|UNC to offer new online MPA program designed for working professionals|
|Monday, March 26, 2012|
The School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will offer its master of public administration program in a new online format. It is designed for working professionals and others seeking the accessibility and flexibility of an online program from a top-tier university.
“The MPA program at UNC-Chapel Hill attracts applicants with a desire to serve and a potential for leadership,” said William C. Rivenbark, MPA program director. “Graduates of our program attain leadership positions in every level of government and in organizations that support the public interest. We typically admit about 30 high-performing students per year into the on-campus program, but this online option will enable us to extend the reach of our program and provide many more highly qualified students with the opportunity to earn an MPA from a top-ranked university.”
The online program, known as MPA@UNC, will blend the flexibility of an online program with the rigor and quality of the on-campus program:
Courses integrate both self-paced content and live sessions held at pre-arranged times that accommodate students in multiple time zones. In live sessions, the state-of-the-art learning management technology —which includes live streaming video — will allow faculty members and students to see and hear each other as they discuss course topics, meet in student study groups or hold face-to-face meetings during office hours. The self-paced content provides high-quality, faculty-designed coursework and an interactive social technology platform that allows students to chat, study and join communities with fellow classmates and professors 24/7.
“Governments and nonprofits need strategic thinkers at every level and public servants who can lead us through current and future challenges,” said Mike Smith, dean of the School of Government. “With the addition of this online MPA option, qualified students will be able to choose a program that fits their life needs and their learning preferences, and we will expand our positive impact on communities across the country.”
The school is developing MPA@UNC with 2tor Inc. 2tor partners with leading higher education institutions to deliver rigorous, selective degree programs online by providing the technology platform, instructional design, marketing and infrastructure support. Kenan-Flagler Business School partnered with 2tor to offer an online format for its master of business administration program, launched in 2011. Fast Company recently named 2tor, which has its headquarters in Landover, Md., as among the world’s 10 most innovative companies in education.
“Technology is changing industries and many facets of our daily routines, including how we learn,” said Chip Paucek, cofounder and chief executive officer of 2tor Inc. “In the UNC School of Government, we’ve found a forward-thinking team eager to innovate and push the boundaries of graduate education. We are impressed by the faculty’s leadership in local and state governments, and thrilled to partner with a school widely regarded as the largest university-based organization for local government training, advising and research in the United States.”
MPA@UNC will admit its first cohort of students this fall and will begin classes in January 2013. For more information, visit onlinempa.unc.edu or call 855-862-4672 (855-UNC-4MPA).
UNC School of Government contact: L. Ellen Bradley, (919) 843-6527,