John G. Bretting
Associate Professor, Graduate Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning
John Bretting’s love for urban planning and parks began when he was an undergraduate at the University of New Mexico. After studying Political Science and Urban Planning there, he moved to Houston, TX, to work with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, and with The Park People, Inc.
After some years, he enrolled full-time in graduate school at the University of Houston, and received his master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science. Dr. Bretting then went on to teach at the University of New Mexico, UT San Antonio, and The College of Charleston in South Carolina. He returned to the El Paso area in 2004, because of family circumstances, and joined UTEP’s College of Liberal Arts as a faculty member.
While at UTEP, Dr. Bretting has participated in various leadership and management training programs. One that stands out is an opportunity he had in 2006 to teach social entrepreneurship at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. Another is his participation in the El Paso Region Creative Cities Leadership and Strategic Planning Project facilitated by Richard Florida of the Florida Creativity Group and the City of El Paso’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department in 2006-2007.
Dr. Bretting is now an Associate Professor and the former Program Chair of the Master of Public Administration program at UTEP.
Experiences and events that have inspired him:
A high school, political science class; an applied internship with the U.S. National Park Service; a stint as an Americorps VISTA volunteer working as a volunteer with urban parks planning; and, a 2001 Environmental Summer School in Saint Petersburg, Russia (where I was) one of five policy experts from the United States instructing 32 Russian professors and advanced graduate students. We covered policy analyses methodologies and pedagogy for environmental public policy, public agency budgeting, community participation, and public opinion research.
Courses he teaches include:
- Comprehensive Integration of Public Administration (Capstone); topics covered have included
- Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe – Neighborhood Plan
- Feasibility Study for the El Paso County Library Fabens, Texas.
- Building a Foundation for Implementation of Quality Improvement Measures: Assessing the Capacity of the El Paso City-County Health and Environmental District
- A Case Study of the Events Leading to the Creation of the El Paso County Ethics Commission and its Early Operations.
- United Way 2011-2012 Applications: Content Analyses and Evaluations of Funding Applications.
- A Comprehensive Evaluation of El Paso County United Way Applicants’ Understanding of Performance Management Indicators.
- Social Entrepreneurship/Nonprofit Management
- Urban Administration
- Race and the City
His proudest accomplishment and biggest challenge as an online instructor:
(My proudest accomplishment is) working with MPA faculty to deliver online courses for the MPA program’s core, elective and certificate coursework. My biggest challenge is my schedule and research/publishing/teaching and extensive service commitments, which have provided excessive opportunity costs associated with course/carousel development.
On what makes a successful online student:
Dedication/focus/time management/personal academic skill sets and associated rigors.
His advice to his students:
Know the people at the UTEP Help Desk – (you’ll need) their capacity to assist you remotely!