UNT to offer nonprofit leadership studies degree starting fall 2018

UNT to offer nonprofit leadership studies degree starting fall 2018

UNT to offer nonprofit leadership studies degree starting fall 2018
March 20
14:24 2018

Starting this fall, UNT will offer a bachelor of science in nonprofit leadership studies through the department of public administration. University officials say the degree will prepare students for careers in multiple nonprofit sectors.

The degree plan will “expand on courses already offered through a minor in leadership of community and nonprofit organizations, and an academic certificate in volunteer and community resource management,” according to a UNT press release.

“It’s going to be beneficial, not just to UNT and to its students, but on the back end, it’s going to be beneficial to the community and to the nonprofit organizations here in Denton and in DFW,” Department of Public Administration Chair Abraham Benavides said.

The degree plan includes 33 hours of core courses offered in the department of public administration, 15 hours of courses in the communication studies, management and journalism departments and nine hours of electives.

Department of Public Administration Undergraduate Coordinator and lecturer Laura Keyes explained what the new program will focus on.

“Our coursework is focusing on administration and management, but we are providing [students] with a marketable skill set in finance and a marketable skill set in critical and analytical thinking,” Keyes said. “They’ll have a capstone course that will focus on the culmination of all of these skills and work on a specific project, and then they will also have an internship requirement where we will help place them in a nonprofit in the DFW area to gain practical, hands-on skills.”

Topics for the courses include community resources, financial management, leadership theory and practice for volunteer managers, mediation, philanthropy and fundraising, proposal writing and grants administration, Keyes said.

The courses are all set to be offered on UNT’s main campus and will integrate in-person and online classes.

Keyes talked about her efforts in securing nonprofit organizations interested in accepting future interns through this program.

“I’m working night and day trying to build these partnerships and a database and get confirmation from them that they’re interested in administration and management, and that they’ll help us place [students] in [human resource] positions and the donor and fundraising development type of positions,” Keyes said.

Keyes said nonprofits in the DFW area have expressed excitement about the new program.

Communities In Schools of North Texas CEO Ann Pape said in an email she is thrilled to be a part of UNT’s efforts to support and develop the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

“I have had the privilege of teaching the next generation of leaders as well as leading a nonprofit organization in service to children and families,” Pape said. “Investing in the next generation of nonprofit leaders is an investment in our community as a whole. Our hopes for social equity, empowered individuals, and thriving families rests on the ambitions and abilities of students who will one day become leaders.”

Public relations junior Czarina Muñoz will add nonprofit leadership studies as a second major this fall. She said she’s volunteered at various nonprofits and found a love for the public relations sector. 

“Every organization, no matter how big or small, leaves a footprint on people’s lives,” Muñoz said. “With my degree, I plan on entering the nonprofit sector whether it be through grant writing or human resources. I would love to counsel young adults who are looking at working in the public relations side whether it be human resources or nonprofit organizations.”

Benavides said this degree will be a good fit for young people interested in contributing to their communities.

“Something I’ve noticed is that this younger generation that’s coming up, they’re interested in making money, but they’re also interested in doing good,” Benavides said. “This degree will help train them to do that, so they can feel a purpose to their lives. They can say, ‘Yes, I’m able to feed my family and provide for my needs, but at the same time, I’m also able to contribute significantly to the community.’”

Featured Image: Laura Keyes is the undergraduate program coordinator for the Department of Public Administration. Ashton Sackey

About Author

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel

Sean Riedel has been a staff writer for the North Texas Daily since June 2017.

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