In 2009, a joint NASPAA/ICMA working group created recommendations for adoption by NASPAA for “mission-specific” competencies for MPA programs with a local government management emphasis. These were officially released by NASPAA in September, 2009.

Standard 6.3 Mission-Specific Elective Competencies: Local Government Management
Programs that have identified as part of their mission the offering of an option, specialization, or concentration that is intended to prepare students for a career in professional local government management should demonstrate their conformance to the following guidelines.

Graduates of the program will be able to demonstrate the application of their knowledge and understanding of:

  • The ethics of local government management, emphasizing the role of the professional chief executive.
  • The roles and relationships among key local and other government elected and appointed officials.
  • The purposes of and processes for communicating with and engaging citizens in local governance.
  • The management of local government core services and functions.
  • The management of local government financial resources.
  • The management of local government human resources.

ICMA Working Group

  • Mark M. Levin, (Chair) City Administrator, City of Maryland Heights, MO
  • Linda Barton, City Manager, City of Livermore, CA
  • Mario Canizares, Deputy City Manager, City of Coppell, TX
  • Marvin Hoffman, Professor, Appalachian State University
  • Cal Horton, Retired Town Manager, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Gary Sears, City Manager, City of Englewood, CO

Additionally, NASPAA's Local Government Managment Education Committee (LGME) prepared proposed competencies for MPA/MPP programs with specializations in local government management, which were presented to NASPAA membership in 2012. These competencies are not part of the NASPAA Standards adopted by the membership in October 2009 (above), but were developed in consultation with ICMA’s Advisory Board on Graduate Education were selected because they are qualities generally associated with public administrators in local government.

Download the Competencies Recommendations