The following is an excerpt from a column by the University of Illinois Springfield Associate Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration and Director of the Doctor of Public Administration program Travis Bland. This column appeared in The State Journal-Register on July 31, 2021.
The Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) program at the University of Illinois Springfield is one of only a handful of professional "public affairs" doctorates throughout the country. The program is a door opener to a variety of career paths as we seek to inspire and equip students to be more effective agents of change.
Some of our DPA graduates go into academia as researchers and faculty members devoted to producing new knowledge and training the next generation of public service professionals. However, as a professional doctorate, we are also committed to developing a network of advanced professionals who will stay in practice. Collectively, our graduates devote their lives and careers to devising solutions to real-world problems and improving public and nonprofit management and public policy in Illinois, the nation and the broader global community.
Our students and graduates represent a diverse set of cultural backgrounds, experiences and professional expertise. They direct nonprofits, serve as college administrators and faculty members, run consulting firms and hold influential positions in governments at all levels. Most importantly, they utilize their new knowledge, skills and connections to lead, spark discussions, conduct research and devise solutions to some of the most pressing social and public problems of our day.