Greetings and welcome to all of you. This is an informational session about the fully on-line, graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management being offered by Johns Hopkins University.
My name is Char Mollison. I am based in Washington, DC and I’m also one of the faculty members for the nonprofit courses. Joining me is Sallie You of our admissions department, who will help answer any questions related to the admission process or policy. And I want to thank Adam LaFaci, who is with Learning Times, the company that is managing this on-line session for us. He is based in New York City and he will help to monitor questions and comments that come over the chat function. He will also provide an audio recording of the session afterwards, and we know that there are several people who couldn’t participate at this time but who registered so they could receive the audio link. So we have a good group of interested people.
Just to get started, if you are willing, please let us know where you are located and give us a sentence or two about why you are interested in learning more about the nonprofit certificate. You go to the lower left hand side of the screen and enter where it shows the little balloon. In the meantime, I’ll quickly review our agenda for this evening, and later, after the session, we will have a chance to look more carefully at your entries. They’ll be very helpful to us, so please plunge in.So you see our agenda. The presentation takes about 30 minutes. We’ll cover the purpose of the program, a little bit about why there is value to deeper study related to nonprofit management and why there is value to earning a graduate certificate. We’ll show you the courses and talk about the on-line environment, the admission requirements, the cost, the faculty and how to apply. We’ll also hear from a couple of Hopkins graduates who took the courses and take any questions you send over the chat box.
Our goal is to help you build the analytical and management skills necessary for leadership roles in a variety of nonprofit fields. Those leadership roles might be staff roles but they could also be roles on a board of directors.If you are already working in a nonprofit sub-specialty – for example, the arts, or health, or environmental causes or international development – our courses will show how your fields fit into the larger nonprofit sector and how larger forces – forces outside your field – can affect your own leadership and management challenges. If you are in government service and have extensive interaction with nonprofits in the US or other countries, this program should help increase your understanding of how these organizations work, what makes them tick. The same goes for anyone working in the corporate world where you may have community relations or corporate social responsibility initiatives, all of which require interaction with nonprofits or nongovernmental organizations or NGOs (as they are called) in other countries. In fact, we have students from other countries in the program, and they are interested in it because they want the lessons from the American experience along with the lessons from other countries with an advanced or growing nongovernmental sector. For everyone, the program of study will offer a greater understanding of the role and potential of nonprofits in society and convey what we know about what makes an excellent and effective nonprofit.
We are very fortunate today that we have a body of experience and research about excellence and effectiveness in nonprofit management. In the old days, which I will define for our purposes here as the 1960s, 1970s and into the 1980s, because that’s when I began what became a career, we did not have a field of study. There were no courses. We were all very cause-oriented, we had idealism and energy, but we didn’t know what we were doing. We just jumped off the cliff. I don’t want to minimize the importance of idealism and energy – thanks to those qualities, we achieved a lot – but we didn’t know how to build sustainable organizations. We didn’t understand financial management or fundraising or the role of a board of directors or how to manage multiple constituencies, and so on. And we were all hit with some high profile scandals in a couple of nonprofits in the late 1980s and the early 1990s, and the wide publicity about them led to a measurable decline in the public’s trust. This new reality affected everyone, even the very well-intentioned, honest and effective nonprofits.
So the reality today is that there is greater scrutiny from Congress on nonprofits, the media is watching, and overall, there is a general expectation from the public that we will be accountable and that we will use funds from the public and private sector in the most effective ways possible for service and impact. And over the past 40 years the number of nonprofits in the U.S. and in other countries has grown astronomically, and so that’s a positive development for civil society and civic engagement and service for the public good, but the reality is that there is more competition for funding.We are so fortunate today that no matter what type of nonprofit endeavor is before us, we have the opportunity to be very well prepared. We have a body of knowledge, built over the past 20 years or so, about what makes an excellent and effective nonprofit. This knowledge comes from experience, and it comes from the research and scholarship that we are so fortunate to have from universities here and abroad. Some of the most important and influential research has come out of Johns Hopkins University.
So there’s the value in studying this body of knowledge, and there is growing evidence that earning a formal credential like a graduate certificate has value also. These are called “post baccalaureate” certificates, and I want to emphasize that because many of us have taken trainings in various skills and received a certificate. You probably all know this already, but I do get questions about it. These are graduate-level degrees for specialized academic study with an emphasis on practical application of knowledge useful for jobs. Graduate certificates are a good alternative if you don’t want to commit to a masters degree, for example, or if want an add-on to a degree you already have. There are some studies that show increased earnings when people have these advanced degrees like certificates, and I can certainly say that at least they help you have a competitive advantage in the job market. Nonprofits look for the same skills as other parts of our economy, but having a formal degree in nonprofit management can help you stand out and if you are looking to change careers, it can send a positive signal to a potential employer.
Study after study shows nonprofit employment to be generally robust. We all probably know of nonprofits that struggled through the recession and are probably still struggling. Some have folded, laid off staff. But there have been national studies – including one by Johns Hopkins – and studies by different states, and they all show nonprofits holding their own. So, I think we can at least say that as the economy turns around, there will indeed be jobs. There will also be opportunities to move up. Several studies show the projected turnover in leadership positions as older baby boomers retire. Having a graduate certificate in nonprofit management can be seen as an enhancement to other skills and credentials that you have. I know from my own experience on search committees that degrees or concentrations in nonprofit management demonstrate to a potential employer that you are interested in the unique requirements of a nonprofit, that you know those requirements, and that you care about being part of a mission-driven organization. Being part of a formal program gets you access to a network of professionals which of course can be very helpful. For all of those reasons you’ll be better prepared to succeed on the job, so add Preparation to that Energy and Idealism and you have an unbeatable set of credentials. There is also the very strong reputation that Johns Hopkins has for its nonprofit research and education.
Johns Hopkins is a globally recognized institution. It’s widely known for its research and educational offerings in nonprofit subjects, whether in public health, medicine, international relations, civil society studies, arts and sciences, and so on. For those who don’t know, there are several schools and campuses. The old-fashioned building you see on the top right is on the original campus in Baltimore, Maryland. The office building you see on the left is where we are housed on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, DC near DuPont Circle. And more and more the university is sponsoring on-line education. Our part of the university system is called Advanced Academic Programs, and we cover a variety of degrees and certificates. We just saw the results of a survey of our graduates. About 1,000 were surveyed, and the response rate was 30%. One of the questions asked if the courses helped with their current job position, and 75% of the respondents said yes. Another question asked if the program helped them get a new job, and 93% said yes. And 93% said they would definitely recommend our programs to others. So that’s some extraordinary data to consider
The next entry point for the certificate is the spring semester which actually starts in January. Courses are offered every semester – fall, spring and summer. They are conducted over a period of 14 weeks each semester.
There are six required courses to earn the certificate, all of which have been taught for several years here at Hopkins, so we have a lot of evidence about their value and how the knowledge is used in the real world by our graduates.The six courses are described in more detail on the website but essentially they represent the core knowledge that anyone would find helpful in the field.There is an international dimension in all the courses. The American experience is of great interest, of course, but the experience in other countries can teach us a great deal, also. We recommend that students take the first two courses shown here in the slide before taking the others. Many of the fundamentals are addressed in those first two courses – the ones called “Influence and Impact of Nonprofits” and “Principles of Nonprofit Management.” Then we have created a schedule so that the courses come up often enough to enable someone to complete the requirements in one year if they are able to do that or want to. But students may complete the program at their own pace as long as the coursework is completed within five years.
We use a system called Blackboard. Here is what an opening page looks like. You will get used to it very quickly. Faculty members will differ in the functionalities they want to use, but you will learn that quickly also. Hopkins does provide an orientation to on-line classwork to everyone accepted into the program. So there is lots of support.The courses are conducted in what is called an asynchronous manner. In other words, we are not all on line at the same time. So there is lots of flexibility for the student.I know some people are skeptical about on-line courses. Before I taught my first one, I asked students about their experiences with them, and when the experience had not been satisfying, it was usually because the students didn’t know what was expected of them and the instructor seemed to disappear. So we know we have to be clear about expectations – such as assignments and deadlines and so on – and that we as faculty should be engaged and accessible. My experience with on-line teaching has been extremely positive, and student say they liked it a lot more than they expected to.Some people wonder how an on-line course might be structured. There would be one topic a week. Reading material is uploaded by the instructor under each topic or week. There is a discussion forum for each topic where everyone in the class contributes. In my case, I assign the lead for each topic to a student who posts an analysis first and then everyone else pitches in. And then I wrap up emphasizing the lessons that in my judgment are important take-aways.Most instructors assign a final paper. Here is where students usually have a lot of freedom to pursue the nonprofit subject that’s of greatest interest, whether it’s the arts or international development, health, advocacy, and so on.
Hopkins requires a grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent to that in other educational systems, like those outside the U.S. For this program it is not necessary to take the GRE’s (graduate record exam). We do look for strong writing skills.
If you apply, you will need transcripts from your previous undergraduate education and graduate education if you have that as well. And just a tip, it can take awhile for those transcripts to arrive.We like a current resume. The application asks for a statement of purpose of about 1000 words. This is a very important part of your application, so if you apply, you will want to give that careful attention. We ask you to state your reasons for seeking admission to the program and your academic or professional goals. You’ll need two letters of recommendation. The university generally prefers that one be from your academic experience, but for this particular certificate, we would just ask that the individuals attest to your ability to succeed in a graduate-level program. Applications are accepted all year long, so you may apply and be accepted at any time, but we ask that students start the series of courses either in the spring or the fall.Ideally applications for the spring would be completed in October or November, but anywhere from two to four months ahead of when you’d like to start.For applicants from outside the US whose native language is not English, we need a score from a test-of-English-as-a-foreign-language . And because educational systems are so different, our admissions office requires anyone whose education has been outside the U.S. to have an evaluation of their transcript. There are professional services that do this, and you can find them under “Admission Requirements” on the website. If you fall into this category, please contact me for guidance.
For the cost, there is a one-time application fee of $75.Each course is $3,171 plus $150 technology fee.So the total cost is about $20,000. Not all of the instructors require a textbook, and the ones that are assigned can generally be found at a very modest cost on the internet. So books and materials will not be the big expense.You pay each time you take a course, so you can spread the cost over five years if you wish. And I understand that we can arrange for a student to pay for each course in installments.The program is now eligible for federal student loans, so if that’s helpful to you, please contact our admissions office or me and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Hopkins has offered its nonprofit courses in real-time classrooms for several years, but the on-line certificate is new. So, we don’t yet have graduates of that, but we do have alumni of the courses. So I thought it would be helpful to hear from a couple of the students. This was not rehearsed or scripted, so it’s the real thing, and you’ll be able to tell. This takes about five minutes total. Joe Dougherty is a policy analyst with the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA, a US government agency, and Sarah Guerrieri is in government relations for Children’s National Medical Center, a large and respected nonprofit children’s hospital in Washington, DC.Adam – take it away.
Just to make sure there are some very current testimonials, our faculty pulled some from messages we received spontaneously from the students this year. With their permission, we’re sharing their quotes here. I’ll pause briefly so that you can read them – there are eight total.
There are five faculty members. And here we are. You can find out about our specific backgrounds on the website. I can tell you we are all very excited about sharing what we know and passionate about our subjects.
For this program, our criteria for faculty are that they come from the executive ranks of influential nonprofits and are widely recognized by their peers for achievements in both domestic and international arenas.They have deep practical experience but also an understanding of the body of research out there about what makes a nonprofit organization excellent and effective. So they bring that integrated perspective of research and practice to the class.And finally, they have experience as teachers and trainers.
You can apply on-line by going to the webpage and selecting “Apply Now” from the right-hand menu. Then, you will go through a series of steps. You can do part of the application and save it, and come back to it later. If you do decide to apply, let me know and I’ll be glad to help. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org; you can find that on the website as well.
Thank you very much for joining us, and please feel free to contact me with your questions or comments.
Johns Hopkins University Nonprofit Management Program 9.5.12
Welcome to the Certificate in Nonprofit Management Information Session
Presentation by> Char Mollison Faculty and Program Coordinator email@example.com> Sallie You Admissions Office> Adam La Faci Learning Times LLC
Agenda> About you! > On-line Environment> Purpose of the > Admission and Cost Certificate Program > Student Testimonials> Why Nonprofit Management? > Time Out for Questions> Value of the Graduate > Faculty Certificate > How to Apply> Courses > More Questions
Purpose of the Certificate Program> Build analytical and management skills> Show how your field fits into the larger nonprofit sector> How forces outside your field affect a nonprofit’s leadership and management challenges> For government and corporate employees: how nonprofits work> Role of nonprofits or NGOs in society> Convey what we know about excellence and effectiveness
Why Nonprofit Management?In the old days:> No field of study, no courses> Only idealism and energy> High profile scandals in the 1980s and 90s> Decline in public trust
Why Nonprofit Management?Today:> Greater scrutiny from Congress, media> Public demand for accountability> New expectations for service and impact> More competition for funding> Knowledge base for excellences, effectiveness
Value of a Graduate Certificate> “Post-baccalaureate” certificate> Provides specialized academic study> Emphasis on practical application for jobs> Alternative to masters, or an add-on> Studies show increased earnings> Competitive advantage - Stand out - Helps when changing careers
Value of a Graduate CertificateIn Nonprofit Management> Nonprofit employment generally robust> Enhancement to other skills, credentials - Shows interest and caring - Shows knowledge of unique requirements - Access to professional networks> Better prepared to succeed on the job> Energy plus idealism plus Preparation!> Johns Hopkins’ strong reputation in nonprofit research and education
Six Required Courses> Influence and Impact of Nonprofits> Principles of Nonprofit Management> Nonprofit Governance and Executive Leadership> Financial Management and Analysis in Nonprofits> Program Development and Evaluation> Resource Development and Marketing
Admissions Requirements> GPA: at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale> Strong writing skills> Particular interests and work experience may also be considered
Application Requirements> Transcripts> Current resume> Statement of purpose (about 1,000 words)> Two letters of recommendation (one preferably academic)> Applicants outside the US: - TOEFL score if non-native English speaker - Course-by-course credentialing service
Program Cost> $75 one-time application fee> Each course: $3,171 plus $150 technology fee (total for each course is $3,321)> Approximately $20,000 for all six courses (not including books or materials)
Student Testimonials > Joe Dougherty Environmental Protection Agency > Sarah Guerrieri National Children’s Medical Center