Are you considering a career in government or the non-profit sector? Learning to think outside the box is the key to success. “Public administrators need to learn to think big – really big – and recognize the incredible complexity of many public issues,” says Larry Geri, faculty member at The evergreen state college Masters program in public administration.
“A problem like homelessness or climate change resists easy solutions… these are ‘messes’ and you don’t solve a problem with a technical solution,” says Geri. “You start with the analysis. Why have our attempts to improve things not been more effective? Then work collaboratively with others to find common ground and take steps forward. It takes patience, emotional intelligence and perseverance as well as political skills. “
Whether you are interested in conservation, human rights, or affordable housing, an MPA program can help you focus on how to advocate with strength, create new solutions, and effect positive change. . Here are some examples of recent projects carried out by Evergreen MPA students.
1. State Parks for All Washingtonians: Students created a strategic data management and social marketing plan for the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. Visitor and non-visitor data provided a framework to answer the question, “How can state parks identify and better serve under-represented and underserved communities in terms of park access?” “
2. Social Media Practices for Nonprofits: Students created a “Best Practices Guide” to distribute to local nonprofits to help them engage with volunteers and promote the service. public.
3. Investing in the Future of Farmland: This project explored the difficult question: “How can non-profit farm land trusts leverage private sector investment tools?” The students analyzed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with different sources of private investment.
4. Juvenile Detention Reform in Washington State: This project explored current and perceived concepts of juvenile detention reform in Washington State. The students reviewed previous research on the topic, conducted an investigation of current detention alternatives in use, and interviewed key professionals involved in juvenile detention in Washington state. The results were then translated into articles on Medium.com.
5. Breaking the Cycle: Women in Poverty in Mason County: This compelling documentary investigated the cycle of poverty for women in Mason County, Washington. The students interviewed both women experiencing poverty and the professionals who work with them. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of local programs and what it would take to break the relentless cycle of poverty for these women and their children.
Evergreen State College in Olympia offers graduate programs in public administration, environmental studies, and education. Visit www.evergreen.edu/graduatestudies