MPA Program Ensures First Responders, Nonprofit Leaders Are Relevant in their Fields

September 18, 2019

The following content first appeared on the news page while UMass Global operated under its former name of Brandman University.


IRVINE, Calif. (Sept. 18, 2019) – Brandman University announced it has revised its Master of Public Administration program from a prior focus on local government to be more relevant to leaders in additional public service fields, including first responders, health administrators and nonprofit leaders. As technology continues to revolutionize the way in which Americans solve problems and conduct their day-to-day work, first responders and nonprofit leaders have found they are no exception to this rule.

The revamped curriculum helps community leaders use geographic information systems technology to interpret data while analyzing policies, and also includes magnified attention to public service ethics and matters related to diversity, inclusion and equity.

An important part of the MPA program revision process involved Brandman faculty and administrators connecting with stakeholders in the field to ensure that the new MPA degree program would be current and relevant to the needs of our public service leaders today,” School of Business and Professional Studies Dean Glenn Worthington, Ed.D., said.

The incorporation of GIS and spatial thinking into the coursework will help learners use maps to organize, visualize and interpret data. Community leaders who cultivate an understanding of GIS will gain more than technical knowledge, since they will also have new tools to improve communication and collaboration with colleagues and constituents.

There are numerous practical applications for GIS software. The technology can help police commanders track crime and quality of life problems, help fire department leaders predict where resources will most likely need to be deployed during a natural disaster, and also provide officials serving local, state and federal government agencies with an additional tool to monitor how well infrastructure and resources are aligned with community needs.

Heightened attention to inter-agency teamwork, a vital necessity when public service agencies are responding to wildfires and other disasters, is an additional enhancement to the curriculum providing new benefits to students leading emergency response agencies.

Brandman's MPA courses are taught in a fully-online format and at the Irvine campus in a hybrid format. The program includes core coursework in such areas as public policy analysis, public sector finance and human resources management in public administration. These classes will ensure continued relevance for public servants working in city halls and similar environments.

The MPA program update also provides students with new elective course options. Students may choose among three defined emphasis areas – business intelligence and data analytics, healthcare administration or an organizational leadership emphasis geared toward nonprofit leaders. Students may also determine a personalized path by taking elective courses in additional fields, including computer science, GIS, human resources or public administration.


Brandman University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. As part of the Chapman University System, Brandman blends a legacy of academic excellence with innovative programs and strong support services designed for students with busy schedules. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, credential and certificate programs. Brandman serves about 25,000 students at more than 25 campuses in California and Washington, as well as online. Brandman offers fully-online courses for students anywhere in the United States and for military personnel serving abroad. For additional information, visit the university’s website.

Media Contacts:

Terri M. Carbaugh, Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs: [email protected]

Andrew Edwards, Senior Multimedia News Writer: [email protected]

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