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Assessing Undergraduate Nonprofit Management Curriculum: A Mixed Methods Case Study of a Strategically Selected University Program

Molly Findlay Peterson, Eric Legg, Robert Ashcraft


Given the growth of nonprofit management education (NME), there is a need to assess the fulfillment of undergraduate NME programs in comparison to NACC Curricular Guidelines and, further, to compare curriculum to views of former graduates and current nonprofit leaders. This study meets that objective through a multimethod case study of the undergraduate NME program at Arizona State University. Results indicate that former students highly valued leadership skills including ethics and values; leadership and management; finance and fundraising; managing staff and volunteers; and assessment, evaluation, and decision making. Similarly, nonprofit managers reported that areas specific to their roles in management were most important, including human resources management, financial management, assessment and evaluation for decision making, and management theory. A comparison to course syllabi reveals potential gaps in curriculum. Results also lead to practical recommendations including expansion of NACC Undergraduate Curricular Guidelines, increased use of case studies, and integrated curriculum.

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nonprofit education; NACC; accreditation; curriculum mapping; undergraduate education

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