MPA program accelerates alumni careers

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is home to numerous graduate programs, ranging from psychology and reading education to business, nursing and social work, all of which are designed to enhance graduate students’ education and careers.

One program in particular helps UWO alumni achieve professional success—the Master in Public Administration (MPA) program.

“The MPA program’s goal is to create exceptional leaders in public service organizations and communities by helping students gain advanced knowledge and top-notch training—a goal that is more than often achieved, said Karen King, public administration department chair

The careers of MPA grads Joe Krebsbach of Sturgeon Bay, ’11, and David Sakrison of Ripon, ’88, have gotten a boost from the program.

“In 1990, I was hired as the editor of two failing aircraft magazines,” Sakrison said. “The managerial and promotional skills I learned in the MPA program helped me to double the paid circulation, triple renewal rates and put the magazines on very profitable footing in less than four years.”

Sakrison said for the next 18 years, he built a successful career working for businesses, non-profit organizations and healthcare companies, to list a few.

“It was an excellent program,” Sakrison said. “Along with the knowledge and skills I acquired, Stephen Hintz and the MPA program gave me a much greater sense of confidence in my own abilities and potential.”

Kresbach found similar success in his career after earning his MPA degree. He recently was appointed the director of Door County’s Department of Human Services.

“I feel much more prepared for the work I am doing,” Kresbach said. “I also feel confident that the MPA (program) has expanded my options significantly. I continue to use the things that I learned in the program on a daily basis.”

The program has received similar accolades from other graduates, such as Corinne Mc Farlane ‘11, of Green Bay, area administrator of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families.

“My experience with UW Oshkosh’s MPA program has been incredible,” she said. “I’ve been working in the field of public administration for 17 years, and I thought I was doing a pretty good job. Participating in the MPA program, however, has been eye-opening. It has dramatically broadened by perspective and challenged me to rethink my approach to leadership.”

According to King, roughly 65 to 75 graduate students enroll in the program each year.

“Students from other programs, such as nursing, social work and business administration, also attend our classes,” she said.

King said students often are taught through small, interactive weekend classes, in which they gain the ability to direct their own learning and strengthen their skills. The program also synthesizes coursework with employment experience and is committed to providing professional education to qualified students.

“An MPA degree provides graduates with the opportunity to move into more advanced managerial roles in their public serving organizations,” King said. “Program graduates go on to be successful leaders and lifelong learners.”

The proof lies in the success of UWO alumni who’ve expressed their gratitude toward what they’ve gained from the MPA program.

“The knowledge and skills that I learned in the MPA program gave me a solid foundation and opened countless doors and opportunities to me,” Sakrison said. “I owe much to the MPA program and its instructors.”

Learn more about UW Oshkosh’s MPA program.


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