News from the Bush School

Bush School’s Second EMPSA Class Holds On-Campus Introduction

July 19, 2017

2017 EMPSA students


Some forty-five executive students were on campus in June for the residency portion of their Executive Master of Public Service and Administration (EMPSA) program. The program is designed for individuals working in full-time professional careers and delivers high-quality and high-impact coursework online. Each residency portion of the program lasts one week, during which the students not only meet fellow students but also have classes taught by Bush School faculty members.  This year, both new students and capstone EMPSA students were on campus, enabling networking opportunities between the two classes. The inaugural EMPSA class will graduate in December.

With the exception of the one-week, on-campus session occurring twice during the program, the 39-credit-hour graduate, non-thesis degree program is offered completely online. In addition to a common set of 21 credit hours, students complete 18 credit hours in their chosen track, including a required capstone course during which they work on a public service and administration project in conjunction with a government agency, private firm, or nonprofit organization. The program is aimed at individuals who want to earn a graduate degree but are constrained by time and location.

This year’s resident scholars were from a variety of backgrounds, including active duty military members, nonprofit executive leaders, city officials, firefighters, and representatives from several federal and state agencies. The average professional experience of both first- and second-year students is seventeen years, and the class members range in age from twenty-two to sixty-two. 

Marc Pate—a first-year EMPSA student, firefighter, and military veteran—said that the week he spent at the Bush School exceeded all his expectations and noted that one of the highlights was the opportunity to meet his fellow students as well as the faculty teaching the classes.

“My fellow students represented a diverse group of public service leaders from across the nation. Meeting them added another dimension to the online program,” he said. “Forming relationships with our nation’s current and future public service leaders was an invaluable experience and a tremendous learning opportunity. It added depth to the program and helped establish the Aggie bond.”

“The entire staff was extremely professional. Every member I encountered expressed a genuine desire to help and asked for feedback on how they could make improvements,” Pate said. “There was an obvious commitment to make sure our active duty military and veterans were well taken care of, and exploring the various services available and learning about Aggie traditions was time well spent.”

The Bush School’s dean, Mark Welsh, commented on the high quality and the obvious commitment of the students.

“I’m very impressed by the range of professions and organizations represented in these classes and the students’ strong commitment to the concept of public service as a noble profession,” Welsh said. “It is an honor to provide an opportunity for these dedicated professionals to expand their knowledge and skills, which will help them do an even better job for the citizens they serve.”