College of Arts and Sciences
Political Science Department
Master of Public Administration Program

Capstone in Public Administration


Last updated January 26, 2020

   Term - 4, 2020 (March 16 - May 17, 2020)

For course syllabus posted prior to the beginning of the term, the instructor reserves the right to make minor changes prior to or during the term. The instructor will notify students, via e-mail or Canvas announcement, when changes are made in the requirements and/or grading of the course.

TROY Online Courses At Troy University
All TROY Online courses at Troy University utilize the Canvas Learning System. In every TROY Online course, students should read all information presented in the Canvas course site and should periodically check for updates—at least every 48 hours.

Remember: This is not a “correspondence course” in which a student may work at his/her own pace. Each week there will be assignments, on-line discussions, online activities and/or exams with due dates. Refer to the Course Schedule at the end of this syllabus for more information.


Manfred F. Meine, Ph.D., CGFM, Professor
Mailing Address:
Troy University , Florida , 81 Beal Parkway, Fort Walton Beach , Florida 32548
(850) 301-2133 (Only during Tue & Thu Office Hours)

For telephone contact outside those hours, e-mail me to cordinate a time, and I will provide a cell number.

Troy Email Address:
Electronic Office Hours:
Tue& Thu 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM Central Time; contact me via e-mail at any time. I normally will respond quickly, but certainly within 24 hours. If you need to speak with me outside of my office hours, send me an e-mail, and I will provide a cell phone number for you to call.

INSTRUCTOR BIOGRAPHY: Professor of Public Administration; Malone D. Wallace Distinguished Faculty 2011. Formerly: Director, TROY 's Florida and Western Regions; Chair, TROY 's Department of Public Administration; Associate Regional Director for Academic Affairs, TROY 's Atlantic Region. Education: Ph.D. in Public Administration, Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Previous teaching: Virginia Commonwealth University; City University of New York; University of Maryland; Central Texas College; Columbia College; Saint Leo College. Professional background: Consultant, training developer and instructor for New York and New Jersey social service agencies. Graduate, FBI National Academy; thirty years law enforcement, personnel management, and training management experience. Certified Government Financial Manager; Executive Committee and former Treasurer, American Society for Public Administration, Section on Ethics and Integrity in Government (SEIGov); Past President: Florida Advisory Council on Military Education; Former Executive Committee member and Treasurer, National Association of Institutions for Military Education Services. Editorial Board member and manuscript reviewer for Public Integrity; Guest Editor for Public Integrity’s Symposium Edition on Military Ethics (2017). Doctoral dissertation examiner and invited Visiting Professor for the University of Pretoria’s School of Public Management and Administration (SPMA).

MPA eQuad
As an active MPA student you have access to the MPA eQuad located on your TROY Online Canvas Dashboard. The MPA eQuad is your immediate access point to information and links for suggested course sequencing, course concentrations, registration, MPA and TROY Online forms, major program requirements, professional opportunities, MPA program orientation, faculty advising, "live" chat access and much more. Visit the MPA eQuad 24/7 for the latest program happenings and to review the available resources. Please take approximately 4 minutes to view this video link to find out what the MPA eQuad can do for you:


Course Description: The required outcome assessment course using case analyses, papers, and /or computer simulations that emphasize the application of analytical skills and knowledge gained from curriculum courses to administrative, organizational, and policy problems. To enroll in PA 6699, students must have a 3.0 grade point average or better and take PA 6699 as the final core course or, with the approval of the instructor, in conjunction with the final core course in the MPA program. To complete this course successfully, the student must achieve a grade of “B” or better. Students should retain core course textbooks for use in PA 6699.

Entrance Competencies/Course Prerequisites

PA6699 may not be taken unless all core courses in the PA program have been completed, or in special circumstances with instructor permission PA6699 may be taken in conjunction with the last core course in the program. A 3.0 Grade Point Average is required to enroll in PA6699.

Course Objectives: Students will demonstrate professional competency required to lead and manage in public governance by interpreting, integrating, synthesizing and applying theoretical and policy perspectives from the seven (7) MPA program core courses


1. Demonstrate the competency to integrate, synthesize, and apply the multiple concepts, methods, and processes that reflect the theory and practice of Public Administration using the seven (7) MPA program core courses to identify and define the key problems/issues, desired short- and long-term goals, objectives, and outcomes; and key stakeholders (internal and external) with their motivating role(s) and agenda(s).

2. Confirm a mastery of the concepts, methods, and processes that reflect the theory and practice of Public Administration using each of the MPA program core courses relevant to the student’s catalog year: PA 6601 Research Methods; (prior to the 2018-19 catalog: PA 6603 Economics for Public Management or PA 6631 Program Evaluation) PA 6620 Theory of Organizations, PA6646 Organizational Behavior or PA6665, Leadership in Public Administration; PA6624 Public Human Resource Management; PA6622 Public Policy Analysis; PA6650 Governmental Budgeting and Financial Management, and PA 6674 Ethics in Public Administration.

3. Demonstrate the competency to analyze complex public sector issues, identify, compare, and contrast potential solutions, and defend courses of action by integrating and synthesizing multiple theoretical and policy perspectives.

4. Demonstrate the ability to select an appropriate decision methodology for selecting a single solution to a problem from among several choices and utilize selection criteria and a decision matrix to make a rational choice of an appropriate solution to solve a public sector problem.

5. Demonstrate the competency to integrate, synthesize, and apply the multiple concepts, methods, and processes that reflect the theory and practice of Public Administration using the seven (7) MPA program core courses to develop an implementation plan for a chosen course of action, identify potential obstacles to its successful implementation, and develop a plan for its evaluation.

6. Demonstrate the ability to research complex public issues and present information in writing.


There will be no textbook required for the course. Handouts will be provided for the assigned weekly case analysis work.

Required Additional Reading


Recommended Additional Reading

Stillman, Richard J., (2005), Public administration, concepts and cases, 8th ed. New York: Houghton Mifflin.


In addition to interaction via Canvas and email contact, you are required to contact the instructor via email by the first day of the term for any questions. Although physical class meetings are not part of this course, participation in all interactive, learning activities is required.

Make-Up Work Policy

Missing any part of this schedule may prevent completion of the course. If you foresee difficulty of any type (e.g., an illness, employment change, etc.) which may prevent completion of this course, notify the instructor as soon as possible. Failure to do so will result in failure for an assignment and/or failure of the course. If I have not heard from you by the deadline dates for assignments, exams, or forums, no make-up work will be allowed (unless extraordinary circumstances exist, such as hospitalization). Requests for extensions must be made in advance and accompanied by appropriate written documentation. “Computer problems” is not an acceptable excuse.

Incomplete Grade Policy

Missing any part of the Course Schedule may prevent completion of the course. If circumstances will prevent the student from completing the course by the end of the term, the student should complete a request for an incomplete grade. Note: A grade of incomplete or “INC” is not automatically assigned to students, but rather must be requested by the student by submitting a Petition for and Work to Remove an Incomplete Grade Form. Requests for an incomplete grade must be made on or before the date of the final assignment or test of the term. The form will not be available after the last day of the term. A grade of “INC” does not replace an “F” and will not be awarded for excessive absences. An “INC” will only be awarded to student presenting a valid case for the inability to complete coursework by the conclusion of the term. It is ultimately the instructor’s decision to grant or deny a request for an incomplete grade, subject to the policy rules below. Policy/Rules for granting an Incomplete (INC). An incomplete cannot be issued without a request from the student. To qualify for an incomplete, the student must:

Have completed over 50% of the course material and have a documented reason for requesting incomplete (50% means all assignments/exams up to and including the mid-term point, test, and/or assignments.)

Be passing the course at the time of their request. 

If both of the above criteria are not met an incomplete cannot be granted. An INC is not a substitute for an “F”. If a student has earned an “F” by not submitting all the work or by receiving an overall “F” average, then the “F” stands. All work must be completed in sufficient time for grading and submission prior to the next term.


a. Class Preparation and Individual and Group Case Analyses: Students are expected to participate fully in all areas of the class, read all assigned material, and participate in individual and group discussions. Students will be assigned cases for analysis and discussion individually and in groups. Cases must be presented in the Discussion Board using the attached case analysis worksheet as an outline: Case Analysis Worksheet. Weekly case analysis work constitutes 50% of the course grade.

b. Examinations: A proctored course final examination consisting of a complex case analysis will be used to measure students' ability to analyze, integrate, and articulate understanding and application of MPA curriculum concepts. The final examination which accounts for 50% of the grade will be scheduled during week eight of the term.

Examination Schedule & Instructions

The final examination must be completed during Week 8 of the course, and consists of a single complex case analysis chosen by the TROY MPA Faculty, with the same case being used in all PA6699 courses conducted in a single term to ensure consistency in the assessment process. Six hours will be allowed to complete the closed book no-note exam.

Proctored Examination

Since there will be a proctored examination for this course, be sure to follow the instructions for establishing a proctor capability.

This course will include one proctored final exam which will be made accessible in Canvas for preparation in MS Word in a proctored setting for submission in Canvas. The proctor will have the password available for students to access the exam information at the time of sitting for the exam. The dates of this exam will be from Sunday at the end of Week 7 through close of business, Monday of Week 9. Additional information will be posted in the Week 8 Assignment Area and/or the Quizzes Area of Canvas once the course begins. You are responsible for choosing an acceptable proctor available for the six hours allowed for the exam, and submitting the online proctor form to TROY Online testing before the deadline. Instructions for doing so may be found at The proctor form will be available shortly after the beginning of the term and immediate preparation is important. All questions about the proctor form or proctor options should be directed to TROY Online testing.


The course grade is a compilation of scores achieved on the course elements noted under the grading scale below. All work is graded on a 100 point scale. Those scores are then multiplied by the percentage weight noted below. Weekly homework is valued at a maximum of 100 points per week. Students can view their progress in the Canvas grade book at any time. The final course weighted score will tell students what their course grade will be in accordance with the grading standard below. A grading rubric will be made available at the beginning of the course or earlier via a link in this syllabus.

LATE ASSIGNMENTS: Unexcused work submitted after the due date and time is assessed a late of ten points per day deducted from the earned grade. Unexcused work submitted more than two days after the deadline will receive a zero grade. Any potential barrier to timely submission must be discussed with me in advance.

a. Grading Standard:          b. Weighted Percentages:      

90-100 = A                          Individual Case Analyses - 30%  (10% each)

80-89 = B                            Group Case Analyses - 20% (10% each) 

70-79 = C                            Course Examination (Case Analysis) - 50% 

60-69 = D

59 and Under = F


Attendance Policy

Although physical class meetings are not part of this course, participation in all interactive learning activities is required via Canvas discussion boards and other assigned methods in accordance with assignments and submission deadlines.

Submitting Assignments

Weekly assignments must be posted directly to the discussion board by the submission deadline. If the work was prepared in MS Word and then pasted into the Discussion Board, a link to an attachment of the same work should be included so I can see the original work to avoid questions about formatting issues in the Discussion Board. The weekly assignments will be the primary interaction mechanism for the course and will account for 50% of the course grade. Instructor comments and discussion of student submissions will be provided each week. These assignments will assist the student in preparing for the examination which equals the other 50% of the grade. A live online session will be scheduled early in the course to explain course requirements and expectation and to answer student questions.

Written work is to be submitted in Standard English using a 12-point format, 1-inch margins, and double spacing in MS-Word format. The American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines are the standards for writing and referencing papers in the MPA program. Use the APA Research Style guidelines found at:

Failure to submit assignments on time will result in point deductions as noted above. All time deadlines are in Central US Time.

Student Expectation Statement

- Interaction will take place primarily via the course discussion board supported by email as needed. Weekly postings are required to the discussion board in response to posted assignments. I will respond to each posting and provide general responses to the class.
- In addition to instructor-student interaction, student to student interaction is expected in the discussion board, and specific group assignments will be posted that require such interaction. I assess that interaction by reviewing the group discussion board I will create for each group.Lack of interaction results in reduced grades.
- Students are to participate in this course by following the guidelines of this syllabus and any additional information I will provide during the term.
- The student is expected to remain in regular contact with me and the class by participating in the discussion forums, submitting assignments, and taking exams. Individual questions or concerns can be addressed to me via e-mail.
- While TROY requires instructors to respond to students’ emails within 24 hours Monday-Thursday and 48 hours Friday-Sunday, but I normally respond to all questions and issues in less than 24 hours. In the event of any luikely delays due to travel, or other issues will be communicated to the class.
- As the instructor, I will communicate via Canvas Announcements and in the discussion board for the appropriate week and/or via email. Check your email, the announcements section of Canvas and especially the discussion board area daily.

Internet Access

Since this is an on-line class, students must have access to a working computer and access to the internet. Students can use the TROY computer lab, a public library, etc., to insure they have access. Not having a computer or computer crashes are not acceptable excuses for late work. Have a backup plan in place in case you have computer problems.


Week One:

Introduction of course requirements, discussion of case analysis process, posting of student information, assignment of groups, and first week case analysis assignments.

Week Two:

First group case analysis.

Week Three:

Second group case analysise.

Week Four:

Second individual case analysis for half the class with comments by class members not assigned a case.

Week Five:

Second individual case analysis for remaining class members with comments by those class members not assigned a case.

Week Six:

Third individual case analysis by all class members (students should practice under timed conditions similar to the final time limit).

Week Seven:

Review of previous case analysis work and live session for final discussion with instructor.

Final exam will be made available after the seventh week for completion during week eight.

Week Eight:

Proctored complex case analysis final exam to be completed during this week.

Week Nine:

Final Class Discussions