Article – Critical gaps in public policy programs in Canada: Identifying subject areas for graduate training in rural policy
McNeely, G., & Ashton, W. (2018). Critical gaps in public policy programs in Canada: Identifying subject areas for graduate training in rural policy. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 0(0), 1–23.
Since rural Canada contributes about one-third of the national economy and significantly to culture, we argue it deserves greater attention in public policy, beginning with policy education. A scan of 22 Canadian Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs reveals a marked absence of policy training focused on rural issues and communities. By comparing the subject areas offered in these programs and the learning outcomes presented at the 2015 International Comparative Rural Policy Studies (ICRPS) summer institute, we identify subject areas essential for training in rural policy. The comparison establishes an important congruence in the learning offered in the MPP/MPA programs and the summer institute, and yet critical differences. The analysis recognizes that training in analytical tools and socio-political contexts is foundational for policy design and implementation. However, acquiring competency in rural policy reinforces the need for graduate coursework centred on rural policy sectors.