Program Mission

The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) degree at West Chester University is designed to meet employer and student needs by preparing individuals to advance the practice of public affairs and administration at the highest levels.

The Mission of the Department of Public Policy and Administration at West Chester University is to provide high-quality, accessible public service education for a diverse group of emerging and existing public service leaders. Our programs prepare students to manage and lead across boundaries of the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. A community of accomplished scholars and practitioners instructs and mentors students in pursuing the public interest with accountability and transparency, serving professionally with competence, efficiency, and objectivity; acting ethically to uphold the public trust; and demonstrating respect, equality, and fairness in dealings with citizens and fellow public servants. The Department of Public Policy and Administration, with its affiliated Center for Social and Economic Policy Research, provides community access to faculty expertise, applied scholarship, and guidance in the practice of public affairs, administration, and policy.

Public Service values are a distinctive feature of our profession and are at the heart of the public administration curriculum. Values not only inform our attitudes about the ends to which we should aspire, but they also present standards of conduct that inform how we ought to go about achieving those ends.  These values involve action motivated by a concern for democratic, professional, ethical and human values, which are also reflected in the NASPAA Standards and Policy and the WCU Mission Statement.  To learn more about the WCU Department of Public Policy and Administration's values, please read our WCU PPA Social Justice Statement  .


Learning Goals of the DPA Program

DPA Program Goals Student Learning Outcomes

1. Public Service Values

Students will advance public service values and demonstrate the ability to be advocates and leaders.

Students will:

  • Articulate the major paradigms and public service values of the field of public policy and administration. 
  • Evaluate contemporary problems related to public policy and administration advocacy and leadership. 

2. Research

Students will evaluate and design public policy and administration research.

Students will: 

  • Identify and evaluate public policy and administration research. 
  • Formulate an appropriate research design to address a research question. 

3. Critical Thinking, Analysis, & Decision Making

Students will develop skills in critical thinking, analysis, and decision making. 

Students will: 

  • Apply and integrate multiple sources of information as a tool for decision making. 
  • Apply appropriate techniques to identify themes, propose policies, or make administrative recommendations. 

4. Communication

Students will communicate a public service perspective effectively and productively with diverse constituencies. 

Students will: 

  • Communicate a public service perspective effectively, professionally, and ethically. 

5. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Students will exemplify diversity, equity, and inclusion values. 

Students will: 

  • Apply diverse, equitable, & inclusive perspectives to public policy and administration. 

6. Ethics

Students will recognize and uphold ethical principles. 

Students will: 

  • Apply ethical frameworks to public policy and administration. 
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