Online Master's in Public Policy unveiled

Launch by UMassOnline Supports UMass Dartmouth's Growing Reputation for Commitment to Public Service, Including Two Prestigious Federal Honors. Faculty that developed and teach the on-campus Master's program to lead the online offering

SHREWSBURY, MA - July 14, 2010 -- UMassOnline today announced that a fully-online Master's in Public Policy (MPP) program developed by UMass Dartmouth has been added to its growing portfolio of online offerings. 

UMassOnline is the consortium of the University of Massachusetts that provides global marketing, technology support, and other support and services for online learning programs developed by the university's five campuses. The program is modeled after the highly regarded on-campus Master's in Public Policy program offered by UMass Dartmouth's School of Education, Public Policy and Civic Engagement. The new online MPP program was developed, and will be taught by, the same faculty who provide on-campus instruction. 

"Built upon a proven on-campus program, led by a faculty with world-class public policy credentials, and further distinguished by UMass Dartmouth's unique institutional commitment to civic responsibility as well as career success, this online program brings additional stature to the University of Massachusetts' online education and its growing reputation for important, timely, and in-demand programs," said Dr. Ken Udas, Chief Executive Officer, UMassOnline. 

The program was designed for individuals seeking employment in municipal, state, or federal government, non-profit organizations and business, trade, or labor associations.  The fully-online MPP program has been tailored for the current generation of working public policy professionals as well as the next generation of public policy leaders. More specifically, the online program is expected to draw learners from the same two primary student groups that have traditionally enrolled in the on-campus program: working professionals interested in career advancement, professional development, or a career change.  It is also meant to attract recent college graduates who want to continue their education at the graduate level in preparation for a career in the field of public policy. 

For MPP students, UMass Dartmouth's Department of Public Policy offers students the opportunity to work with and learn from a community of scholars that are actively engaged in the world of public policy through the work of the Center for Policy Analysis, a nationally recognized multidisciplinary research unit that works closely with government agencies, other clients, and through the individual scholarship and civic engagement of each of the department's core and affiliated faculty members. Moreover, the program reflects UMass Dartmouth's overarching commitment to volunteerism, service-learning and civic engagement for which the university has twice been honored by being named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.  The honor is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive in this category. 

"At UMass Dartmouth, we have an institutional mission that certainly includes, but also goes well beyond, preparing students for a successful career in public policy," said Dr. Ismael Ramirez-Soto, Dean of the School of Education, Public Policy and Civic Engagement. "We also strive to engage and educate our students in understanding their role in making a difference in public policy matters in their region, where they live, and among people most in need and deserving of positive public policy change. This is what distinguishes our on-campus MPP offering and it is a component that has been carefully replicated in our online development and delivery of this program." 

According to Associate Professor and Department Chair Michael D. Goodman, there has been a steady increase in interest and enrollment in UMass Dartmouth's on-campus Master's in Public Policy program since its inception several years ago. "The national pool of working public policy professionals is aging and approaching retirement in large numbers," he said. "A need clearly exists to educate the next generation of public policy experts while at the same time giving the current generation of public policy professionals the opportunity for advancing their knowledge and career possibilities and options through this advanced degree." 

Faculty members and their principal areas of expertise include: 

Clyde W. Barrow, PhD, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles.Chancellor Professor, and Director, Center for Policy Analysis specializing in Massachusetts public policy, policy formation, gaming policy, and regional economic development. 

Michael D. Goodman PhD, Sociology, Boston University. 
Associate Professor and Department Chair, specializing in economic development, demographic analysis and housing policy and is Co-Editor of MassBenchmarks, the journal of the Massachusetts economy published by the UMass Donahue Institute in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. 

Weiwei Lin, Ph.D, Public Administration, Rutgers-Newark. 
Assistant Professor who specializes in public and non-profit management, performance measurement and quantitative methods. 

Devon Lynch, PhD, Economics, University of Colorado, Boulder. 
An Assistant Professor, Dr. Lynch has a joint appointment and teaches both in the Department of Public Policy and the Department of Economics. His interest is applied microeconomics, particularly in the field of public and labor economics and his research focus is on enterprise zone programs. 

Chad McGuire, JD, Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, L.L.M., Environmental Law, University of San Diego School of Law; Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental Science, University of Massachusetts Boston. 
Assistant Professor specializes in environmental law and policy and oversees the Department's Certificate Program in Environmental Policy. 

Joao Paraskeva, Ph.D., Education, University of Minho (Portugal). 
Associate Professor, specializes in Educational Leadership, Critical Theory, Educational Policy 

Shawna E. Sweeney, PhD, Political Science, Binghamton University. 
Assistant Professor and Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Analysis, specializes in women's public policy issues, human rights policy, and globalization policies. 

The MPP Program also has additional affiliated faculty in the departments of economics, sociology, English, management, and nursing who teach policy concentration electives as well as special topics in public policy in their areas of expertise. These include: 

Susan Krumholz, PhD, Sociology, Northeastern University. 
Associate Professor of Sociology and Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Analysis, specializes in women & social policy, and criminal justice policy. 

Robin A. Robinson, PsyD, George Washington University; PhD, Social Welfare Policy, Brandeis University. 
Associate Professor of Sociology and Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Analysis, specializes in social welfare policy, women & social policy, mental health policy, and female crime and deviance. 

Gail Russell, EdD, Nursing Executive Role, Columbia University; MS, Community Health Nursing/Administration, Texas Woman's University. 
Associate Professor of Community Nursing and Senior Research Associate, Center for Policy Analysis, specializes in health policy. 

Susanne G. Scott, PhD, Management, University of Cincinnati. 
Associate Professor of Management, specializes in individual, group, and organizational identity, project team effectiveness, and workplace justice. 

About UMass Dartmouth 

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, one of the five campuses of the public University of Massachusetts, distinguishes itself as a vibrant public university actively engaged in personalized teaching and innovative research, and acting as an intellectual catalyst for regional and global economic, social, and cultural development.  UMass Dartmouth has an enrollment of more than 9,000 undergraduate, graduate & continuing education students. Within a climate that is inclusive, open, and diverse, UMass Dartmouth will be the University of Choice for students seeking high quality liberal arts and science programs as well as professional academic programs that build a foundation for civic responsibility, individual skills and professional success. For more information about UMass Dartmouth visit our website at 

About UMassOnline 

UMassOnline, the online learning consortium of the University of Massachusetts, provides the highest quality education offered by the UMass system in a flexible, online format enabling students, professionals, and lifelong learners to take courses anywhere, anytime. With 96 undergraduate and graduate degree, certificate and professional development programs and more than 1,500 courses, UMassOnline offers one of the largest accredited online programs available. Programs span the disciplines for which the University is best known: liberal arts, education, management, nursing, public health, information technology, and other disciplines. For more about UMassOnline, go to or visit our blog at 


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