Roanoke Program


MPA program in RoanokeCurrent and future leaders in the public and nonprofit sectors living in the Roanoke Valley have a unique opportunity to obtain their JMU Master of Public Administration degree through the Roanoke Higher Education Center (RHEC) in Roanoke, Va. Using the latest technologies, students receive the same high quality education and one-on-one attention from JMU professors as enjoyed by their Harrisonburg counterparts. Through the Roanoke MPA program students acquire the administrative skills, political savvy, and public service ethic necessary to lead constructive change in their communities.

 


Photo: Roanoke Higher Education Center

Roanoke-area residents can earn an MPA from JMU thanks to a partnership with the Roanoke Higher Education Center (photo credit: RHEC).

Does JMU have a campus in Roanoke?

Not exactly. JMU’s only campus is in Harrisonburg, but we are proud to be a member of the Roanoke Higher Education Center in downtown Roanoke. JMU has dedicated class space and a faculty office in the RHEC building (Room #108). Our Roanoke MPA classes are taught in this space. The RHEC offers a wide array of support services to JMU students, including a library facility. Of course JMU students in Roanoke also have access to Harrisonburg resources, many of which are available remotely.

What is the difference between the Roanoke program and the Harrisonburg program?

In terms of admissions criteria and course work, there are fundamentally no differences in the two locations. The primary difference, aside from geography, is that the Roanoke program operates as a sequenced cohort. Roanoke students take two courses per semester with the members of their cohort, completing the program in slightly less than two years. Due to the cohort format, Roanoke students complete the concentration in public and nonprofit management.

I heard that some of the Roanoke courses are taught by video. Is this true?

Many of the courses in Roanoke are taught in-person, but occasionally courses are taught via interactive videoconferencing to allow students to interact with professors and students at alternate locations. The technology that is used allows students in Roanoke to see and hear a professor in Harrisonburg; conversely, it also allows the professor to see and hear the students in Roanoke. Students and faculty have reported that, while the technology takes a little bit of adapting, eventually the experience is not unlike having the faculty member in the same room.

For more information contact:

Dr. Nicholas Swartz
swartznj@jmu.edu