GS offers new minor in public administration

Blakeley Bartee and Tandra Smith

For students interested in the study of public and nonprofit management, the Georgia Southern University Institute for Public and Nonprofit Studies (IPNS) will offer the new undergraduate minor in public administration by fall 2016.

According to Trenton Davis, public administration associate professor and director, the minor will be taught by faculty from the public administration graduate program, and will introduce students to many topics within the field of nonprofit management.

“The minor is for any major or student who is interested in a career in government or the nonprofit sector, or a career that might work with the government or nonprofit sector,” Davis said. “For instance, even journalism majors, who may be covering local government or city council meetings and that sort of thing, knowing something about how the government or how public administration works can be very helpful.”

According to the GS website, the minor requires 15 credit hours in courses covering topics such as public budgeting and finance, administrative law and management.

“The curriculum was designed to give students a great introduction to the field, so that covers a lot of topics, including public administration, but also nonprofit management, law, public policy and leadership. So it covers areas that are both of interest to those wanting to know about the government broadly, but who also may be interested in working in the government,” Davis said.

For students who plan to devote their lives to nonprofit work, the public administration minor offers management studies tailored to their aspirations.

“The new minor is interesting because it’s not traditional. Something unorthodox. Instead of helping yourself, you’re helping the community,” Saurabh Ali, freshman chemistry major, said.

While the IPNS encourages students from all undergraduate majors to consider minoring in public administration, Davis admits that the minor will likely attract students from social science and liberal arts majors.

“Traditionally, these types of minors draw students from political science, criminal justice and, in our case at Georgia Southern, public health—for those majors that require a minor, it could be helpful. History is another great option, [or] sociology. For a lot of the traditional social science and liberal arts degrees that require minors, this is a great option,” Davis said.

According to Davis, public administration classes will begin during the fall 2016 semester, and students can currently enroll in the courses.

“[The minor] sounds interesting. You can do good things for others,” Esperanta Valesco, junior math major, said. “If I decided to do a non-math minor, I would do this one.”