The Master of Public Administration degree at Appalachian State University has been in continuous operation since being approved by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors in 1988. Appalachian first awarded the MPA degree to individuals in May, 1989. Appalachian's MPA program was first accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) in 1997. NASPAA accreditation is a voluntary, peer review process which assures Appalachian's MPA program is of the highest quality. Accreditation of the program was renewed in 2003 and 2010. The program is currently accredited through the 2016-2017 academic year and will again apply for renewal of its accreditation in 2016. Appalachian's MPA program is one of eight NASPAA-accredited schools in North Carolina and one of approximately 185 programs globally that meets NASPAA's standards for accreditation.