Go Global: MPA/MPP Degrees Make a World of Difference
MPA Diversity Plan (September 2012)
Our Service Area and Students
Our primary service area is eastern North Carolina, particularly the northern and central counties of the state. Nonetheless, our aim is to provide educational opportunities that will enable our graduates to be competitive beyond this geographic area. We seek to enable them to be successful in positions in local, state, and federal government positions as well as in the nonprofit sector regardless of our regional geographic boundaries.
Our student body is comprised of roughly equal proportions of in-service students and pre-service students. As with most programs' in-service students these individuals work primarily in eastern North Carolina. Our pre-service students, on the other hand, tend to come from all across the state, with some coming from other states and countries. Thus as one should expect, our graduates are employed heavily in the eastern of North Carolina, but many are also employed well outside this region at all levels of government.
We strive to have a demographically diverse student population which is reasonably reflective of our region of the state which is approximately 60 percent Caucasian, 35 percent African American, and 5 percent Hispanic/Latino. Our overall enrollment since 2007 has been between 36-40 students at any one-time with incoming fall term classes of 12-15 students. A shift in the proportion of males to females has occurred, with approximately 60 percent of our students being women. The proportion of African Americans enrolled in our program has increased over time. In any single term, approximately 15-20 percent of our students are of African American descent. Each year we also have one or two international students enrolled.
Our Professional Values
Openness: In line with previous values, an open government is transparent and accessible by people of diverse experiences and perspectives. It is also committed to a culture of respect for diversity and seeks to be inclusive of the community's diverse people and needs. Decision-making should reflect communal characteristics in such a way that all persons or groups can be assured of their ability to have a voice in managing of public goods.
Inclusiveness and tolerance: Without fair, objective, and permissive attitudes democratic and open government is impossible. Effective public servants are responsible for ensuring that people who are different from those in power have equitable treatment and opportunities to participate. This is a key component of upholding the values and laws espoused in the Constitution and to upholding codes of basic human morality. All people should be treated fairly and equitably, without exception, within a community, groups or organization in the public sector.
While these goals can be stated simply, it is a much more difficult process to implement them as being diverse and inclusive is a dynamic process. It is an ongoing process reflected in concrete benchmarks, attitudes, patterns of interaction, and the professional behavior of our graduates once they leave the program.
As faculty recruitment occurs only sporadically, the faculty role in developing a diverse and inclusive program is more dependent on their continuing actions in their courses, their daily interactions and communications with our students, and their sensitivity in addressing changes occurring within the broader society. This aspect of faculty involvement in diversity is actually more important and critical to the program's success than faculty recruitment. The aim must be to reflect an effective diverse, inclusive working environment for our students.
Another way in which the faculty can help provide our students with an example of this effective diverse, inclusive working environment is through the MPA Advisory Council. The membership of this external body should also be reflective of the diversity of our service area, graduates, and the communities within which our students will work.
Recruitment to the program is largely through word of mouth, web-pages, internal campus efforts, and university sponsored graduate recruitment activities. The program has limited financial resources to be devoted to student recruitment. Our aim is to expand our overall recruitment efforts through increased dissemination of information about our program within North Carolina with particular attention on those institutions with higher minority enrollments.
While student recruitment is a more ongoing process than faculty recruitment, it is still more episodic in nature than the day to day interactions our students have with faculty and with one another. We expect our students to reflect in their behavior toward one another respect for differences of cultural experiences, personal life style choices, past experiences, and personal values. We expect them to demonstrate tolerance, inclusiveness, and an appreciation of the contributions a diverse community brings to public life.
|Dept. of Political Science, Brewster A-124, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858-4353
Phone (252) 328-6189
Fax (252) 328-4134