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SPPA Named in the Top 30 of the 50 Most Innovative Public Service Schools

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50 Most Innovative Public Service Schools in the U.S. 2015

 

By Iris Stone Posted January 2015

In the United States, we have a unique interest in government and public policy, and thus a unique interest in public service degree programs. We churn out more lawyers per square mile than we can possibly employ, and many new professionals flock to the powerful, promising city of Washington, D.C. We keep up with daily news and keep tabs on government officials, and are often surprisingly educated on issues of the economy, healthcare, and social justice.

As a nation in-arguably founded on the pursuit of an ethical, effective government while fleeing an oppressive one, its no surprise that the United States is home to a wealth of universities with dedicated public service schools. Whether they dub it Public Affairs, Public Policy, Political Science, Government, or something else, these schools have committed themselves to creating impressive programs. They invent creative opportunities for students and establish fellowships, seminars, study abroad programs, research institutes, collaborative initiatives, and much more. They do all this to brand themselves as a school worthy of the most innovative, entrepreneurial public service students some of whom may one day end up in the upper echelons of the federal government.

But how do you define innovative? Many of these schools could be classified as good, due simply to their expensive facilities or highly paid faculty. But as we set out to describe a list of the most innovative public service schools in the United States, we developed a methodology that hopefully identifies the universities doing truly innovative work.

Some of the categories we researched were fairly straightforward, and meant simply to filter the high quality schools from the ones not worth mentioning. This included looking at the institutions U.S. News Public Affairs Graduate Schools rankings and considering each departments student-to-faculty ratio. We also considered how to qualify the schools that offered students the most options, so we counted the number of degree programs as well as dual/joint/concurrent public service degrees they all offered. We then grew more specific, ranking the quality of each departments internship and career services programs, and even going so far as to count the number of unique and innovative public policy programs at each university. Lastly, we gave extra points to schools who gained the unique distinction of being honored as innovative by QS World Rankings. We assigned each school points and weighted each category based on our understanding of its significance in defining innovative public service schools, using information from multiple reputable sources as our guides in this process.

  • U.S. News Ranking: maximum 27 points, 16% of total ranking
  • Number of Degree Programs: maximum 15 points, 9% of total ranking
  • Student-to-Faculty Ratio: maximum 15 points, 9% of total ranking
  • Number of Joint/Dual/Concurrent Degree Programs: maximum 33 points, 20% of total ranking
  • Strength of Internship Programs: maximum 20 points, 12% of total ranking
  • QS Top Universities Innovation Ranking: maximum 15 points, 9% of total ranking
  • Number of Innovative Features: maximum 40 points, 24% of total ranking

As you can see, there were a maximum of 165 total points included in this methodology. In other words, a school that scored perfectly in every category would have earned 165 points and a 100% grade. Of course, no school is perfect, and in fact the most points we awarded was 119. Nonetheless, this ranking system should give you a useful idea of which schools offer the most innovative programs in public service, giving students access to a wealth of degree options, numerous research opportunities, and extensive learning experiences outside the classroom. We have listed them from least innovative to most innovative, along with the Net Price values.

Net Price refers to a schools average total cost after factoring in tuition, expenses, scholarships, and financial aid packages. Weigh your interest in innovation with your need for cost savings, and choose the school thats right for you!

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28. University of Delaware Newark, Delaware

 

The University of Delaware has constructed a School of Public Policy and Administration that is poised to integrate academic excellence and professional experience. Student Exchange Programs, Conflict Resolution Programs, and community service opportunities help students to broaden their horizons in new ways. Students can also apply to the First Step Challenge in Social Innovation, which encourages creative thinkers to apply their ideas to solving global problems. U.S. News recognizes UD as a top public affairs program, specifically citing its degrees in nonprofit management, city management, and public administration. In 2007, the public service school also received an award from the American Public Human Services Administration for its commitment to human services training.

Net Price: $14,398/yr Score: 73

Read the full article here.

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BestValueSchools ranked all of the US public to determine which are most innovative, and SPPA placed #28 among the top 50 schools.
1/24/2015
 
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