesboro, Georgia • (912) 478-1400