Admitted students visit campus to learn about MPA and MIPA programs

Three La Follette School faculty members present to a room of potential students.
Assistant Professors Morgan Edwards, Denia Garcia, and Reed Lei answered questions from prospective students visiting campus.

The La Follette School recently invited admitted graduate students to learn more about the school’s MPA and MIPA degrees so they can make an informed decision about attending UW–Madison. Over the course of two days in March and April, 30 in-person and 5 remote attendees visited the graduate programs to gather information and connect with current students, faculty, and staff.

Attendees learned about the La Follette School and the non-partisan, evidence-based education students receive through its MPA and MIPA programs. They also heard about program curriculum and had the opportunity to sit in on an engaging session of Associate Professor Christine Durrance’s class PA 873: Introduction to Policy Analysis. Attendees got a glimpse of the student experience as the La Follette School Student Association led admitted students on a campus tour and current students answered prospective students’ questions during breakout sessions. Finally, La Follette faculty members Morgan Edwards, Denia Garcia, and Reed Lei gave advice and answered questions as part of a faculty panel.

“(The day) provided a rich overview of La Follette’s academic offerings – and, above all, invaluable introductions to the faculty and students that define the inclusive, supportive, and driven culture of the school,” said one admitted student. “The visit day reinforced my interest in joining the La Follette School as a next step in my policy-oriented career.”

To address the unique needs of international students, this year La Follette held its first Virtual International Student Visit Day with help from MPA students Francis Amedoadzi and Owen Jonas and project assistant Jennifer Unitan. “We showed that La Follette is a wonderful community that will show up to welcome and encourage each student,” says graduate program manager Mo O’Connor. “I believe the students who attended are feeling more confident in and prepared for their La Follette graduate experience.”

“These visit days are some of the most important events we have to showcase the La Follette School community, our graduate programs, and our campus,” says O’Connor. “The events are intentionally developed to encourage information sharing, connections, and experiences that help attendees get to know each other, as well as our current students, faculty, and staff. Most important, though, is that they leave with a sense of what to expect if they accept our offer.”

Much work went into sharing important information and experiences, making prospective students feel welcome, and recruiting a strong incoming class. The team effort was led by O’Connor with major help from project assistant Jennifer Unitan and outreach coordinator Mindy Walker. Many other current students, faculty, and staff also pitched in.

“It was clear just how much effort, planning, and care went into the day, and I really appreciate (O’Connor’s) and everyone else’s efforts to make it as valuable to me and the other prospective students as it was,” said one attendee.

Students who accept admission will join the La Follette School in fall 2024.

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