New program at Maryville College will equip graduates for non-profit work

Public invited to hear program overviews at April 19 Open House

April 11, 2002

Maryville College's Non-Profit Leadership Development Program, a campus affiliate of American Humanics, was officially launched Feb. 11. As of today, charter members have officers and are planning an Open House on April 19 from 4 until 6 p.m.

The Open House, which will be held in the Center for Campus Ministry, is open to the public. Leaders and employees of non-profit agencies are especially encouraged to attend the program, which will highlight the mission of American Humanics and how Maryville College students may become involved in local non-profit organizations.

American Humanics is a professional organization dedicated to equipping college and university students with the education and experience necessary to become skilled professionals and leaders in America's youth and human service agencies. Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., American Humanics ensures students' success by providing leadership opportunities, internships and financial aid as well as education curriculum.

Maryville joins 87 other colleges and universities across the United States that have American Humanics campus affiliates. The closest affiliate is at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

"For many students, this will be their first step in the professional world," said Cole Piper, campus director of the College's chapter. "It's one foot in college, one foot in the professional world."

Cole credits Dr. Dean Boldon and Dr. John Gallagher, two social science professors, for introducing the program to the Maryville College campus.

"They felt like American Humanics fit the mission of the College," Cole explained. "Last year, I attended an American Humanics conference in Kansas City and came back believing that this made sense - that it would be good for Maryville College."

Before officially requesting charter affiliation, the College put together an advisory group made up of college representatives and leaders of several local non-profit agencies. After getting the group's stamp of approval, Cole began recruiting students. He had been told at the Kansas City conference that, given Maryville College's size, he should expect charter members in the new chapter to number between five and 10.

"We have 32 signed up for the program," Cole said. "I was pleasantly surprised at the numbers, but I probably shouldn't have been. It really reaffirms for me what we're doing. On our campus, there is a great atmosphere of volunteering and giving back to the community."

Cole said the president of American Humanics was "blown away" by the initial response of Maryville College's students to the program, adding that when percentages are considered, the participation level puts the College at the top of the list, nationally.

According to Cole, students in the campus affiliate will be eligible for the American Humanics Certificate after completing one "Principles of Management" course, one January Term course on how to run non-profit organizations and many hours of volunteer work and internships. Attendance at seminars and workshops are also required for certification. Additionally, participating students will compile a portfolio of their work in non-profits.

The American Humanics Certificate is recognized by more than 18 national sponsors of American Humanics - sponsors such as American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girls Incorporated, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., Habitat for Humanity International, Junior Achievement, United Way of America, the YMCA of the USA, and the YWCA of the USA.

"This program means good training for future board members, employees and volunteers for these non-profit organizations," Piper said. "There is a real shortage of professionals who want to work in the non-profit sector."

Whether students choose to work in non-profit or for-profit after graduation, Cole said the learning experience guaranteed in the College's Non-Profit Leadership Development Program would be valuable.

"This is a real educational process that these students will experience," he added.