SBS Involved in UA Downtown

SBS has a very significant presence in the new UA downtown facility.

The School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP) will move their MPA (Master of Public Administration) program to UA Downtown.The School will be offering 12 evening classes per semester in the downtown building. Currently, there are 95 students in the school’s two-year MPA program, and many of these students already work in the downtown area for government and nonprofit agencies.

"We are delighted to offer the Master of Public Administration degree at UA Downtown,” said Brint Milward, the director of SGPP. “It will allow much easier access to our program for working professionals who wish to take programs in the evening, especially if they are currently working for the City of Tucson, Pima County or for one of the nonprofit agencies located in the downtown area."

SBS is also planning to hold classes for its new Master of Science program in Geographic Information Systems Technology (GIST) at the downtown campus. This one-year Master of Science program integrates GIScience, cutting-edge GISystems, and geospatial technology with management skills for use in government, corporate, nonprofit, and academic settings. The new program is designed to meet the educational needs of working professionals seeking to improve their career as well as recent graduates seeking employment in the high-growth geospatial industries.

According to the director of the School of Geography and Development, Paul Robbins, having a GIS projects facility downtown will “help us more closely serve the needs of the downtown businesses and government agencies, while giving our students hands-on access to the people involved in making site selections, infrastructural improvements, and transportation plans for future improvement of downtown Tucson.”

According to SBS Dean John Paul Jones III, there are also plans to move the College’s internship programs downtown. 

“We hope students and employers will both begin to use the downtown space as a place to meet and match up with one another,” said Jones. “Certainly we want our interns to be a part of the professional life of downtown Tucson, and this space not only gives them that, it can also be used for training interns so that they are really able to contribute to those employers they will serve.”

In addition, Jones noted, there will be several SBS offices devoted to community outreach projects centered on downtown and nearby neighborhoods, making the UA Downtown facility a hub of university-town interaction.

“A vibrant downtown has to include a mix of corporate, art, music, dining, nightlife, residential and educational,” said Fletcher McCusker, CEO and chairman of the board for Providence Service Corporation, a TREO Chairman's Circle member, and an SBS advisory board member.  “For the University of Arizona to commit to the Roy Place building and add hundreds of students to the downtown scene is another game changer for downtown Tucson. A year from now no one will recognize downtown.”