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School of Public Affairs and Administration

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Academic Program

The School of Public Affairs and Administration offers a minor in Nonprofit Leadership designed to prepare undergraduate students for leadership in human service, arts, environmental, and governmental organizations.

In Addition to traditional course work of 18 credit hours, this minor requires service to the university and community and fulfillment of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification requirements.

Required coursework is based on a set of competencies determined by nonprofit organizations when asked, "What are you looking for in an entry-level professional?" All coursework and service requirements focus on the student gaining the skills and knowledge identified in the national competencies.

The minor including the certification requires the following 18 credit hours and service:PADM 2000 Introduction to Nonprofit Leadership, 3 creditsPADM 3000 Nonprofit Advancement, 3 creditsPADM 4000 Seminar in Nonprofit Leadership, 3 creditsPADM 4100 Internship in Nonprofit Leadership, 300 hours for 3 creditsElectives, 6 creditsExtra-curricular requirements prescribed by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Inc. These requirements include participation in a Nonprofit Leadership Student Association, attendance at the national Alliance Management/Leadership Institute, and participation in other activities that fulfill the NLA competencies.

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Communication, Marketing and Public Relations. Highlights knowledge and activities that nonprofit organizations use to understand, inform and influence their various constituencies.

Cultural Competency and Diversity Highlights the development of cultural competency preparation for professional practice in culturally diverse settings.Financial Resource Development and Management. Highlights financial resource acquisition, budgeting, financial management, control and transparency in nonprofit organizations.Foundations and Management of the Nonprofit Sector Highlights the history, contributions, and unique characteristics of the nonprofit sector and its management.Governance, Leadership and Advocacy Highlights the stewardship and advocacy roles, responsibilities and leadership of the board of directors, staff, volunteers in the development of policies, procedures and processes by which nonprofits operate and are held accountable.Legal and Ethical Decision Highlights basic laws, regulations, and professional standards that govern nonprofit sector operations, including a basic knowledge of risk and crisis management, ethics and decision making.Personal and Professional Development Highlights the nature of employment in the nonprofit sector, from researching career opportunities, applying and interviewing for a job, to continue professional development. Program Development Highlights program design, implementation, and evaluation strategies applicable to all nonprofits (youth services, arts, environment, health, recreation, social services, advocacy, etc.)Volunteer and Human Resource Management Highlights the knowledge, skills, and techniques for managing volunteer and paid staff.Future of Nonprofit Sector Highlights the dynamic nature of the nonprofit sector, the importance of continuous improvement, emerging trends and innovations, and the critical role research plays in shaping best practices.

The certificate is awarded when students meet the following competencies:

The purpose of the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association at Western Michigan University is to assist members to reach competency levels provided by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, to fundraise for the annual conference, and to provide future nonprofit leaders with contacts and resources that will help them in their future careers.

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