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Nonprofit First as Grounding for Nonprofit Studies: Pedagogy, Research, Service to the Community, Accreditation, and National Rankings

Stuart Mendel


The case for nonprofit sector studies as an autonomous field of knowledge is well established. Among the more distinctive characteristics of the field is that it is interdisciplinary and has unambiguous underpinnings of theory and practice drawn from research and education methods that use a nonprofit-first perspective and pedagogy. To advance institutional anchors of the field, nonintrusive and low cost accreditation based upon NACC indicators of quality and curricular guidelines should be used. A process of accrediting nonprofit academic programs, research center activity, and community service programs can also provide a means of rating nonprofit programs nationally.


nonprofit first; nonprofit studies accreditation; ranking nonprofit academic programs; Nonprofit Academic Centers Council

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