American Journal of Educational Research
ISSN (Print): 2327-6126 ISSN (Online): 2327-6150 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ratko Pavlović
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Educational Research. 2017, 5(10), 1009-1016
DOI: 10.12691/education-5-10-1
Open AccessArticle

Exploring Experiential Learning (EL) in Masters of Public Administration Programs

Kimberley Garth-James D.P.A.1,

1Notre Dame de Namur University

Pub. Date: October 17, 2017

Cite this paper:
Kimberley Garth-James D.P.A.. Exploring Experiential Learning (EL) in Masters of Public Administration Programs. American Journal of Educational Research. 2017; 5(10):1009-1016. doi: 10.12691/education-5-10-1


This project involves exploring the use of experiential learning in Masters of Public Administration (MPA) Programs. This research draws upon mostly primary sources including catalogue, institution policies, and a collection of comments from graduates. The literature review of research focus is problems, issues and prospects of using experiential learning approaches such portfolios and internships to support MPA student learning outcomes. This focus supports the view of teaching theory and practical experience in the MPA curriculum which is most influential on post-graduate career accomplishments in the 21st Century.

Public Administration Experiential Learning MPA Program

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Blessett, B., Gaynor, T., Witt, M. & Alkadry, G. (2016). Counternarratives as critical perspectives in public administration curricula. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 38(4), 267-284.
[2]  Chappelle, J. (2007). Conflict administration for the public sector. Indiana Journal of Political Science, 39, 1-40.
[3]  Cunningham, B. (1998). Experiential learning in public administration education. Journal of Public Administration Education, Vol 2, 219-227.
[4]  Ed.Gov. (2017). Graduate degree fields. Available at
[5]  Garth-James, K., & Hollis, B. (2016). The other side of the story: The for-profit adjunct faculty model in higher education. Available at Faculty_Model_in_Higher_Education.
[6]  Knowles, M. (1973). The modern practice of adult education: from pedagogy to andragogy. Available at
[7]  Knox, C. (2010). Applying Habermas’s critical theory to public administration and policy: A case study of the Florida Everglades restoration program. Available at
[8]  Kolb, A. & Kolb, D. Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education. Academy of Management Learning & Education Journal, 4(2), 193-212.
[9]  McLeaod, S. (2013). Kolb - Learning styles. Retrieved from
[10]  Miettinen, R. (2000). The concept of experiential learning and John Dewey’s theory of reflective thought and action. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 19 (1), 54-72.
[11]  Moore, K. (1998). Instructions on writing the portfolio requirement for the master of public administration program Tennessee State University. Available at
[12]  NASPPA.Org. (2017). Where do MPA/MPP graduates work and earn? Available at
[13]  Ohare, M. (1991). Formal Models and government: Teaching to do. Journal of Policy and Management Vol 10 (3), 519-541.
[14]  Ryan, F. (2003). Counseling non-traditional students at the community colleges. Available at
[15]  Sanford, N. (1966). Self and society. New York, NY: Routledge Publishers.
[16]  Savage, S. (2006). Involvement, development and retention: Theoretical foundations and potential extensions for adult community college students. Available at foundations_and_potential_extensions_for/.
[17]  Shafritz, J., & Hyde, A. (2017). Classics of public administration. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
[18] (2014). Master public administration degree programs. Available at
[19]  USDOE.Gov. (2017). Database of postsecondary institutions and programs. Available at
[20]  USDOE.Org. (2002). Part-time instructional faculty and staff: Who they are, what they do and what they think. Washington, D.C.: GPO.
[21]  Whitley, R. (1989). On the nature of managerial tasks and skills: Their distinguishing characteristics and organization. Journal of Management Studies, Vol 26 (3), 209-225.