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The Association of Minnesota Counties is proud to partner with Metropolitan State University’s Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration program to match graduate students with county governments to complete a Capstone project during fall and spring semesters each academic year.

What is a Capstone Project?
Graduate students in the Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration program complete their coursework by taking a “Capstone Course” more formally titled - MPNA 695: Capstone in Community Oriented Management. Projects in this course are based on relationships that provide soon-to-be-graduates an opportunity to engage in real-world problem solving for a public agency or nonprofit organization, and also gives these agencies or organizations assistance on projects that they may be struggling to complete, due to funding or staffing issues.  

Minnesota counties are invited to propose a Capstone project for the 2021 spring or fall semesters.

Download the project request form for further information.

  • Spring 2021 deadline: November 30, 2020
  • Fall 2021 deadline: June 30, 2021

Submit project request forms to:  Heather Bandeen, Research & Program Development Manager 

Minnesota counties are also encouraged to contact:   Crystal Fashant, Associate Professor and Program Co-Director at Metropolitan State University to discuss your project idea and learn more about hosting a graduate student for a semester.

What are some example Capstone projects?
Projects vary widely and may come to Metropolitan State University via a public agency, a nonprofit organization, or students may self-identify potential projects. Recent AMC examples include:

  • Aitkin County: County Governance Models
  • Local Public Health Department: Environmental Health Program Interview Project
  • Minnesota Association of County Administrators: Executive Performance Evaluations
  • Sourcewell: (1) County Shared Services Models and (2) Shared Childcare Models
  • Kanabec County: Employee Handbook Update and Best Practices

What do graduate students experience in this program?
Most graduate students typically work, or aspire to work, in a wide range of public agencies and nonprofit organizations and complete 40-credits with a choice of online and campus coursework.

Program outcomes include:

  • Understanding the historic, current, and evolving role of the public and nonprofit sectors in shaping public policy, promoting civic negotiation, and advocating for the public good.
  • Applying practical research methods and techniques in information management, economics, public and organizational policy, human resource management, and organizational analysis to support the decisions of public and nonprofit professionals.
  • Understanding the theories and best practices related to public service, including organizational behavior, strategic management, ethical leadership, and respectful engagement with diverse cultures.
  • Interpreting and applying methods of budgeting and control, revenue diversification, financial management, and performance evaluation to achieve financially sustainable and accountable public agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Any questions about this partnership? Please contact Heather Bandeen, Research & Program Development Manager.