UCCS master’s program earns accreditation

By Staff
Terry Schwartz

Terry Schwartz

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs Master of Public Administration program is now independently accredited by the Network of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration, NASPAA.

The program was notified July 11 that NASPAA’s accrediting Commission, the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation, found the program to be in substantial conformance with the NASPAA Standards. In January, a three-member team of professional public administrators and academic leaders visited UCCS. The team interviewed students, alumni, faculty, administrators and employers and reviewed data before adding the UCCS program to the more than 180 other NASPAA-accredited programs at universities around the world.

“This is an important milestone for UCCS and for the university’s MPA students, faculty, staff and alumni,” said Pam Shockley-Zalabak, chancellor. “The results of a rigorous, external evaluation are validation of the high-quality program offered to future leaders in government and nonprofit management.”

This is the first independent accreditation for the UCCS Master of Public Administration program since 1993. Thereafter, the degree was jointly accredited with the School of Public Affairs at CU Denver. The Master of Public Administration Programs at UCCS and CU Denver are the only accredited programs in Colorado.

NASPAA’s accreditors granted UCCS accreditation for seven years, the longest possible term, and did not raise substantial questions about the UCCS program, according to Terry Schwartz, interim dean, School of Public Affairs.

“I am thrilled that the MPA degree has been awarded a full, seven-year accreditation,” Schwartz said. “I commend the faculty and staff of the School of Public Affairs for their efforts and encouragement during this process.”

The NASPAA standards are the benchmark used by graduate public service programs around the world. The accreditation process is mission-based and driven by public service values. To receive accreditation, programs must demonstrate contributions to the knowledge, research and practice of public service, establish observable goals and outcomes, and use information about their performance to guide improvement.

NASPAA accredits degree programs and not institutions, schools or departments. For more information about NASPAA, visit

The UCCS School of Public Affairs offers the bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, master’s degrees in public administration and criminal justice, and certificate programs in homeland security, criminal justice, public management, nonprofit management, homeland defense, nonprofit fund development and security intelligence. For more information, visit

Effective June 1, the UCCS School of Public Affairs is separate from the CU Denver School of Public Affairs. It is now the sixth college at UCCS, joining the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Business, the College of Education, and the Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences. In July, the School of Public Affairs moved to new offices on the third floor of the Academic Office Building.

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