SPRING, 2006  Lab I,  1059





Office Hours

Joan Bantz


Lab 1, 3011

by appt. 

I.            COURSE

capstone is your opportunity to explicate synthesis of your profound knowledge, applied theory, proficiencies and inner work practiced throughout your MPA Program.  You will reflect on your MPA experience and on what public service means for you.  And through an applied project, and professional presentation, you will demonstrate your knowledge, skills, acquired synthesis and understanding of public service.

GOALS:  Reflection, Synthesis, and Demonstration.

Students are expected to work on their project throughout the quarter.

II.         TEXT:

McSwite, O.C. (2002). Invitation to Public Administration. M.E. Sharpe.  ISBN: 0765609150.

III.            SCHEDULE:

Saturday, April 8; 9-4pm  LAB  I   1059

Saturday, May 6: 9-4pm   LAB  I   1059

Friday,    June 2: 5-9pm (Public presentations of Demonstration Projects)  LH 2

Saturday, June 3: 9-4pm (Public presentations of Demonstration Projects) LH  2

IV.            ASSIGNMENTS:

A.            Reflection/Integration “Letter” to the Public Administration Community

Following our seminar on McSwite, write (maximum, 8-10 double-spaced pages) a letter to the Public Administration community that reflects a synthesis of your ‘making of knowledge” within the Evergreen MPA Program.  On page xiii, McSwite states: “The purpose of this book is to model a certain type of reflection – or, more accurately, meditation – on the meaning of involving one’s self with the street-level side of government [governance].”  Your letter, or meditation, should reflect upon where you began when you entered the program, where you’ve come since then, the important elements, to you, of public service as well as the contemporary challenges shaping these, and how all of this is shaping your expectations about where you will go from here.  This letter is not an evaluation of the program or a self-evaluation of your performance in the program.  This letter should be both personal and scholarly (e.g., you should cite readings and authors you’ve encountered during your studies; your meditation should be shaped by the theory and practice you’ve been exposed to in this program).  Finally, your letter should demonstrate that you’ve reflected enough upon your experiences in the program (again, not evaluation) to synthesize your experiences into your sense of self and your sense or definition of public service.  DUE: emailed by May 19th


The purpose of this applied project, and professional presentation is to demonstrate what you’ve learned in your MPA program, e.g., to provide a forum to share profound knowledge.

Format of Project:
Your applied project may take multiple forms, as long as it demonstrates your MPA acquired synthesis and an understanding of public service.  It may be a research study, facilitation of a public meeting, a case study, an organizational assessment or intervention, a public policy implementation, working with a nonprofit to strengthen their board’s effectiveness or fundraising, etc.

Examples of past projects include
: analyses of policy and implementation strategies in Washington state, performance standards creation and implementation within a state agency, program evaluations, organizing and facilitating community forums and grassroots organizing efforts, a pictorial analysis of homelessness in Olympia, a preparation of an annual report for an organization, applied research to support new strategies of governance, an investigation of employee reward and recognition programs, projects that supported Thurston County’s United Way’s community assessment, research project final completion and dissemination from the year long core, etc.

Public Service
: Projects must be about public service.  Public service is defined very broadly to include efforts of governments, community-based organizations, citizens, nonprofits and political organizations, (perhaps, even, private organizations doing public activities).

Individually or in Teams:
You can work on your projects individually or in teams.  All individuals/teams must submit and complete a project contract (outline attached) emailed to faculty by April 12th. (This contracting should happen, in the best scenario, before the beginning of Spring quarter.)

demonstrate making of knowledge and synthesis; be pertinent to someone, somewhere; be presented in a professional manner for a broad audience, and be APPLICABLE TO YOUR COLLEAGUES.

During the last class meeting, May 6th, you will share profound knowledge with your colleagues - something beyond more information about a subject or a report on your activities (e.g., lessons learned about doing community forums, grassroots organizing, the power of youth-based democracy, possibilities, etc.).

PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS: Students will present their demonstration projects to the community (fellow MPA students, MPA Faculty, Invited guests, clients, etc.)  Presentations may take myriad forms; details will be discussed during the contracting phase.

PAPERS: Final papers are due by June 7th.  Discussion of papers will be covered in the classroom.


Individuals or teams will meet with faculty a minimum of three (3) times:

During the first class or before spring term to finalize/approve contract

In class (first two meetings)

Once before presentation, to discuss presentation and final output (optional).

To reiterate timeline:

Saturday, April 8  - First Class – review process and deliverables, 1st  half of McSwite read for seminar.  Meet with Faculty.  Finalize all teams and projects.

By April 12th, ALL contracts due - emailed to Joan and to other faculty if assigned.

Saturday, May 6th – Second Class 2nd half of McSwite read for seminar.  Sharing profound knowledge from the projects with colleagues.   Meet with faculty regarding presentations, and make appointments for follow up.  Sign up for presentation and discuss attendees.           

By May 19th,  Reflection/Integration “Letter” to the Public Administration Community due - emailed to faculty.


            Before May 10th - follow up appointments with faculty regarding presentations.

Friday, June 2:     5-9pm (Public presentations of Demonstration Projects)

Saturday, June 3: 9-4pm (Public presentations of Demonstration Projects)

All papers are due by June 7th !!!

NOTE: Email is the best way to communicate with me about scheduling and with questions about your project as they arise.

Demonstration Project Contract/Agreement

The contract is a short proposal (maximum 3-4 double-spaced pages) that includes the following:

(emailed to Joan and assigned faculty by April 12th)

  1. Background
  2. Objective(s)
  3. Methodology
  4.  Deliverables/Outputs – outputs are the actual products of your work (meetings, reports, presentation to organizations, research reports, etc.)
  1. Expected Outcomes – outcomes are the anticipated or hoped for effects of your work.
  2.  Linkage to Public Service
  1.  How you will demonstrate Competencies and Synthesis?
  1. How will your work be of use?
  2.  Presentation Plan – how and what will you present to the community and how will this be useful to them?