The UCF School of Public Administration is committed to providing quality education to current and future public service professionals so they, in turn, can change our communities for the better locally and globally. We strive to be a premier resource and model for advancing excellence in professional education, public service and leadership. We consistently monitor the needs of the community to determine how to update or develop programs and courses to continue to advance the education of current and future public service leaders. Thus, we developed undergraduate majors in nonprofit management and emergency management and graduate programs in public policy and emergency and crisis management.
Our school opened its doors in 1975 and since then, we have educated more than 5,000 students in the areas of public administration and policy, nonprofit management, urban and regional planning, research administration and emergency management. Our strong alumni network serves communities in Central Florida and beyond in various roles including city and county managers, planners, nonprofit executives, emergency managers and research coordinators. As one of the first units to move to UCF Downtown in fall 2019, we know that interaction with our alumni network and community partners will only continue to grow in the coming years, providing more learning and engagement opportunities for our students.
During the past 40-plus years, we have expanded the number of academic programs we offer from two to over 20. Our faculty has more than doubled in size, and we now boast the largest public administration faculty in the state of Florida. Two of our graduate degrees, the Master of Public Administration and the Master of Nonprofit Management, are ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Our MPA has been NASPAA accredited for the past 20 years. Our Master of Nonprofit Management and Master of Science in Urban & Regional Planning are accredited by NASPAA and the Planning Accreditation Board, respectively.
A decade ago, the school expanded its reach to the community through the establishment of the Center for Public and Nonprofit Management. The CPNM serves as the research arm of the school and continues to serve the public sector and local nonprofit community by hosting capacity building seminars for public service professionals, which it has done since its inception. It also hosts the annual Public Administration Research Conference, which is now in its thirteenth year.
While all the aforementioned numbers are impressive, the best evidence of the quality of our work lies in our students and alumni. While we are very proud of the national recognition we have gained over the past four decades, we are even prouder of the spirit of collegiality and camaraderie that touches every person who connects with the school.
As the director, I invite you to join us – as a student, a faculty member or a community partner. Together, we can change not only the community, but the world, for the better.