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Presidio Graduate School Masters in Public Administration: My MPA visit

Presidio MPA review

A few years back I wrote an article about the Presidio Graduate School’s MBA/MPA program.  I was recently invited to spend a day at Presidio (located in San Francisco, CA) to learn more about the university, students, faculty, and curriculum.  As mentioned in my first article, Presidio tops most lists of “Green” or “Sustainable” Graduate programs, and I was honored to sit in on the Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Integrative Capstone class two weeks ago.

The MPA program combines principles of sustainable management – “the triple bottom line” – with the tools necessary to lead in the public sector. The program is currently about to graduate its second cohort of students.  The Integrative Capstone class is the culminating course during a student’s fourth and final semester.  This class results in a project which integrates the overall program curriculum and demonstrates expertise in one specialized area.

The class is co-taught by Edward Quevedo and Gretchen Cummings (who is herself a Presidio grad). On the day of my visit, the class started out with a presentation from a member of the local community – a Sustainability Manager at a local city – discussing the city’s Climate Action Plan.  Presidio prides itself in strong relationships with the community and hands-on learning (learn more about their “experiential learning” model). Prof. Quevedo continued the morning by presenting his work on the Sustainable Seattle project, one of the first sustainability plans developed in the country.  Students were encouraged to critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the project and to examine the long-term impact of the city’s decisions. The morning concluded with a student-led lesson on Amartya Sen's 1999 book Development as Freedom.

Regretfully, I wasn’t able to stay through the afternoon to see student presentations on the status of their Capstone Projects.  But stay tuned! Several students are planning on writing posts for us about their projects! You can also check out some of their writings at Triple Pundit.

I really enjoyed the small class sizes, knowledgeable and experienced professors, and community feel at Presidio. I strongly recommend if you are considering higher education in Sustainable Management that you spend a day at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco when exploring potential schools.