Panetta Institute to Drop Masters in Public Policy Degree, Shift Focus to Public Administration
September 8, 2011
Acknowledging low enrollment and a disconnect with the curriculum of CSU-Monterey Bay, the Panetta Institute for Public Policy is discontinuing its Masters in Public Policy degree and shifting its focus to a Masters in Public Administration program.
Sylvia Panetta, the institute's director and co-founder, says the decision reflects the demographics of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties, where many of the enrolled students seek work upon graduation.
"We're not a large urban area with a lot of public policy offices," Panetta says. "There's a greater interest and more need out there for a public administration program."
The MPP program, conducted in collaboration with CSUMB, has struggled to maintain its minimum enrollment of 24 students since launching in 2003. Dr. Jim Raines, who chairs CSUMB's Health, Human Services and Public Policy department, says that none of the university faculty had MPP degrees themselves, making the program an odd fit for the school. By contrast, "We have a lot of people in the department with an MPA, and they're helping to develop the new curriculum," Raines says.
Other planned changes include offering the MPA program through extended education, allowing for online courses as opposed to the MPP program's strictly land-based program, and lowering the number of credits necessary for graduation from 55 to between 36 and 42. "This makes starting and finishing program more practical for people working a full-time job who want to get this degree on a part-time basis," Raines says.
The current crop of MPP students will finish their program in spring 2013; the plan, according to Raines, is to launch the MPA program that fall to make the transition from one to the other seamless.
"I look forward to the beginning of the MPA program," Panetta says. "Even with a new program, our focus will be pretty much the same: public policy."