The MPA ePortfolio is the culminating experience of the MPA Program, and includes a digital collection of work. This project gives students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of key public service principles, concepts and tools. When completed, the ePortfolio provides students with a vehicle to showcase their best work in the MPA program and to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of public administration concepts.
The creation of the ePortfolio is guided by the ePortfolio Roadmap.
MPA students are required to develop an ePortfolio that demonstrates mastery of each of NASPAA’s “Universal Competencies” around which the MPA program is structured.
Students graduating from the Auburn MPA Program will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to lead and manage in public governance
- Demonstrate the ability to participate in and contribute to the public policy process
- Demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions
- Articulate a public service perspective
- Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry
The ePortfolio submission must contain artifacts that demonstrate proficiency in these five areas of core competency. In addition, the ePortfolio may also be used to identify a student's professional goals, and can incorporate artifacts that showcase preparedness for accomplishing those goals. Typically, professional goals will focus on attaining a position of employment in public service. However, an ePortfolio may be helpful in obtaining another internship or entry into an additional program of higher education.
The artifacts used in the ePortfolio will be examples of work selected from completed MPA coursework (core courses, concentration courses and electives) and experiences (internship, research project, service learning and volunteer projects, etc.) to communicate with a professional audience about how this experience relates to the student's goals. Students begin developing their ePortfolios during the first semester in the program. The ePortfolio is then intended to be developed and improved during the two years in the Auburn MPA program – it is iterative, and will involve scaffolding and revision of course assignments. Working with one of the MPA faculty, students finalize their ePortfolio during their last semester in the program.
Auburn MPA Interpretations of NASPAA Universal Competencies (2019)
Demonstrate knowledge, skills and abilities relevant to leading and managing in public governance
- Discern and apply appropriate legal and ethical parameters for public service employment in government agencies and nonprofit organizations and voluntary activities including nonprofit board and other volunteer service
- Discern and apply managerial tools used in public service employment in government agencies and nonprofit organizations and voluntary activities including nonprofit board and other volunteer service
- Distinguish among competing approaches to employee evaluation and motivation in public service activities in government agencies and nonprofit organizations
- Prepare and deliver professional presentations to large and small citizen and workplace audiences
- Prepare and deliver professional reports for workplace and citizen audiences
Demonstrate knowledge, skills and abilities relevant to participate in and contribute to the public policy process
- Identify the stages of the public policy process and characteristics of each
- Distinguish among competing theoretical perspectives and rationales for public action by government and by nonprofit organizations
- Construct a written historical narrative of a policy field
- Develop a problem statement and proposal for policy change across the stages of the policy process
Demonstrate the ability to analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions
- Collect relevant information to understand correctly an important question or problem
- Curate an information set in a manner that is both comprehensive and parsimonious
- Analyze that information using appropriate tools
- Present that analysis in an understandable way to a lay audience
- Using that analysis, identify questions and develop appropriate answers and solutions
To articulate and apply a public service perspective
- To understand the different ethical systems and perspectives that have been applied in public administration and, based on one or more of these theories, to act ethically at all times in performing duties and responsibilities
- To serve the public, not just passively by considering what appears to be the "objective" public interest but actively by engaging citizens to discover their viewpoints and to promote "deliberative democracy
- To follow professional norms in acting effectively and efficiently while working in the public and non-profit sectors
- To determine the major stakeholders affected by policy and organizational decisions and ensure that their viewpoints are actively solicited and considered before action is taken (e.g., representative bureaucracy)
- To understand and act on both normative values (e.g., regime values) and applied ethics for bureaucrats and public administrators
To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry
- Develop an understanding of the needs and values of specific communities in the United States and around the globe
- Develop an understanding of and commitment to the values of representative bureaucracy
- Respect for the views and experience of all members of a public or non-profit organizations
- Experience interacting with diverse individuals and groups