The Executive MPA track is limited to candidates with four (4) years of full time professional, executive or supervisory experience in the public, private or nonprofit sectors. The Executive MPA track students range from thirty (30) to fifty-five (55) years old and generally have ten (10) or more years of work experience.
EMPA students continue their employment while completing their course of study in an 18-month period. The EMPA for North Carolina Central University is offered during two (2) required summer experiences and three (3) full semester experiences. Class sessions are held on weekends. Classes begin on Friday at 3:00 p.m. and are held for eight (8) hours on Saturday. The second summer experience includes a mandatory trip abroad that is paid for as a part of a student's tuition.
Students are admitted into the EMPA track in a cohort comprised of between twenty (20) and twenty-five (25) students. Each cohort participates in the same set of learning experiences. The requirements for graduation for all MPA tracks are the same. Since all EMPA students have significant professional experience they are exempted from the Internship I course requirement.
EMPA students apply during the spring semester for classes that begin during the summer semester. The students enter and proceed through their course of study as members of a cohort. Students take the courses that are currently a part of the existing MPA curriculum. However, the andragogical methodology and lesson designs are modified to recognize the needs of an experienced public sector leader. Courses are presented in modular format utilizing the case study method. Given this teaching approach, some courses extend for more than a semester. Most of the classes are taught in teams to insure students are exposed to faculty that are current public sector professionals and faculty with strong academic grounding. The program is structured so that typically, students are able to earn a degree in 18 months.
As stated previously, the learning objectives and the requirements for graduation are the same for all MPA tracks. However, the Executive MPA track requires that all students take the same courses in the same section. This means that students in the EMPA track have fewer opportunities to structure a Student Learning Portfolio that will accommodate the pursuit of broader career options. Again, while the program welcomes applications from all potential students able to meet the academic rigor, the EMPA track is designed to accommodate students who are:
1. Government employees seeking to improve their professional skills and qualifications, 2. Mid-career employees seeking to advance to upper administrative and higher management roles in their organizations, 3. Public and private sector employees who have made a career change or are pursuing a career closely associated with the public sector.
Tuition and fees for the EMPA track are greater than the General MPA track tuition and fees. This is explained by the nature of the program. The EMPA program has an all-inclusive pricing model. Thus students pay one charge to cover many of the costs that others pay in addition to the university tuition and fees. EMPA charges cover among other expenses: 1. Campus Parking fees 2. Airfare, lodging and ground transportation for two weeks abroad 3. 3 meals per weekend 4. All books and case studies for courses 5. Access to university computer systems (Banner, Blackboard, library databases) 6. Myers-Briggs 7. Skill Scope or other 360 feedback instruments 8. Career Coaching sessions 9. 2nd Semester Development Weekend Session (Food and Lodging)