Public Administration, Health Care Administration Option, M.P.A.
The Department of Public Affairs and Administration at Cal State East Bay offers a program of coursework leading to a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. The department also offers an M.S. in Health Care Administration (see the Programs of Study section of this catalog). The following pages only describe the MPA degree program.
Public Administration is a rich and challenging multi-disciplinary field drawing from sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, economics, and urban and organizational studies. The master’s degree program provides students with a grounding in major philosophical and social science thinking about the nature of organizations; it helps students to build the intellectual and practical tools they will need to become effective organizational leaders in the public and non-profit sectors. The MPA program is designed to increase the personal and professional effectiveness of people working in public, voluntary, and private organizations. The purpose of the program is to prepare individuals for leadership positions in various kinds of organizations with a sense of commitment to social purpose, the public interest, and effective public problem-solving.
The program proceeds on several assumptions: (1) many pressing problems of society must be dealt with through public agencies, and these agencies must be staffed by well-prepared public administrators; (2) public agencies should be more oriented toward the public interest and be more client-centered than is generally the case at present; (3) public agencies should be humanistically oriented, encouraging personal contribution, growth, and improvements in the quality of working life; (4) public agencies should nurture and support a critical awareness on the part of public administrators, leading to an ability to challenge and change administrative practice; and (5) public administrators need to find creative and innovative solutions to the problems of providing quality public services in times of resource scarcity.
The department strives to expand the meaning of public administration to include the theory and practice of administration in non-profit and community organizations. Overall, emphasis is placed upon developing student sensitivities to a wide variety of human, social, and organizational realities in order to assist public organizations in formulating and obtaining their goals and striving toward responsible social change. In sum, the faculty believes the challenge of the changing post-industrial era is best met by humanizing governments, by strengthening their capacities for intelligent policy analysis and effective action on behalf of the public interest, and by encouraging in public administrators a welcoming attitude toward learning, creativity, and innovation.