MA Rural Public Policy & Planning

 

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Program Cordinator's Message

Dear Prospective Rural Public Policy and Planning Student:

We are grateful that you would consider the Master of Arts in Rural Public Policy and Planning as a choice of your graduate education. The Rural Public Policy and Planning is a graduate program unit in the Department of Social Sciences. The program seeks to provide the broader Delta region, the state of Mississippi and the nation with graduate education in rural public policy and planning for individuals who are interested in, or currently serving in, various public, administrative or professional capacities in rural and small town governments, private and nonprofit organizations, as well as those who desire to pursue doctoral studies in public policy, planning, administration, management, and related fields.

Since its inception in 2007, the Rural Public Policy and Planning program has produced graduates who hold careers in local, municipal, state, and national government; nonprofit, healthcare agencies; educational administrations; and other graduates have pursued doctoral degrees. Our students are employed as County Tax Assessors; Director of Sponsored Research at a Junior College; Community Project Manager in Healthcare Agency; Director of Student Records; County/City Fire Chief; Education Coordinators in Public School Districts; and University recruiters, to mention a few.

Faculty in the Rural Public policy Program assure you that your experience here will be enlightening, exciting and rewarding and as Coordinator and Chair, I will make sure that your concerns are addressed timely and your potential is maximized.

We are anxiously expecting to meet you and discuss further about our Rural Public Policy and Planning. You may contact us at 662-254-3552/3547 or via email rjmushi@mvsu.edu.

 

Richard J. Mushi, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Social Sciences

Coordinator, Master of Arts in Rural Public Policy and Planning

 

About Rural Public Policy & Planning

MISSION

The Master of Arts in Rural Public Policy and Planning Program is a graduate program within the Mississippi Valley State University department of Social Sciences. The Program seeks to provide the Delta region, state, and the nation with the opportunity for graduate education in rural public policy and planning. In addition, the program provides continuing education opportunities for those individuals interested in, or currently serving in, various administrative capacities in government, private and nonprofit organizations; and those who desire to pursue doctoral studies.

DESCRIPTION

The Master of Arts in Rural Public Policy and Planning seeks to fulfill the need for graduate study in rural communities and small town governments like those in the Mississippi Delta and the broader Delta region. The Program provides opportunities for graduate education for those individuals interested in or currently serving in various administrative capacities in rural and small town governments, private and non-profit organizations. In addition, the program serves those who desire to pursue doctoral studies in public policy, planning, administration,management, and related fields. The program also appeals to non-traditional students seeking to expand their knowledge bases and problem solving approaches in addressing the myriad of problems in the everyday life of rural communities.

PROGRAM GOALS

The program goals are:

  1. To prepare professional practitioners who demonstrate state-of-the-art knowledge and expertise in the formulation, implementation, evaluation, and analysis of rural public policies;
     
  2. To prepare professional practitioners with the skill set for policy and program planning and evaluation for rural private, public, and nonprofit agencies; and
     
  3. To prepare students for doctoral studies 

THE CURRICULUM

The Master of Arts in Rural Public policy and Planning (MRPP) curriculum consists of thirty-six (36) credit hours. The program’s core requirements consist of twelve (15) credit hours, six (6) credit hours of research and statistics, and six (6) credit hours of thesis or six (6) credit hours of practicum. The program has three areas of specialization namely: rural health policy, nonprofit policy, and social and economic policy of which students choose one. Each area of specialization consists of nine (9) credit hours.

Core Requirements (12 hours)

RP 503         Rural Policy Planning, Evaluation and Analysis   (3 hrs)

RP 504         Rural Community and Economic Development  (3 hrs)

RP 505         Economic Analysis of State and Local government (3 hrs)

RP 506         Intergovernmental Relations (3 hrs)

RP 515         Seminar in Public Administration (3 hrs)

Research Requirements (6 hours)

RP 507         Research Methods for Public Policy  (3 hrs)

RP 508         Statistical Analysis (3 hrs)

Thesis or Non-Thesis Option (6 hours)

RP 509         Thesis: Master’s Thesis (6 hrs)

RP 510         Non-Thesis: Practicum (6 hrs)

Areas of Specializations                                                                  

Rural Health Policy (9 hours) 

RP 517         Public Health Administration and Planning (3 hrs)

RP 518         Principles of Environmental Health (3 hrs)

RP 520         Epidemiology in Rural Districts (3 hrs)

Nonprofit Policy (9 hours)

RP 521         Voluntary Nonprofit Sector and Public Policy (3 hrs)

RP 522         Nonprofit Management and Leadership (3 hrs)

RP 523         Financial Accounting in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors (3 hrs)

Social and Economic Policy (9 hours)

RP 525         Rural Planning and Social Policy  (3 hrs)

RP 526         Rural Demography and Growth (3 hrs)

RP 528         Small Business Development (3 hrs)

 

Electives (Optional)

RP 513         Independent Study in Public Policy (3 hrs)

RP 514         Special Topics in Public Policy (3 hrs)

 

ADMISSION

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Arts in Rural Public Policy and Planning Program at Mississippi Valley State University must be admitted to the University via this graduate degree program.

To be eligible for admission to this graduate program, the following requirements must be met:

  1. An applicant must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

  2. An application must be filed with the Office of Admissions.

  3. An official transcript of a conferred undergraduate degree and any transcripts the student is seeking credit for to the intended program of study must be on file in the Office of Student Records/University Registrar.

  4. An applicant must satisfy a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

  5. An applicant must submit three letters of recommendation from persons who are qualified to certify as to your abilities and character.

  6. An applicant must a "Personal Statement" and a "General or Scholarly Writing Sample".

  7. The department of the graduate program applied for must formally accept the student for admission to the graduate program of study. The actual acceptance letter is forwarded by the Office of Admissions.

  8. An immunization record must be submitted and/or on file.

Students who show academic promise but fail to meet all the requirements based on the aforementioned indicators may be admitted on a conditional basis.  Students will be required to complete nine (9)hours toward the degree while on provisional status, and must earn a minimum of a “B” or above in each class.  After the provisional period, the faculty will review the student’s progress and determine if he or she should be allowed to continue.  Those students who are allowed to continue will then be unconditionally admitted to the program. Conditionally admitted students are not eligible for financial aid.

 

Priority Date for Admission

Admission to a degree program is made in the fall or spring semester. The priority date for fall applications is March 15. The priority date for spring applications is October 15. 

 

Admission of Undergraduates to Graduate Courses

Undergraduate Mississippi Valley State University students who have completed all required courses thus far and are within six hours of graduation may enroll in a maximum of six semester hours of graduate work. To be eligible to take graduate courses, undergraduate students must have a grade point average of at least 2.50 overall and in their major field. 

 

Re-Admission to the University

All graduate students who withdraw from the University or who have been suspended for academic deficiencies must apply for re-admission by submitting an application to graduate studies. Re-admission is not automatic and does not reinstate the student. The Department must approve all applications for re-admission and reinstate the student.

 

Non-Degree Seeking Graduate Students

Applicants not seeking an advanced degree from Mississippi Valley State University but wishing to take courses may register as a non-degree seeking student. Non-degree graduate students are permitted to take up to nine hours of graduate study. If a student later chooses to undertake a graduate degree, only nine semester hours taken as a non-degree student may be applied to a program.

A non-degree seeking student, who subsequently seeks full or restricted admission, must complete an application for admission to the University and be accepted based on the recommendation of the program. A non-degree student must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and must submit proof of immunization and an application indicating non-degree status. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid and letters of recommendations are not required.  

 

THE FACULTY

The Rural Public Policy and Planning Program faculty is diverse with specialties in the areas of Health Policy, Nonprofit Policy, and Social and Economic Policy.

 

NAME POSITION
Dr. Cassie Osborne Professor of Political Science/Rural Public Policy
Dr. Richard Mushi Associate Professor of Public Administration/Rural Public Policy 
Dr. Elizabeth Evans Assistant Professor of Public Administration/Rural Public Policy (Part-time)
Dr. John Bradford Assistant Professor of Sociology/Rural Public Policy
Dr. Ronald Love Associate of Sociology/Rural Public Policy (Part-time)
Dr. Kathie Golden Professor of Political Science/Rural Public Policy (Part-time)

 

ACCREDITATION

MVSU is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools(SACS). The program is compiling data that will be used to apply for the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) for accreditation eligibility review.

SUPPORTING FIELDS

The Master of Arts in Public Policy and Planning is an interdisciplinary program. The department of Natural Sciences and Environmental Health and the Department of Business Education at Mississippi Valley State University provide courses in the specialty areas. 

 APPLICATION

For application materials or program-specific information, interested candidates should contact:

The Office of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment, (662) 254-3347 or Program Coordinator, Master of Arts in Rural Public Policy and Planning, (662) 254-3352/7.

For general information contact: MVSU Admissions and Recruitment Office, 662-254-3347.