CHICAGO, IL (March 15, 2013) – This fall, North Park University will be the only higher education institution in the Chicago area offering a new nonprofit major for undergraduates as part of its new academic program that can lead to either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in nonprofit management.
The new degrees replace the current academic concentration in nonprofit management offered by the university’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management (SBNM), said Dr. Wesley E. Lindahl, the school’s dean.
“The change was mainly driven by student feedback, but also driven by our school’s strategic plan to be a fully engaged educational institution in the nonprofit area,” Lindahl said. Students currently interested in nonprofit management are business and economics majors and take extra courses in the nonprofit area.
There has been growing interest in a nonprofit major among incoming students, and the new degrees will attract about 15 new students per year, Lindahl said. Undergraduate students can also declare a minor in nonprofit management.
Students will learn about fundraising, building relationships with donors, working with boards, managing volunteers, understanding nonprofit budgets and accounting, as well as marketing in nonprofit organizations, Lindahl said. They will also take classes in sociology and develop leadership and management skills.
The new Bachelor of Science degree program requires 52 semester hours in nonprofit management courses, said Christa Beall Diefenbach, a member of SBNM’s teaching faculty and Axelson Center associate director. Bachelor of Science students will also complete requirements for the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance certificate, she said.
“Every student who graduates with this certificate will be a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP), which makes students more competitive when they start their career searches,” Diefenbach said. Bachelor of Science students will also participate in the university’s Nonprofit Leadership Club and attend one Alliance Management Institute, an annual nonprofit management educational symposium, she said.
Students who opt for the Bachelor of Arts program will take 40 semester hours in nonprofit management and other relevant courses and could combine the program with another major.