MPA Capstone Seminar

The Capstone seminar, PPA 600 Capstone Seminar in Public Administration, is designed to be the culminating experience of students seeking and earning a Master of Public Administration at West Chester University.

The purpose of the Capstone is to give students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to:

  • Define a public sector issue/problem;
  • Analyze, synthesize, think critically, and solve the problem defined; and,
  • Articulate and apply a public service perspective to the problem.

The Capstone is typically taken at the end of a student’s MPA studies. In most cases, students must not complete the Capstone course until they have completed each of the core courses and any required concentration courses. Students may register for one core course and the Capstone Seminar concurrently.

The Capstone is grounded in four interrelated pedagogical approaches:

  1. It integrates the MPA curriculum into one pedagogical experience;
  2. It increases students’ professional competency by requiring them to independently propose, design and execute a culminating project within the context of the learning goals of the MPA program;
  3. It enhances methodological competence; and,
  4. It hones students’ ability to both synthesize and reflect on the knowledge and theories of public administration.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to synthesize, integrate, and apply the knowledge you acquired from your core and concentration required courses.  This occur through a series of applied analyses related to the NASPAA required universal core competencies and one final skills self-assessment.

At the end of the Capstone experience, students should be able to:

  • Synthesize, integrate and apply public administration theories and concepts to cases that have taken place in the public sector,
  • Demonstrate sufficient professional competence in working independently to propose, design and execute a capstone project, and
  • Apply concepts, especially public service values, and knowledge learned in the MPA program to a capstone project.
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