Rutgers University-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) is the first U.S. school to earn full international accreditation from The International Commission on Accreditation of Public Administration Education and Training Programs (ICAPA). The accreditation covers Rutgers SPAA’s doctoral, master of public administration, and certificate programs.
ICAPA, based in Brussels, Belgium, is responsible for developing and initiating procedures for the international accreditation of public administration education and training programs, and its activities are based and built upon a set of standards developed by a joint United Nations/International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) task force that the United Nations initiated in 2005. This task force held hearings throughout the world and more than 1,500 individuals participated in meetings that resulted in the development of the report of the United Nations/IASIA Task Force on Standards of Excellence for Public Administration Education and Training.
Rutgers SPAA underwent a rigorous accreditation process to assure compliance with the standards. This process included self-study reports and an on-site visit consisting of observations and interviews with university leadership, faculty members, school administration, program staff, groups of students, and alumni. During the visit, a team of five international experts in public administration from universities in the U.S., South Africa, South Korea, and Bulgaria evaluated adherence to standards in a variety of areas, with particular emphasis on academic requirements. Following its visit, the commission determined that SPAA should be granted full accreditation, which is valid for a six-year period, making Rutgers SPAA the first school in the United States – out of over three hundred public affairs and administration schools and programs in the U.S. – to earn this honor.
“The School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark is clearly an outstanding one,” the commission noted in its report. “SPAA’s commitment to students’ success, high-quality research, community engagement, and intellectual and cultural diversity is ongoing and deeply entrenched. In all of its activities, SPAA works to promote excellence in the field of public administration and management, setting an example for other institutions throughout the world.” The report also comments on the ability of the faculty, staff, and students of SPAA to engage effectively, not only in their community, but throughout the country and the world, and goes on to say that due to these concerted efforts, students at SPAA have the opportunity to understand and address the demands of working with an increasingly diverse public – both domestically and internationally.
“The ICAPA accrediting team underlined a crucial aspect of SPAA’s ethos – and, indeed, that of Rutgers University-Newark more generally,” said RU-N Chancellor Nancy Cantor. “As people, communities, and nations around the world become increasingly and inextricably interconnected, it is essential that we embrace and enhance the powerful local-global resonance of our research and teaching, especially by engaging with partners near and far.”
“SPAA is honored to be the first U.S. school to receive accreditation from ICAPA, a distinguished and rigorous international accreditor of public administration education and training programs,” said Dr. Marc Holzer, founding dean of the school and Board of Governors Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University-Newark. “This accreditation will help draw more international students to Newark and open up opportunities for our students to pursue their studies and careers internationally.”