Preparation for a successful start in the MPA program
Students’ acceptance into the MPA program indicates that the faculty thinks they have the overall experience, preparation, and ability needed to succeed in it. However, for some admitted students, certain quantitative skills may be rusty or underdeveloped. We recommend that students take action to get these skills up to functional levels prior to enrolling in classes where they will be used. Some of the resources available at KU to do this are described below:
Microsoft Excel Training
Several of the MPA classes (e.g. Financing Public Services, Policy Analysis and Evaluation, and Quantitative Research Methods) utilize Microsoft Excel. Instructors in these course focus on teaching the relevant substantive skills and assume that students have a working knowledge of Excel. If you do not have a working knowledge of Excel (i.e. you do not know how to utilize mathematical formulas and make basic graphs) please acquire the necessary instruction to do this.
The University of Kansas Information Technology department offers on line and in-person courses on Excel that are free to students. Information and registration is available at the following link: https://technology.ku.edu/services/training-workshops
Math and Statistics Boot Camp Admitted students who do not have strong quantitative skills may find it useful to complete a Math and Statistics Boot Camp. This workshop is geared for MPA students and mid-career public affairs and administration practitioners who want to refresh and strengthen their math, statistics, and quantitative skills in preparation for MPA courses, or who want to improve their confidence and performance in doing data analysis in the workplace. It is typically offered by SPAA every August.