Cohort Learning Community
For Master of Public Affairs Degree and Public Affairs Leadership Certificate
The MPA and PAL cohort learning community offers 12 credits of the MPA core courses in an integrated format that combines the best of intensive on-campus and online learning. These 12 credits make up the entire curriculum for the PAL certificate. The program starts with an intensive, introductory week in August, followed by Friday/Saturday gatherings once a month between September and May. This schedule enables students to participate in coursework even if they live far from the Twin Cities and continue full-time employment while enrolled.
Establishing a strong sense of community, students in the cohort learning community complete the 12 credit requirements with the same peer cohort. Because this learning experience is integrated, students form strong relationships with each other and the faculty, participating in personal growth, creative problem solving, and honed application. Poetry, statistics, collage, and policy memo writing are all tools shared with other members of the learning community. Additionally, the cohort enables you to be part of the Humphrey community, even when you're not physically present. Students benefit from networking opportunities with Humphrey-wide faculty, alumni, MPA and PAL peers, and international fellows; full access to support staff in Student Services and Career & Professional Development; access to the School's website, podcasts, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
Deep Connections Online and In-Person
Although face-to-face classroom time is less frequent, students create a close connection with each other during a week in August, and stay connected to others through regular on-line discussions about readings, and project updates. Monthly meetings (all day Friday and Saturday) enable the group to focus intently on policy analysis, leadership development, action learning projects, and quantitative analysis training.
The curriculum focuses on leadership abilities, critical thinking and analytic skills, systems thinking and an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, and the ability to work and lead as part of a team. The cohort program curriculum integrates the learning objectives and content of the core courses in the following courses:
- PA 5051 PA 5051 Public Affairs Leadership (2 credits, fall semester): Leadership concepts, tools, and strategies in a personal, community, and organizational context for mid-career students.
- PA 5053 Policy Analysis in Public Affairs (2 credits, fall semester): Process of public policy analysis, including problem formulation, problem-solving, and communication of findings. Commonly used analytical methods. Use of multimedia mini-cases, including readings, cases, and simulation exercises.
- PA 5055 Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis (2 credits, fall semester): A problem-based learning approach to qualitative and quantitative analysis. Relevance to policy and leadership decision making.
- PA 5052 Public Affairs Leadership in a Diverse World (2 credits, spring semester): Continues 5051. Leadership concepts, tools, and strategies in diverse settings for mid-career students.
- PA 5054 Program Design and Implementation Analysis (2 credits, spring semester): Continues PA 5053: Process of public policy analysis, including problem formulation, problem-solving, and communication of findings. Commonly used analytical methods. Use of multimedia mini-cases, including readings, cases, and simulation exercises.
- PA 5056 Quantitative Research Methods and Analysis (2 credits, spring semester): Continues PA 5055: A problem-based learning approach to qualitative and quantitative analysis. Relevance to policy and leadership decision making.
2019–20 Session Schedule
Wednesday–Saturday, August 21–24, 2019 daily from 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Weekend sessions take place Fridays 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. once per month between September and late April.
- September 20–21
- October 25–26
- November 22–23
- December 7
- January 10–11
- February 7–8
- March 6–7
- April 3–4
- May 1–2