WSUV masters degree in public affairs on way out

first_imgWSU Vancouver is poised to eliminate a program that has produced many of Clark County’s movers and shakers.The Salmon Creek campus intends to discontinue its master’s degree in public affairs due to low enrollment, university officials told The Columbian this week. Fewer than a dozen new students have enrolled in the program each year over the last decade.“It’s just not sustainable to be running a program with such small enrollment numbers,” said Renny Christopher, vice chancellor for academic affairs for the local campus.Though the program hasn’t been officially canceled, the college is no longer accepting new applicants. Students enrolled in the program will be able to finish their degrees. The university will continue to offer a bachelor’s degree in public affairs. Because the two programs have the same instructors, the program’s staff, including former Democratic congressional candidate Carolyn Long, will remain at the university.“The faculty are saddened by this moment, but we’re trying to focus on what the program is able to do and has been able to do for the community,” said Mark Stephan, an associate professor of political science who teaches in the program. “We’re trying to have a balanced sense of things.”The public affairs program is rooted in a theoretical understanding of how policy is developed. Students take a slate of political science and research courses, as well as classes in such topics as criminal justice or environmental policy, with the goal of pursuing careers in government agencies or nonprofits.last_img

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