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Mission and Goals

The Doctor of Public Administration is designed to develop scholarly practitioners as leaders committed to improving the quality of life and environmental sustainability of the Southern California region. Students learn to consciously integrate and apply current theoretical, moral, and institutional perspectives that contribute to the disciplined analysis and professional resolution of administrative problems. Students take coursework in clusters offered in a weekend or virtual format and in intensive seminars held on the central campus. They take a prescribed sequence of courses that are instructed and coordinated by a faculty team made up of both full-time department faculty members and practitioner adjunct faculty members.

The mission of the Doctorate of Public Administration program is to develop scholarly practitioners as leaders committed to public service and improving the quality of life and sustainability of the Southern California region.

The University of La Verne’s DPA program recruits experienced practitioners who seek innovative ways for public institutions of all types to work together with government to address public problems. They learn to integrate theoretical knowledge, research and the resources of their institutions in analyzing and developing collaborative administrative strategies to address problems facing their organizations, institutions and communities. While emphasizing this systems perspective of integrated learning across institutional and theoretical domains, the program also prepares scholarly practitioners to apply principles of social science research in a rigorous investigation of applied research problems facing their institutions and the field of public administration.

Program Objectives

Objective 1 Know current theories of public administration and regularly apply these theories in dealing with administrative problems.
Objective 2 Integrate concepts, logics and research across the domains of public administrative theory and creatively apply them to problems at the organization, institution and community levels of analysis.
Objective 3 Possess an institutional perspective, know its boundaries and history, and understand how the issues facing the institution generalize across the organizations that make up the institution.
Objective 4 Understand how social and environmental problems facing the community are systemic in nature and have the ability to integrate and generalize across institutions in seeking more creative solutions to regional problems.
Objective 5 Apply skill in networking, negotiating and collaborative problem-solving processes in seeking solutions to issues facing their organizations, institutions and communities.
Objective 6 Stay abreast of new theory and research findings in their field and critically evaluate and apply them in seeking more creative solutions to public concerns.
Objective 7 Although generalists, demonstrate expertise in the application of theory and rigorous research methods to the design of a systematic study of an applied research problem facing their institution.
Objective 8 Contribute to scholarly discourse in their field through publication, papers, consulting, professional presentations, and leadership roles in professional associations.
Objective 9  When approaching an organizational, institutional or community situation needing attention, ask three kinds of questions. These are:

  1. Questions that compare the situation against state of the art practice;
  2. Questions that challenge current theory and state of the art practice; and
  3. Questions that illuminate value and ethical dilemmas.