christina medina mpaChristina Medina has been director of the masters of public administration program at NMSU since 2011. The program recently received re-accreditation. Although only one in four MPAs are accredited in the U.S., NMSU has enjoyed the distinction for more than 30 years. (NMSU Photo by Amanda Adame)Future leaders, policy-makers, non-profit organizations are just a small sample of the careers built on a master’s degree in public administration.

New Mexico State University’s program in the Department of Government recently received re-accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). It’s a distinction attained by only one in four programs in the country and one NMSU’s MPA program has enjoyed for more than 30 years.

NASPAA is a nonprofit membership association with over 300 institutional member schools around the world that accredits degrees in public administration, public policy, public affairs as well as nonprofit and related fields. NASPAA is recognized as the global accreditor of master's degree programs in these fields.

“I am so excited that students in this part of the state have an opportunity to study public administration and have the caliber of education that we provide in this program,” said Christina Medina, an associate professor and director of the masters of public administration program in NMSU’s College of Arts and Sciences since 2011. “Our students have complete access to our faculty we know all of our students. It is a hands-on program, which is really amazing.”

The criteria for NASPAA accreditation are based on managing the program strategically, faculty performance, serving students, student learning, matching resources with the mission and matching communications with the mission.

“We are held accountable through this process,” Medina said. “We are required to publish our graduation rates online, provide information about the program to our students and be in constant communication. Since we have been accredited for more than 30 years preserving this accreditation is so important for our students.”

Medina believes NMSU’s MPA has a broad curriculum with something for everyone, which wouldn’t be possible without engaged faculty involvement with the program’s graduate students.

“I just love that students in southern New Mexico can major in public administration in a high quality program here at NMSU. They don’t have to drive three hours to go somewhere else. We have students that commute from El Paso, Deming and Silver City. I truly believe we are serving southern New Mexico in a way that wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have our program.”

NASPAA currently accredits 317 programs with more than 25 countries represented. For more information about NASPAA and the accreditation criteria used to evaluate programs please visit www.naspaa.org.

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