The liberal arts education provides a desirable foundation for starting a career in the nonprofit sector. There is no “one” path to finding a career in nonprofit work.  Students of all majors and minors can develop the competencies necessary for the multitude of roles in nonprofit organizations.  Students are encouraged to major in a field of interest and perform well in all of their classes to earn grades indicative of content mastery.

Key Competencies

Employers in the nonprofit sector are seeking college graduates with the following key competencies:

  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Communication (written and oral)
  • Interpersonal (i.e., teamwork, leadership)

As you move through your courses in your chosen major/minor, you can begin to build your portfolio of evidence of your development of the various competencies listed above.  Students are encouraged to actively reflect upon their past and current coursework and evaluate the skills that they have learned and refined.

The Nonprofit Leadership advising track is intended to help students identify courses within and outside of their major/minor that include content relevant to the nonprofit sector.  These courses will contribute to your overall development of the core competencies and provide nonprofit-specific content that will help you as you explore your interests in careers in the nonprofit sector.

Participants in the Communities of Professional Practice are strongly encouraged to take CAS 171 (2-credit hours; recommended for sophomores) and CAS 271 (2-credit hours; recommended for juniors/seniors) — BOTH courses offered Fall 2020:

The Art & Science of Your College Journey I (CAS 171) and II (CAS 271):

The college experience and entry into young adulthood is a journey marked by ambiguity and uncertainty.  Scholars across disciplines—philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc.—have grappled with this uncertainty.  Students in this course will engage in active sense-making to more intentionally navigate their college journey.  Specifically, students will read and apply interdisciplinary scholarship to answer questions such as:  How do you define meaning in your life?  What motivates you?  How do individuals thrive and flourish in their pursuits?  What are your personal and professional goals? How can the arts and sciences education facilitate your goal achievement?  This course is intended for students who are thinking about participating in one of the communities of professional practice or designing their own plan of study in order to reach professional goals.

Suggested Courses

The following is a selection of the suggested courses:

  • Voices of Welfare (ANT 383)
  • Introduction to Arts Administration (AAD 101)
  • Public Relations and Civic Responsibility (COM 252)
  • Poverty and Social Justice (COR 443)
  • Special Topics in Professional Writing and Rhetoric (Writing for Nonprofits; ENG 313)
  • Entrepreneurship for the Greater Good (ENT 355)
  • Working with Groups and Communities (HSS 213)
  • Philanthropy and Social Change (PST 310)
  • Introduction to Poverty Studies (PSJ 110)
  • Psychology of Leadership (PSY 368)
  • Social Issues and Problems in the Local Community (SOC 220)

This is NOT a complete list of suggested courses, and your Nonprofit Leadership advisor may recommend different courses depending on your interests. Please plan to meet with your major advisor first, and then consult with your Nonprofit Leadership advisor.