New! 2016 COPRA Policy Statement and 2016 Self-Study Instructions

COPRA is pleased to distribute the annual updates to the Self-Study Instructions for NASPAA Accreditation. The 2016 revisions reflect the work of NASPAA leadership and COPRA working together to improve the value of program data collection, as well as clarify how programs with varying mission-based foci can demonstrate conformance to the Standards and highlight program distinctiveness.

COPRA is also pleased to release the October 2016 Policy Statement, which is intended to build upon previous Policy Statements and provide a window into COPRA’s decision-making. The statement officially extends the current expectations regarding student learning assessment and Standard 5.1 to programs in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 cohorts and announces changes to the collection of student completion rates, which are reflected in the Self-Study Instructions.

You can view the updated Self-Study Instructions here. The complete list of changes can be found here.

You can view the Policy Statement here

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Meet Kathrene Hansen Kin, new COPRA member!

Kathrene Hansen Kin
Executive Director
Greater Los Angeles Federal Executive Board

President Kennedy established Federal Executive Boards (FEBs) in 1961 to strengthen the management and administration of Federal activities and improve intergovernmental coordination at the local level.  There are 28 FEBs nationwide; the Los Angeles Federal Community is one of the largest in the United States with more than 275 separate agencies employing over 125,000 Federal employees.

With over 22 years in this position, Ms. Hansen Kin has a unique perspective of the Federal Government throughout Southern California and extensive contacts with State, Local and Community organizations as well.  The FEB has a rich history of providing services to Federal agencies and influencing others to work together throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area.  She interacts with a number numerous colleges and universities to encourage student to consider the Federal Government as a career.   She has in the past and currently serves on numerous Masters of Public Administration Advisory Boards and it was in this capacity she was recruited to be a NASPAA Site Visitor a role she has performed for many years.  Ms. Hansen Kin also serves on the Board of Directors for the California Internship and Work Experience Association.

Prior to joining the FEB staff in October 1995, Kathrene spent 10+ years with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in positions of increasing responsibility in Clarksburg, WV, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.   Throughout her career, Ms. Hansen has received numerous awards for her consistently outstanding performance and has been recognized by numerous community organizations.

Her career also includes assignments with the Lieutenant Governor for the State of Idaho and the U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, which provide additional perspectives of the role of Government.  She received her Masters in Public Administration from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Idaho State University.  Publications include the development of a Dispute Resolution in the Public Sector Publication/Curriculum and an article in The Public Manager titled:  Anxiety In the Workplace: Post September 11, 2001.

Meet Bill Rivenbark, new COPRA member!


William C. Rivenbark
Professor of Public Administration and Government
MPA Program Director
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Bill Rivenbark joined the School of Government (then the Institute of Government) in 1999. Prior to that, he worked for the city of Greenville, South Carolina, in various management positions. His research at the School of Government primarily involves performance and financial management in local government and has appeared in Public Administration ReviewGovernment Finance ReviewJournal of Government Financial ManagementJournal of Public Affairs EducationJournal of Public BudgetingAccounting & Financial ManagementPopular GovernmentPublic Administration QuarterlyPublic Finance ReviewPublic Performance & Management Review, and State and Local Government Review. He also is coauthor of Performance Budgeting for State and Local Government (M.E. Sharpe, 2003). He helped to develop the County and Municipal Fiscal Analysis tool, a web-based dashboard designed to help North Carolina local governments analyze their fiscal condition. He was named director of the MPA program at the School of Government in 2011. Rivenbark earned a BS from Auburn University, an MPA from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a PhD from Mississippi State University.

Meet Peter Ngwafu, New COPRA member!

Peter Ngwafu, PhD
Director, Master of Public Administration Program
Professor of Public Administration
History, Political Science & Public Administration
Albany State University


Peter Ajongwa Ngwafu, is a Professor of Public Administration and Director of the Master of Public Administration Program at Albany State University, in Albany, Georgia, where he has taught courses in organizational behavior, public policy, human resources management, Labor-Management Relations and public management. His research interests are in the areas of development administration, diversity management, social justice and politics in transitional societies. He received his PhD in Political Science from Clark-Atlanta University( with areas of concentration in Public Administration, American Government& Politics, International Relations and African Politics), in 1999 and joined Albany State University in August 2000. During his professional career at ASU, he has contributed numerous book chapters and published several articles in professional journals.

COPRA Seeks Consultants!

NASPAA is excited to announce that it will be holding a small, regional conference in Beijing, China in early April 2018!  

As a central component of this event, COPRA is looking to lead an Accreditation Institute in Beijing and it needs a consultant or team of consultants to plan and deliver the Institute with support from NASPAA staff. This one-day seminar will adapt existing Accreditation Institute materials for interested individuals from schools in the Asia-Pacific region and should supplement the seminar with site visitor training and brief one-on-one consulting sessions. The Commission seeks consultant(s) to present a coherent and positive experience that will engage attendees through culturally competent instructional content.


For more information, please refer to the RFP, here

Introducing new resources on diversity & inclusion!

COPRA is pleased to share newly developed resources to help your program think strategically about diversity and inclusion!

Explore the pages on climate, faculty, students, and curriculum, to help support your program’s mission-based planning. Don’t forget to refer to peer diversity plans for examples of how accredited programs foster diversity and inclusion.



Welcome, 2017-18 COPRA!

With the submission of Self-Study Reports last month, and the official term start of our Commissioners, it is time to kick off the 2017-18 Cohort! First, we would like to thank our outgoing Commissioners, who over the past three years have pushed the field forward through quality conversations and policy decisions. Bob Bifulco, Rose Diaz, Andrew Ewoh, Jared Llorens, Michael Massiah, and Brian Williams thank you for your hard work over the past 3 years!

And now, let me introduce you to our 2017-18 Commission:

Laura Bloomberg
Josefina BruniCelli
David Campbell
Dana Michael Harsell
Maja Holmes
Kathrene Hansen Kin
Thomas Longoria
Peter Ngwafu
Jeffrey Osgood
William Rivenbark
Christine Rush
Ja-eun Shin
Craig Thomas

We are delighted to welcome our newest Commissioners – Josefina, Kathrene, Dana, Bo, Peter, and Bill – to the group, and to be working under the leadership of our Chair, Jeff Osgood! Stay tuned throughout this month to learn more about our newest COPRA members.

Please join NASPAA in thanking our Commissioners as they begin a new review year!

What does the Accreditation Institute have in store for you?

Don’t miss this once-yearly opportunity to interact and learn with your peers the ins and outs of strategic program management. Join colleagues from across the globe for the 2017 Accreditation Institute, October 11, in Washington, DC!

2017-18 Roster of Accredited Programs Released!

The Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) is pleased to release the 2017-18 Roster of Accredited Programs! The Roster, published annually, includes the actions made with regard to the 2016-17 cohort, including 8 programs achieving accreditation for the first time.

Please join COPRA in congratulating all programs on their hard work and commitment to public service education!

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August 2017 Monthly Roundup

Looking to expand your knowledge related to accreditation, higher education, program management, or performance management? Every month, we share a short list of articles or resources from around the web that may be interesting and valuable to NASPAA-accredited programs.

New Peer Examples!

With each cohort review, COPRA seeks to identify good or emerging examples of how programs have approached pieces of the accreditation process. COPRA does not recommend one program’s work over another, as the needs and contexts of programs vary, but commends these schools for their public spiritedness in sharing them. Each document represents one way a program has discussed its conformance with the NASPAA Standards, however the inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by COPRA. Thank you to those programs in the 2016-17 cohort for sharing your breakthrough practices!

For these, and other peer examples, please visit the Peer Example page!