Mission Statement

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 .

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NASPAA - Accredited Top Picks MPA Programs 2019-2020


Spotlight On:

  • Kellen Kane

    Current MPA student, Kellen Kane

    has received a highly competitive 2017 Equity & Inclusion Fellowship for the APPAM Conference. Kellen will travel to Chicago in November with prestigious company to celebrate his award.

    In an effort to encourage participation by underrepresented students in APPAM and its activities, the Policy Council and APPAM’s Diversity Committee created the ‘APPAM Equity and Inclusion Fellowship’ in April of 2016. The fellowship supports the travel and participation of the winning students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds at the 2017 APPAM Fall Research Conference, November 2 - 4, in Chicago. The fellows will receive a complimentary registration, travel and lodging for the conference, as well as a stipend to cover some expenses at the conference.

    In addition, the fellows will be celebrated at the Equity & Inclusion Fellowship Lunch and encouraged to take part in our Mentor Matching program, designed to connect APPAM student members with professionals to get advice on professional development issues, to discuss job search strategies, research projects and ideas, and answer any questions students may have as they approach graduation.

  • Amanda Olejarski Headshot

    Faculty member Dr. Amanda Olejarski has co-authored Chapter 13, Public Administrative Communication

    has received a highly competitive 2017 Equity & Inclusion Fellowship for the APPAM Conference. Kellen will travel to Chicago in November with prestigious company to celebrate his award.

    What do the leading scholars in the field of public administration have to say about the most important areas in the field? Foundations of Public Administration answers this question by providing academics and students with a rich supply of knowledge on the scope, methods, and theoretical foundations of the field. The result is a definitive, comprehensive framework for the study of public administration that no student or scholar should be without.

    Praise for Foundations of Public Administration:

    “An assemblage of authoritative discussions of major topics in public administration, by an impressive cast of accomplished experts. Scholars and students who want to be well-informed about the field will need to read this book.” (Hal G. Rainey, Alumni Foundation Distinguished Professor, School of Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia)

    “For those of us in the business of fostering the next generation of PA scholars and teachers, this volume brings together insightful material by an outstanding group of authors who know and appreciate what it means to understand and advance the ‘study’ of public administration. It is a much needed and welcome addition to the field. )Melvin J. Dubnick, Professor of Political Science, University of New Hampshire)

    “This book provides an excellent comprehensive overview of the foundations of U.S. Public Administration, written by many of the top experts in the field. Scholars, graduate students, undergraduates, and practitioners alike will benefit from the up-to-date analyses as well as the insightful research questions." (Rosemary O'Leary, Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Kansas)

  • Anne Okelo in Kenya

    Anne Okelo, a 2010 graduate of the Master of Public Administration Program

    has received a highly competitive 2017 Equity & Inclusion Fellowship for the APPAM Conference. Kellen will travel to Chicago in November with prestigious company to celebrate his award.

    secured funding in excess of $35,000.00 to construct a well that now provides her village of Angiro, Kenya access to fresh water. A documentary of Anne's story titled, "Well of Dreams". For more information go to the Well of Dreams website.

  • Nailah Okolosi

    Nailah Okolosi, current student of the Master of Public Administration Program

    is doing her internship with the City of Chester. She describes her experience as rewarding, being in a position that has afforded her various opportunities in public service. Nailah has put together a workshop to help the residents of Chester be better prepared for a job fair, addressing an applicant's attitude and attire as well as their resume. She has also worked in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Chester, helping student participants in a speech contest demonstrate the Rotary 4-Way Test: "1) is it the truth, 2) is it fair to all concerned, 3) will it build goodwill and better friends and 4) is it beneficial to all concerned?" The winner went on to win the regional competition that was hosted at Cheyney University. Additionally Nailah is working with the public library of the city to put together a symposium to teach computer literacy, as many residents who go to the library don't know how to open up a Word Document, write a resume, or perform a basic internet search.

  • Justin Nalley

    Justin R. Nalley is a recent graduate of the West Chester University Public Administration program.

    His interests lie in American policy, education policy development, evaluation, and analysis. As a student, Justin researched federal influence in education, municipal budgeting processes, and welfare reform legislation. He completed an internship at the University of Pennsylvania's Think Tank for Civil Society program, collecting and analyzing data on public policy research organizations within the U.S. Upon graduating in 2014, Justin accepted a position as a Research Analyst, conducting data analysis and evaluation at Children's Literacy Initiative, a nonprofit organization focused on teacher development to increase student literacy achievement in urban districts. Justin is a member of the WCU chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha honor society, serving on the mentor committee for incoming students.

  • Headshot of Lauren Richard

    Lauren Richard is a 2013 MPA graduate and former WCU Graduate Student Association (GSA) President.

    As a student, Lauren pursued her passion for Human Resource Management with a particular interest in Organizational Development. In her role as the GSA President, she launched a national network and instituted new policies and programming to better serve the needs of the graduate student population. After graduation, she moved back to her hometown of New Orleans and landed a position as a Project Coordinator in the Office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu. In this capacity, Lauren manages a portfolio of eight initiatives designed to facilitate the advancement of the city's strategic framework and mayoral priorities.

  • Tom Konen

    Tom Konen – Class of 2014:

    Enrolled full-time in the MPA program, Tom was a member of the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society and was serving as the Director of Education upon graduation. From the Fall of 2013 until commencement, he was granted fellowship while working as a Graduate Research Assistant for West Chester University's Department of Economics and Finance. This role mainly focused on data mining and research pertaining to mutual funds, which later proved relevant to future job opportunities. In 2014, Tom interned at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and was hired full-time before graduating. He now serves the House Republican Caucus as the Director of Legislation for State Representative Martina White of Northeast Philadelphia. Tom's primary focus is on public policy, legislative initiatives and community and economic development.

  • Headshot of Andrew Best

    Andrew R. Best Jr. is a 2011 Graduate of the Master of Public Administration Program

    currently working for The City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services, Homeless Services Unit in the role of Clinical Specialist (Program Analyst). In this role he provides administrative and clinical oversight to programs that provide services to those who are facing the challenges of chronic homelessness, substance abuse and behavioral health needs. An integral part of this role is monitoring and ensuring the continuity of care for all program participants. In addition to these duties he assists with the DBHIDS Philadelphia Safe Haven Transformation. This project includes analyzing the DHBIDS Practice Guidelines and the policies set forth by The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to ensure successful program outcomes.

  • Headshot of Nicole Whitaker

    Nicole Whitaker, MPA, graduated from West Chester University with a Master's of Public Administration

    with a concentration in Health Care Management. While at WCU, Nicole was a graduate research assistant for four semesters. After graduating, she accepted a staff position with The University of Pittsburgh in the Center for Public Health Practice as a project coordinator with WalkWorks. WalkWorks is a program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to increase physical activity in rural areas through the creation of community-based walking groups. The project works to influence policy areas that directly affect the health of communities including transportation, public health, education and municipal planning. Nicole hopes to pursue her PhD in public administration and continue her research in health literacy.

  • Headshot of Charity Alinda

    Charity Alinda, MPA-2015:

    A Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society member, Charity completed his BA in Public Administration at Uganda Christian University prior to his time at West Chester University (WCU). He began his work in the United States through an international Fellowship with UrbanPromise, an international organization dedicated to serving children and teens in under-resourced communities. After completing a Master of Public Administration at West Chester University in May 2015, Charity joined the Center for International Programs at WCU as an intern before becoming a full-time staff member. In his role, Charity works closely with international students and supports programs that enhance the comprehensive internationalization of the University. He is also a part of the ONE Campaign—an international campaigning and advocacy organization working to end extreme global poverty by year 2030. Charity was part of the ONE Campaign volunteer team that visited Capitol Hill to lobby for the passage of Electrify Africa Act--a law that will help bring electricity to over 50 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time. The legislation passed the House and was subsequently signed into law by President Obama in February 2016. Charity is currently a WCU employee and student of the DPA program.

  • Nana Owusu

    Nana Owusu - MPA Student

    has received a prestigious internship with the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG) is an intensive and highly selective program, and Nana has been awarded a position with the Marine Transportation System in Washington, DC. The department is an Interagency Cabinet Committee chaired by the Secretary of Transportation and housed in the Maritime Administration DOT headquarters. Congratulations Nana!

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