Exploring Public Administration Issues and the Relationship With Criminal Justice

Female college students discussing public administration

There is no more noble means of giving to one’s community as through public service, and there are few careers that give as much back on a daily basis as those of public administration and criminal justice. These careers call to many but are answered by only a select few. Those who do choose to walk these paths can find themselves elevating to heights of public service leadership worthy of societal admiration. 

These fields are populated by men and women willing to sacrifice potentially more lucrative careers for that of servanthood. What is needed are individuals who wish to tackle the nation’s most important issues both domestically and internationally in a constructive manner — men and women who understand the system and its processes, and who desire to build bridges that connect all levels of government together into one cohesive unit.

In This Article:

The Current State of Public Administration: Issues You May Encounter

In American governance today, there is a general dearth of effective administration affecting the very outcomes that citizens count on for public safety and unity. Far too often, leaders lack the traits necessary to run efficient offices that are both beholden and responsive to their communities at large. This is particularly dangerous given their all-too-important relationship with their criminal justice partners because when government is ineffective, criminal justice is frequently one area that may take a significant hit. 

Addressing the Issues in Public Administration While in College

Grand Canyon University offers relevant degrees in public administration and criminal justice, specifically that of a Bachelor of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in Public Administration. Through this degree path, students are taught to more fully understand the inner workings of local and state government by way of classes in both state and federal constitutions, political behavior, international politics, government affairs and public administration, each of which can help prepare the student-learner for a career in either field. Through these classes, they can acquire a wealth of information on the inner workings of federal, state and local government, as well as the critical role that public administrators play in the realm of criminal justice and among its members. This baseline of fundamental knowledge is established through regular discussion and debate, further augmented by building upon skills of research and informational analysis and synthetization.

Armed with a comprehensive understanding of government dynamics, students at GCU can be poised for a future in public administration, and equipped to confront public administration issues and the pressing challenges of maintaining fair and equitable law and order.

To accomplish this, students will be tasked with meeting competences important to their prospective field. Delving into the intricacies of public organization, needs assessment and strategic planning, as well as conflict resolution and decision-making, they will face the challenge of molding the learned information into an effective mindset, one which can serve as a stable foundation with which they will build upon throughout their careers. 

Through active communication with their professors and regular collaboration with their in-class colleagues, students may find themselves in a position to enter into professions in which they may be able to build public trust necessary to foster a new and enduring measure of community engagement. There is no replacement for a well-functioning public administration; one that positively influences the responsiveness and effectiveness of criminal justice initiatives, and GCU Public Administration graduates are primed to lead the way.

The Importance of Public Administration on a Global Scale

Student-learners’ newfound skills and talents may allow them to expand beyond the domestic arena and onto the international stage as well. Through their exploration of global systems, they can develop an acute understanding of the challenges America faces today in the world of politics, and how our nation interacts with its global partners, both fellow nations as well as business entities. 

Understanding the different political systems that governments around the world adopt and how our own form of government and national values meld with competing political interests is crucial to our country’s ability to maintain its standing as a political world leader. Having a strong aptitude for the intricacies of global relationships is thus critical in designing and implementing public policy that will effectively handle those domestic issues that are tied to the activity of the world at large.

Ethics in Public Administration

What sets GCU’s public administration program apart from that of other schools is the university’s commitment to integrating a Christian worldview into all its programs. This is a particularly important aspect of public administration as it embraces and demands an ethical dimension to learning that is vital to well-conceived public policy. As Christian ethics go, so does one’s professional code of ethics, and public administrators constantly face complex moral dilemmas that require a sound and impartial response. Student-learners are regularly encouraged to explore the moral dimensions of public administration through the Christian lens, fostering a commitment to integrity, justice and compassion. Integrating a Christian worldview not only adds depth to the academic curriculum but also enriches the overall learning experience. 

Student-learners are further encouraged to explore the intersection of faith and public service, fostering a holistic understanding of their role as public administrators who are not only competent in their field but also guided by a strong ethical framework rooted in a Christian worldview. This conjunction merges to a point that strengthens future relationships with the field of criminal justice, as the two entities work together to both build public trust and foster community engagement. This combined effort, when approached with a foundation of ethical morality, contributes heavily to the overall improvement of the criminal justice system at large.

Earn a Degree in Public Administration

Working closely with both their political administration and criminal justice partners, GCU has a deep and faithful commitment to community improvement, both in the physical area surrounding the campus and in the home communities of all students. The mission of GCU’s Bachelor of Arts in Government with an Emphasis in Public Administration and Master of Public Administration with an Emphasis in Government and Policy is to illustrate and communicate how “good” public policy can elevate the lives of all citizens, irrespective of their locale. 

Student-learners may use this knowledge to begin careers building their own communities. With critical skills gained and the integration of ethical values and public policy cemented, this program at GCU is the foundation for a future effective public administrator and the key to the restoration of the truly ethical policymaker.

Approved by faculty for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences on Jan. 5, 2024.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.