2011-2012 Graduate Studies

Master of Science with an Option in Public Service Management

Program Administration

Eric Cummings, Ph.D. - Dean of the School of Education & Public Service

C. William McKee, Ed.D. - Program Director


Edwina P. Chappell, Ph.D.

K. Charles Collier, Ed.D.

James E. Farris, Ed.D.

Fred E. Heifner, Jr., Th.D.

Roy L. Jones, J.D.

Jason L. Lawson, J.D.

C. William McKee, Ed.D.

Mildred Saffell-Smith, Ph.D.

The Master of Science in Public Service Management (M.S.P.) degree is offered as a part of ’s institutional outreach to provide opportunities for advanced study in fields appropriate to the needs of the community. The program seeks to provide individuals who have attained the baccalaureate degree in any field with an opportunity to acquire advanced expertise while continuing to work full-time during the period of enrollment.

The program of study was instituted in 1996 with the first graduates receiving the Master of Science in Public Service Management degree at the May, 1998, graduation. Enrollment in the M.S.P. degree program is limited. Students who enter the two-year program will attend classes for 5 consecutive semesters, usually sequenced fall-spring-summer-fall-spring.

Primarily, students are admitted for the incoming class during the fall semester, but other admitted students may become part of the program on a space available basis in other terms.

General Information

Cumberland University has established an Office of Student Affairs to facilitate the success experiences of all individuals enrolled in the institution. Persons taking classes away from the main campus are both invited and encouraged to avail themselves of the programs and professional staff located in , and because classes in the MSP degree program are taught in Davidson County, the distance from the main campus is not prohibitive for enrollees to use the campus services on a regular basis.

When appropriate, certain student affairs/services functions can be delivered to off-campus locations. Since the advisor to this program has both educational training and employment experience in this area of university management, he can represent the institution in responding to the questions and needs of the students enrolled in this program.

On-site student services include academic advisement and registration. For many classes, the advisor or professor will bring the textbooks and other required classroom materials for student purchase to the location of the class.

The program advisor is available by telephone or e-mail to facilitate any needed inter-actions between the student and personnel located on the campus. Faculty teaching in the program supply each student with both home and office telephone numbers and encourage the enrollee to contact them with questions and concerns or special assistance if needed in their particular course.

Campus based student services include admissions, the book and supply store, counseling services (both career and personal), enrollment verification, financial aid and scholarship information, the library (including reference assistance), orientation (including the making of an I.D. card), placement services, transcript and grade report requests, plus veterans’ certification.

Previous and current students enrolled in this program have come to campus regularly for sporting, musical, and theatrical events. Admission to many of these functions is free with a validated I.D. card. Non-campus based graduate students are encouraged to participate in the athletic and cultural life of the university.

For assistance in student services or other areas of the degree program, the advisor serves as the contact individual. Regular dialog with the advisor is encouraged.

Program Mission Statement

The mission of the Master of Science in Public Service Management degree program is to provide graduate education to current and potential managers employed by state and local governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations and agencies through academic course work in the broad areas of human relations, management, and research.

Application Fee

A $50.00 non-refundable application fee is required of all graduate student applicants.

Miller Analogies Test (MAT) Requirements

The applicant is required to complete the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) as a part of the application process.  This 120 question instrument contains analogies in each of nine categories, including language usage, mathematics, physical sciences, biological  sciences, social sciences, history, literature and philosophy, fine arts, and general information. The cost for taking the MAT, through Cumberland University, is $60.00.  For specific testing dates, contact the MSP Program Advisor.

Graduate Degree Requirements

Students applying for the MSP degree program must have been awarded an earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.


Three weeks prior to the beginning of each term, a student may obtain a class schedule (Timetable) from the Office of the University Registrar or from the MSP Program Advisor. MSP students will be able to complete the registration process with their advisor at a teaching location in Nashville-Davidson County.

Required Orientation Seminar

Students enrolled in the MSP degree program will have a required orientation, information, and overview session prior to the beginning of the term of enrollment.

Application of Regulations

Cumberland University rules and regulations are found in institution specific documents including the Cumberland University Catalog, and the Cumberland University Student Handbook. The information found in these documents applies to MSP students. These regulations include, but are not limited to, registration, schedule changes, withdrawal from class and/or the university, graduation participation, grade-point average requirements, release of information, student services, class availability, use of English, class attendance/preparation, grade reports, enrollment certification/verification, change of name/address, and academic misconduct.

Academic Load

Students in the MSP degree program will enroll for seven or eight hours during the Fall, Spring, and May/Summer semesters. The normal load is seven semester hours for each of the Fall and Spring terms and eight semester hours for the May/Summer session.


Each student enrolled in the MSP degree program at is assigned an on-campus liaison who is a faculty member and/or institutional administrator. For most MSP students, the program advisor will serve in this capacity. This faculty member and/or administrator may be contacted by telephone/e-mail and will be available for scheduled on-campus appointments. The purpose of this individual is to assist the enrollee in inter facing with the institution and to serve as the faculty advisor for the student.

Graduation Probation

Students enrolled in the MSP degree program are required to maintain no less than a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 to remain in good standing. When a student’s falls below the minimum required, the student is automatically placed on probation and must petition through his/her program director to continue in course work in any graduate program of . Students on probation may remain on probation for a maximum of one semester; if the student’s cumulative grade point average has not risen to the required 3.00 level at the end of one semester of probation, the student may be officially withdrawn from the program. If the student is withdrawn from a graduate program, he/she must remain inactive for a complete academic semester, and then must reapply for graduate enrollment. Re-enrollment is not automatic and will only be allowed with the consent of the appropriate university officials. When a graduate student on probation achieves a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above, that student is automatically removed from a probationary status and is considered to be in good standing.

Admission Procedures

To be admitted to the Master of Science in Public Service Management degree program of Cumberland University, the applicant must (1) be the holder of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university; (2) complete an application form; (3) submit transcripts of all previously completed college or university work; (4) submit satisfactory scores on the Miller Analogies Test [MAT]; (5) provide three confidential recommendations (forms provided); (6) participate in an on-campus interview with the MSP Admissions Committee; and (7) attend an orientation session.

Completed application forms should be returned at least 20 days prior to the beginning of the term in which the applicant expects to enroll. All materials, completed forms, transcripts, and test scores, along with a $50.00 non-refundable application fee, should be sent directly to Dr. C. William McKee, MSP Program Advisor, Cumberland University, One Cumberland Square, Lebanon, Tennessee 37087-3408. All materials become the property of Cumberland University and will not be returned.

Should an applicant choose not to enter the MSP degree program in the term indicated on the application, notification should be given to the MSP Program Advisor of the change in educational plans and the new date of desired entry if applicable. Otherwise, the original admission will be cancelled and the file discontinued. A new application may be required for admission at a later date.

Transfer Credit

The MSP degree program is designed to be a “lock-step” experience (students take the exact same courses and progress together as a group). No previously completed graduate course work will be accepted in this program.

Graduation Requirements

Listed below is a summary of the necessary requirements in order to earn the Master of Science in Public Service Management degree at Cumberland University.

  1. Each student must complete the standard program of study as outlined by the university within five years of initial enrollment.
  2. Each student must complete the required semester hours for the MSP degree within the established and published time-frame for the program.
  3. Each student must achieve a minimum over-all cumulative grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) based on all MSP courses taken.  No more than six semester hours of “C” grade course work are acceptable in the MSP program. A grade of “F” is not acceptable to continue as a graduate student. Each student must satisfactorily pass the comprehensive final examination.
  4. Each student at the beginning of their last semester of course work must be current in their payment of all university tuition and fees.
  5. Each student must complete a graduation application, pay the required graduation fees, and participate in the commencement and hooding ceremonies.

Location of Instruction

MSP classes will be held in miscellaneous facilities located in the area.

Program Advisory Team

A number of individuals teaching in this emphasis of the Master of Science in Public Service Management degree program will form an advisory team. The duties of this group will be to interview for admissions, to mentor and encourage the progress of the enrollees, review and update the curriculum, plus serve as resource individuals to the enrolled graduate students.

Library Availability

Students enrolled in the MSP degree program will have use of the services of the Doris and Harry Vise University Library located on the Cumberland campus in Lebanon, Tennessee. A specific librarian may be asked to serve as a reference liaison for this particular graduate group.

Services include a pre-enrollment bibliographic instructional overview geared toward informing the student of the library’s resources in his/her discipline, an orientation providing a basic understanding of the organization of the Vise University Library, and the presentation of an annotated bibliography describing these resources.

Available Technology

Currently, any Cumberland University MSP student may access the university’s information technology system through the Cumberland WebPage at www.cumberland.edu. Through the webpage, a graduate student may communicate with the on-campus professor and classmates through e-mail and list servers, access the EBSCO Host academic research and other on-line databases, and connect to the world-wide web.

Degree Requirements

The number of semester hours required for the Master of Science in Public Service Management degree is 36. Three academic components (human relations, management, and research) are included and required for the MSP degree program.

Comprehensive Final Examination

A written comprehensive examination will be administered during the final semester before graduation. A passing grade is considered to be 80% or higher on each of the 5 parts.

Candidacy and Residency Requirements

Any MSP student reaches candidacy status for commencement during the final semester of course work, after the comprehensive examination has been passed. Students completing the required classes are judged to meet all residency requirements.

Alumni Group

The graduates of the Master of Science Program with an option in Public Service Management have established an alumni group, which is a sub-division of the general alumni association of the university. Graduates and current students are both invited and encouraged to participate in the activities of this group.