The Evergreen State College, TESC, MPA
Evergreen Community Corner

Welcome to the Evergreen State College Community Corner: where agencies and future public administrators come together.

This site is meant to serve as a central meeting point for Master’s of Public Administration students looking to fulfill their course project requirements and Agencies/non-profits looking for professional, high-quality work during tough economic times.

Agency/non-profit: In a time when everyone is feeling the pressure to “do more with less”; this is an excellent opportunity for you to bring on an educated, highly motivated student to help you with your public administration needs.  Best of all, it’s free!

Students: If you’re undecided on a topic for your course requirements, you can browse the site to find agencies and non-profits in need of meaningful work.  Furthermore, you will have the satisfaction of knowing your final product is wanted and will be used to help better public administration. 

During the MPA program, Evergreen students work on projects in the areas of Case Studies, Agency Research Project and a Capstone Project.  Students are also given the opportunity to design their own work contracts with agencies to fulfill credit requirements.  Below is a breakdown of the different projects and desired outcomes for the program as well as the projected outputs.  This is designed to demonstrate what the student is expecting from each project, a time-frame and the outputs so the agency can see which type of project would best meet your their need:

Case Study

In the first year of the MPA program, students are expected to conduct a detailed analysis of a single situation including exhaustive research of the object of study and organizing the research into a coherent story that includes both description and analysis that will inform readers/audience members about the six basic questions of the situation under study (who, what, where, when, why and how) and the possibilities of replicating this innovation/change in other public organizations.

Research is expected to be exhaustive. This includes a complete search of secondary resources (published reports, press accounts, academic research, internet sites and other background documents and materials). It also may mean doing some primary research (interviewing in person, phone or email).

Time Frame: Students complete this case study in the winter academic quarter of January through March (10 weeks).

Example outputs for agencies/non-profits:

  • Descriptive case study of previous efficiency (In a different agency/non-profit) for your agency to review and decide if it's applicable for your agency to implement.
  • Student case study on an efficiency implemented by your agency. This work can be used for a particular office or for agency/stakeholder dissemination.

Research Topic

In the second year of the MPA program, students are expected to conduct an in-depth research project on an agency/non-profit involved in public administration. The research project involves a brief case-study of the policy or administration, a defined problem statement and a research based on a chosen hypothesis. The ultimate goal of the student is to practice research design and analysis in the real world. Students are also gaining a better understanding of how to approach, critique, use, analyze, and communicate research in public service.

Time Frame: Students complete this project in the fall and winter academic quarters in the months of September through March. (22 weeks total)

Example outputs for agencies/non-profits:

  • Research projects to find efficiencies within the agency (i.e. research and survey of internal employees).
  • Research project to find efficiencies outside of the agency (i.e. research and survey of external stakeholders).
  • Research project on national best practices in your field of interest (final report could be submitted to gain support for a particular action or policy).


In capstone, students are expected to 'cap off' their MPA experience by applying what they have learned over the program into a final working project. Capstone can take any form the student desires as long as the outcome demonstrates learning from the program and integrates part of the MPA mission statement into its final piece. In past years, many students chose to continue on with their research projects (if the agency/non-profit has further need) or they chose to work directly with an agency/non-profit to help them identify and meet their own mission statements. Additionally, agencies/non-profits have benefitted from partnering with Evergreen MPA students on their capstone projects in that it gives agencies a chance to 'try before they buy' when it comes to potential employees. Many students have continued on as permanent employees with the agencies/non-profits they worked on their capstones with.

Time Frame: Students complete this project in the spring academic quarter of April through June. However, many students are planning their capstone well in advance to the April start date so these projects could be posted starting in the September timeframe. Please keep in mind though that the final output will not be until June of the calendar year. (10 weeks)

Example outputs for agencies/non-profits:

these are examples, but the opportunities are endless
  • Possible extension of research project
  • Creation of employee desk manual or agency best practices book
  • User training on implementing social media into the workforce
  • Updating an agency's/non-profit's comprehensive plan
  • Creating a start-up plan for an entrepreneurial business/non-profit
  • Helping create a fiscal plan/budget for a small agency/non-profit
  • Identifying sustainable practices and alternative methods of conducting everyday business


Students can choose to take elective classes or can engage in individual study contracts. Similar to a capstone project, students are free to choose projects that are of interest to them and can design their own coursework with a final output at the end of the summer. Many students choose to work directly with agencies/non-profits to gain 'real world' experience and street level knowledge.

Time Frame: Students are limited to four credit hours of matriculating individual study contracts. However they are able to do this at any time of the school year. Most project timeframes last between 10-20 weeks. However, many students become engrossed within their contract and continue their work even after the contracted timeframe has ended.

Example outputs for agencies/non-profits:

  • Any type of part-time, short-term internship.
  • Working with an agency's/non-profit's business plan.
  • Researching business nationa/international best practices and how they could apply to your agency/non-profit.
  • Tracking and researching legislative bills.
  • Translating company manuals/documents into "plain talk".
  • Planning and organizing an event for your agency/non-profit.

    For questions or comments about this page, please use the following form to contact the site administrator.

TESC, Evergreen State College, Masters of Public Administration