Tuesday, January 11 2022

The School of Public Administration (SPA) at the University of New Mexico adds another distinction to its long list of accomplishments. The school was recently re-accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) for a full six-year term.

With leading institutions across the country create colleges dedicated to public affairs and schools, UNM’s affordable, accessible and comprehensive program addresses the growing need for strong public administrators in the southwest.

“We are very proud of the program and the contributions of our alumni to the state and the region,” said Bruce Perlman, director of UNM School of Public Administration. “The UNM SPA continues to be well above its weight, and this re-accreditation affirms that our program is a very competitive option for those seeking a career in the public service. ”

UNM SPA only joins about 200 programs globally with NASPAA approval. Standards and competencies must be met to obtain accreditation and UNM SPA has been assessed in the following areas as objectives of student training:

  1. Lead and manage in public governance;
  2. Participate and contribute to the public policy process;
  3. Analyze, synthesize, think creatively, solve problems and make decisions;
  4. Articulate and apply the perspectives of the public service; and
  5. Communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizens

The standards have been evaluated by the NASPAA Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA). The process combines a self-study of the program, a review by the Committee on Peer Review and Accreditation, and a multi-day campus tour by a site visit team appointed by COPRA. According to NASPAA website, out of the total number of programs eligible to participate in the COPRA peer review, 206 programs in 188 schools (59% of member institutions) were accredited. Although some institutions were asked to improve certain standards, the UNM SPA was re-accredited until 2026 without additional oversight.

“What it really shows is that our faculty and staff are doing an amazing job for our students and doing their best,” Perlman explained.

The UNM School of Public Administration has a national and international reputation and was one of the first programs in the country to achieve accreditation. More than 50 years after its creation, it continues to bring recognition to UNM. Nearly 2,000 people have obtained a master’s degree in public administration (MPA) and – since 2013 – in health administration (MHA) from UNM SPA. Most continue to serve the public in federal, state, local, tribal, and nonprofit agencies in management, policy-making, and other leadership roles in New Mexico and the United States.


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