Technical Services & Consulting for Community Organizations


The Public Policy and Administration program offers a variety of assistance options to public service organizations. Government agencies, city and county governments, and nonprofit organizations have benefited from the expertise offered by program faculty and students.

 Areas of Expertise

JMU’s Public Policy and Administration program is fortunate to have a very engaged faculty with expertise in a wide-range of areas. The following areas are particular strengths of the faculty.

  • Strategic Planning
  • Economic Development Planning
  • Program Evaluation
  • Transportation Planning
  • Budget Review
  • Nonprofit Board Evaluation
  • Comprehensive Planning
  • Electronic Survey Design
  • Process Improvement
  • Quality of Life
  • Survey/Data Analysis
  • Performance Management
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Nonprofit Marketing

  The following are examples of the types of services and programs available:

  • Graduate Assistant-in-Residence Program: Organizations in the Harrisonburg area have the opportunity to add a graduate assistant to their staff for a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time employee. Graduate assistants are full-time students in the JMU MPA program who work 20 hours per week during the academic semester in the host organization. Graduate assistants bring expertise and energy to special projects, add capacity to regular operations, or allow organizations the flexibility to make personnel commitments in semester-long increments. The MPA Director will work with each agency to select students whose skills and interests best match the sponsoring agency.
  • Course-Based Projects: Each academic year, a limited number of projects are selected for integration into course work in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Selected projects are assigned to student teams and are managed by a supervising faculty member and a sponsoring agency liaison. Projects must meet specific learning objectives and allow students appropriate access to the agency. For selected projects, the only cost to the agency is for project-specific costs unique to the project.
Student teams have recently been involved in projects ranging from program evaluations to economic development planning to marketing management. To be considered for course integration, projects must be submitted at least three months prior to the semester. If you have a project you would like our faculty to consider for course integration, please contact the MPA Director (puad@jmu.edu).
  • Faculty-Led Consulting: Faculty experts are available to provide consulting services that meet the needs of your organization. Faculty consulting is governed by university and state policy. Please contact the MPA Director or a particular faculty member to discuss your consulting needs.
  • Internship Partners Program: The program requires undergraduate and graduate students to complete internships during their program of study. Organizations may partner with the public policy and administration program to offer internship opportunities to students. These partnerships range from informal announcements of the opportunity to formal programs where applicants are screened.
  • Specialized Non-Credit Courses/Training: Working with JMU’s Outreach & Engagement staff, the public policy and administration program can develop training programs that meet the needs of your organization.

For information about securing any of these services, please contact the MPA Director at puad@jmu.edu.