Public Administration Mid-Semester Re-Orientation Event


During the Spring 2016 Semester, the Public Administration Program hosted a Mid-Semster Re-Orienation Event for its current students.  At this event, recent MPA graduates reflected on “If I knew then, what I know now. . .”  offering tips for navigating graduate school and our program, as well as thinking about life after (or with) the MPA.  The Presenters were:

  • Najeeb Kamil, Staff Development Specialist: Child Welfare Trainer, Alameda County Social Services Agency;
  • Nicole Kelly; CTE Consultant, Peralta Community Colleges;
  • Ellie Tumbuan, Principal, Vaya Consulting,
  • Lindsay Rango White, Member Success Manager, Impact Hub

The Presenters reflected on what they wish they knew in their first semester of the Program.  Below are the highlights:

  • Talk to your classmates, everyone else is working through time management, life management, learning curve and how to write papers again. Even having someone to vent to, check in with, helps so much.
  • Document the PA theories as you learn them right from the very start. Make friends with everyone in 700, start a google spreadsheet, and track the Public Administration theories together. Pool your resources. Start a regular study or working group a couple times a month, drink and eat together, solicit feedback from your classmates. You’re not in this alone.
  • If you wish to build expertise in a certain issue area you have not yet worked in–use the same issue or field to build a body of work throughout your projects and papers for courses along the way, explore various aspects of the issue from different angles. At the end of your 2-3 years in the program, you’ll have legitimately built issue area expertise and can use that to look for new jobs, network, anything.
  • If you are a working student, have conversation with leadership at your company so that they are onboard with education which will enhance your experience (at work and at school).
  • Get to know the professors more, their current research and interests, you never know how you could get involved.

Presenters also provided advice to current SF State MPA students:

  • The program is yours to make the most of. If you want to network, do deeper research or develop a mentorship with someone, GO FOR IT! See the program as more than just night classes and soak everything in that you can during your time with the program! You can mine the value of the program further by getting to know faculty, volunteering, using your course projects to do consulting gigs, taking leadership positions formally or informally. But it is up to you to develop a risk appetite for creating what you want.
  • Make friends with your classmates. You can learn just as much from your peers as you will from faculty. Your classmates are an incredibly diverse, talented, brilliant group of people. USE the differences in their ages, cultures, professional backgrounds and interests to learn more and connect with their organizations. They’re all interested in changing the world in various ways. Build your network actively through them. Be a resource to them and offer your talents to complement theirs. It’s a very small world 🙂
  • Consider working part-time if possible to take advantage of every opportunity even if it’s unpaid (fellowships, internships, etc.)

The Public Administration Program will offer a similar event for the Fall 2016 semester on Monday, October 3, 5 – 6 pm in DTC 677.


Article Authored by SFSU MPA Faculty

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 2.41.50 PMCurrent SF State MPA students and recent alumni are likely familiar with hybrid courses, which combine face-to-face and online instruction; the MPA program first piloted hybrid courses in Spring 2014. Drs. Shea, Joaquin, and Wang conducted a study of their hybrid courses in order to contribute to their own (and the field’s) understanding of hybrid pedagogy. Read their most recent article on the topic; it proposes a conceptual framework that can be used to inform learning and promote student success in hybrid courses. The article is published in a featured symposium on interactive learning in the Journal of Public Affairs Education. You can read it here