Preview Workflow

Viewing: PA 517 : MPA Capstone

Last approved: Sat, 21 Apr 2018 08:00:29 GMT

Last edit: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:08:49 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Change Type
PA (Public Administration)
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
MPA Capstone
MPA Capstone
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Political Science (16PS)
Term Offering
Fall, Spring and Summer
Offered Every Year
Fall 2018
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Course Prefix/NumberSemester/Term OfferedEnrollment
PA 598Spring 201717
PA 598Fall 20176
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Course Attribute(s)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
RaJade Berry-James
Associate Professor
Graduate Faculty

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture1515NoThis will be required course in the MPA curriculum. Students will take the course toward the end of their MPA program (i.e., usually during their last semester but after all other required courses have been taken). This course replaces the comprehensive exam, which has been offered (non credit) in the program. As a required course, there will be a continued demand for the course.
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote

P: PA 510, PA 511, PA 512, PA 513, PA 514, PA 515 and PA 516.
Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16PSMasters in Public AdministrationRequired
Students will demonstrate their achievement of core competencies developed through their MPA course of study. The course will include three key components: (1) Academic Portfolio; (2) Capstone Project; and (3) Reflection Essay. Students will develop a professional academic portfolio in which they identify activities and assignments from their course of study that demonstrate their attainment of the program's expected learning outcomes. Students will complete a hands-on, supervised course project focusing on a major public service problem or issue and that demonstrates practical application of core competencies. Students will prepare a reflection essay of what they learned in the MPA program during their preparation for a public service career.

The MPA Capstone is an end of program assessment that graduate students take in the last semester of the master's degree program. Students who complete the MPA Capstone do so in lieu of sitting for our traditional comprehensive exams.


Is this a GEP Course?
GEP Categories

Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:


Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.






US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.








Requisites and Scheduling
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.

b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?

List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.

List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)

Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
Title and author of any required text or publications.

Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.

List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.

Dr. RaJade Berry-James developed the MPA Capstone course and has been teaching it as a Special Topics course (PA 598) and as part of her regular course load. This MPA Capstone is a new course that will replace comprehensive exams. We note that our accrediting body, NASPAA, recently awarded Dr. Berry-James the Social Justice Curricular Award for the MPA Capstone course.

No additional resources are required by offering the MPA Capstone course. The course will also collect information that will be used to help the program evaluate student learning outcomes.

Each student will demonstrate a theoretical and practical understanding of critical issues in the field of public affairs and administration. Specifically, students will demonstrate foundational knowledge in public administration theory and classic literature as well as conduct significant research on a critical issue as it relates to the management of publicly-supported programs and the provision of public goods and services. We will examine how public policies and administrative practices can improve public outcomes.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students must be able to demonstrate their ability to:

  • Lead and manage in the public governance;

  • Participate in and contribute to the policy process;

  • Analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions;

  • Articulate and apply a public service perspective; and

  • Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry.

Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Participation20%Class preparation, attendance, participation and discussion, including online. See syllabus.
Other20%The Academic Portfolio is a collection of documents that illustrate what you’ve done while in the MPA program. See syllabus.
Project40%Capstone Project Report. See syllabus.
Essay20%The Reflection Essay allows the MPA student to reflect on his/her graduate education and related experiences while in the MPA program at NC State. See syllabus.
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
Introduction3hrsReview Syllabus
Discuss Assessment of Capstone Projects, using Rubric
Select Critical Issues
Leadership on the Line3hrsRead Part One:
Chapters 1 & 2
Discuss Academic Portfolio
Group Meet3hrs1st Group Draft
“Analyze the Problem”
Leadership on the Line Discuss Capstone Projects3hrsRead Part Two:
The Response, Chapters 3 & 4
Academic Portfolio DUE
Leadership on the Line3hrsRead Part Two:
The Response, Chapters 5 & 6
Group Meet3hrsMandatory
Capstone Project
2nd Group Draft
“Generate Strategies”
Leadership on the Line3hrsRead Part Two/Three:
The Response, Chapters 7 & 8 Discussion
Group Meet3hrsMandatory
Capstone Project
3rd Group Draft
Make a Decision
Leadership on the Line Discuss the Body and Soul3hrsDiscussion
Group Meet3hrsMandatory
Capstone Project
4th Group Draft
Implementation Plan
Leadership on the Line3hrsRead Part Three:
Body & Soul, Chapter 11
Group Meet3hrsMandatory Capstone Project
5th Group Draft
Outcome & Evaluation

Reflective Practice3hrsCritical Reflection
Practical Application and Personal Benefits
Discuss Reflective Practice
Office Hours Group Meet3hrsEach group meets with professor by appointment Wrap Up
Reflective Practice DUE
Final Period3hrsCapstone Presentations
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Final Capstone DUE
mlnosbis 3/27/2018:
1) Effective date should be after Spring 2018.
2) Component type should not be problem session if you want this to be 3 credits. I suggest using lecture, that is what is used for other similar courses--
3) The justification mentions that this will be required for the MPA curriculum. Please send a memo to update the curriculum to the Graduate School if you are making changes to the curriculum, so we may have the latest on file. This note does not affect the course action.
4) Student learning outcomes need to be strengthened. See Learning Outcomes Guidelines attached under Additional Documentation. I suggest removing "Ability to..." from each and beginning with the action verb.

cohen (3/27/2018):
First of all, my congratulations go to Dr. Berry-James on having received the Social Justice Curricular Award. That's great news! Also, I love the section on diversity in the syllabus. Thank you for including it. My only other observation is that there are a few typos in the syllabus (and one in CIM) that need to be corrected. (For example, there is a preposition missing in the last line of the catalog description in CIM and in the syllabus.)

ABGS Reviewer Comments 4/9/2018:
- No concerns.
bmcdona (Fri, 30 Mar 2018 14:26:25 GMT): Response to MLNOSBIS: 1) The effective date has been adjusted to the Fall of 2018. 2) The component type has been updated to lecture. 3) The memo indicating the change to the MPA curriculum was submitted in the fall 2017 semester to the graduate school. 4) The student learning outcomes for the course are required for our accreditation. I have moved to the "ability to" to the start to improve readability. Response to COHEN: We have copy edited the syllabus and updated the information in the system.
Key: 20606