Washington, D.C. -- March 12, 2012 -- Gallaudet University today announced it is introducing a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree program to begin in the Fall 2012 semester. Established in 1864, Gallaudet University is the world's only accredited liberal arts university for deaf and hard of hearing students that offers a bilingual learning environment in American Sign Language and English. The Gallaudet M.P.A. program is designed for deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing professionals working in local, state, or federal government agencies; non-profit human service organizations; or non-profit professional associations. The curriculum is designed around a bilingual delivery of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. The goal of the degree program is for graduates to manage and lead in public sector, non-profit, and non-governmental organizations. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Government (DHHIG) Group is a supporter of the program and wrote a letter of endorsement during the development process. "DHHIG regards this program as a way to fill a need for deaf and hard of hearing individuals seeking a professional graduate-level degree for managers and aspiring managers in the executive levels of federal, state, and local government," said Mark McKay, DHHIG Board Member-at-Large. "For too long we have seen hardworking deaf and hard of hearing government and nonprofit employees not be considered for promotion because of the lack of a graduate degree," said Gallaudet University President T. Alan Hurwitz. "By introducing this program -- in a format that is fully accessible in ASL and English -- our goal is to help those employees attain the required educational level need for advancement and develop effective managerial skills so they have a greater opportunity to take on leadership roles in public and non-profit sectors." "Students can expect to learn how to lead and manage in public governance; participate and contribute to the policy process; analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems, and make decisions," said Dr. Francis Duffy, M.P.A. Program Director. "This program will encourage participants to articulate and apply a public policy perspective to the decision-making process; and communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce." The M.P.A. program requires 40 credits for completion. Courses include Strategic Leadership and Management, Ethics in Management, and Budgeting in Public Sector and Non-Profit Organizations. Evening, weekend, and summer courses will be offered to accommodate students who work full or part-time. "The benefits of the Master of Public Administration program are enormous," continued Duffy. "Graduates will be equipped for leadership opportunities and have the necessary skills to advance their careers within governmental and non-profit agencies." For more information, visit: http://www.gallaudet.edu/department-of-government-and-public-affairs/master-of-public-administration. Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.