by Taylor Kilgore
Public administration has always been a part of local and state government systems,
but exactly how many of these officials have degrees in the field of public administration?
Dr. Sooho Lee delved into this question at his lecture on “Does Public Administration
Help Public Administration?”
“Overall, public administration education is highly valued by public administration practitioners, although practitioners’ use of public administration education knowledge, particularly in recent publications, is limited and they rarely engage in the public administration academic community,” he said.
Dr. Lee presented a study of how many public administration officials have a bachelor’s degree or higher in the field of public administration. Responses from officials during the study included small or large local governments. Surprisingly, less than 50 percent of the responses did not have a degree higher than bachelor’s in the field of public administration, if at all.
“Public administration scholars should work hard to vitalize their local American Society of Public Administration chapters and their master’s in public education programs to attract more current or potential local practitioners,” said Dr. Lee. “In addition, public administration scholars are recommended to participate in practitioners’ professional associations.”
One of the most concerning factors learned from Dr. Lee’s study is the amount of research literature being produced by students studying the most current issues in the public administration field. The practitioners of public administration rarely, if ever, use these helpful studies. Persons employed in public administration should be utilizing the information that is most pertinent to their work and therefore proposing the best outcome for the community they service.
“Master’s in public administration programs and public administration scholars should have more opportunities to collaborate with local managers for practical assessment and improvement in local government,” said Dr. Lee. “The public administration academic community should provide practitioners more convenient access to the resources and information that local managers want to use for their needs.”
The practitioners can provide students with the most current issues in the community and help that student get real-life practice.