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MPA Degree Once Again Earns International Accreditation

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October 17, 2019— Northern Kentucky University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) will celebrate its 30-year anniversary by receiving reaccreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).

NASPAA is a membership association of over 300 institutions that award degrees in public administration, public policy, public affairs, nonprofit and related fields. It serves as the standard in public-service graduate education programs. This is the third time that NKU’s MPA program has successfully completed the multiyear accreditation process.

“We believe that our faculty, staff, students and alumni are making great contributions to their respective fields and communities. That said, it’s very fulfilling to be affirmed, once again, by our peers from other institutions and our international accrediting body,” said Dr. Julie Olberding, MPA director and associate professor. “Our program is in an excellent place – physically, academically and professionally – to prepare the next generation of public service managers and leaders.”

Established in 1989, NKU’s MPA program offers traditional night classes during the week as well as online and hybrid classes to meet the needs of its students. MPA student Matt McCarty appreciates the diverse offerings, particularly since he lives in Lexington.

“I wanted a graduate program with opportunities to learn in a classroom while also providing the flexibility of taking some classes online,” said McCarty. “NKU's MPA program is perfect for a student returning to the classroom while balancing a career.”

Graduates of NKU’s MPA program lead and manage in government agencies at the local, state and national levels, as well as nonprofit organizations including hospitals, universities, human service agencies and arts organizations.

“The staff and professors at NKU’s MPA program were always present, welcoming and encouraging.  They listened to me about what I needed from the program and made every effort to help me get the most from my education," said Paula Brehm-Heeger, MPA Alumni. "They also fostered a strong sense of community among the very diverse student body of the MPA program which in turn helped set a tone of collaboration and peer-learning which, as an older returning student, was essential for my success in the program."

As part of the accreditation process, the MPA program collected and analyzed a large amount of data, including job placement of their graduates from 2012 to 2017. Nearly 35 percent work in local government, 11 percent in state government, 4 percent in federal government (including the military), 30 percent in the nonprofit sector and 19 percent in the private sector.

For more information, please contact Dr. Julie Olberding or visit its website.

About NKU: Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit