Bowling Green, Kentucky – Current and future local government employees now have access to a new online graduate certificate program through the Department of Political Science at WKU. WKU now offers a 100% online Local Government Graduate Certificate designed for working professionals.
WKU Department of Political Science Assistant Professor Dr. Daniel Boden is the director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program and program coordinator for this new certificate. He said that the certificate is unique because it is available 100% online, allowing local government employees a flexible pathway to enhance their knowledge of local government and increase opportunities for career growth.
"As an online program, this certificate provides a convenient option for city and county employees to earn graduate level training," said Boden.
He said that the 12-hour certificate was developed to increase employees’ understanding of government issues and trends and to gain practical knowledge within their field.
"Many employees may not be ready to start a full master's program, so this certificate can quickly provide them with practical information they can use in their current job – and even prepare them for future career growth.”
Boden stated that an increase in retiring local government administrators will result in losing a significant number of employees with decades of experience, so it’s vital that future employees are prepared to fill these vacant positions.
According to Eric Sexton, executive director of the Barren River Area Development District (BRADD), a graduate certificate in local government administration offers many benefits to both community and economic development professionals and their employers.
“Having access to a qualified workforce is vital to serving our region,” stated Sexton. “This opportunity not only prepares future employees, but can also help us retain valuable employees by helping them increase their qualification for future advancement.”
Sexton said that this region has a large variety of organizations that focus on planning, development and social services, so positions are available in a variety of fields that could benefit from this program. Some of these include social workers, CPA's, network administrators, public administrations specialists, grant coordinators and planners that oversee transportation, water and other critical infrastructure.
“We have several administrative and coordinator types of positions across our programs,” said Sexton.” We need employees with diverse backgrounds and specialized certifications to meet program requirements and provide equitable services to the citizens of our BRADD region.”
This certificate program is offered online through a partnership between the WKU Department of Political Science and the WKU Division of Extended Learning & Outreach (DELO).