President Cheng signs agreement to bring MPA program to China

Daniel Palm and President Cheng

July 12, 2019

On Monday, President Rita Cheng signed an agreement that allows Northern Arizona University to bring its master of public administration (MPA) program to students in China.

The agreement, the first of its kind for NAU, with AIEI of Shenzhen makes NAU one of the first American universities to enter the MPA market in China. AIEI students can enroll in NAU’s program and earn a degree from NAU while living and doing most of their work in China.

Students in China will follow the same curriculum as NAU’s MPA students in Flagstaff, with courses taught according to departmentally approved master syllabi, said Lori Poloni-Staudinger, associate dean for research, faculty affairs and graduate programs in the College of Behavioral Sciences.

Some travel on both ends will be required. Department of Politics and International Affairs (PIA) faculty will go to China to teach a few required courses in an intensive format. The capstone class will be taught in China by NAU faculty, with students coming to the Flagstaff campus for final presentations and to participate in commencement.

The program is under the leadership of Poloni-Staudinger, PIA Chair Stephen Nuño and program coordinator Paul Lenze.

“I am pleased that NAU continues to build bridges with countries and institutions throughout the world,” Cheng said. “In an increasingly global economy, these partnerships are more significant than ever. We will to continue to invest in agreements with many partner institutions, as we have with AIEI, to help provide a pathway to higher education that students of all ages and in many locations can want.”