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Preparing Future Public Servants: Role of Diversity in Public Administration

PAQ, Vol. 38 No. 2, (2014)

Understanding diversity and learning how to manage its complexity are perhaps among the most important challenges Public Administration (PA) schools are facing today. The responsibility of preparing future leaders and administrators to effectively serve an increasingly diverse citizenry requires a deep understanding of the needs and demands of various communities. While a number of studies acknowledge the importance of incorporating diversity courses in Public Administration curricula, very few empirically examined the extent to which this effort has been realized. This study builds on Hewins-Maroney and Williams’s (2007) observation that teaching diversity is not a missing component of public affairs education. However, unlike their research that focuses mainly on observing course titles and catalog description of 50 NASPAA accredited schools, our study employs content analysis to thoroughly examine the syllabi of core courses for the same 50 schools MPA (Masters of Public Administration) programs. The results contradict the previous study and find that diversity and its various dimensions are missing components from the PA curriculum in the United States.

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