In June 2018, the Board of Trustees approved the creation of a new major in the College of Human Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies. The program will be housed in the college’s department of consumer and design sciences.
The curriculum for the new program is not completely through the approval process. The Alabama Commission on Higher Education must still approve it at the commission’s meeting in December. If the degree is approved, it will first be offered during the fall 2019 semester.
Dr. Pamela Ulrich, head of the department of consumer and design sciences, does not anticipate any issues with the curriculum approval because the program will be the first of its kind in Alabama.
“There are some undergraduate and graduate courses or certificates in nonprofit organizations in Alabama and other parts of the country,” Ulrich said. “But there are very few programs that integrate nonprofits, financial management
The curriculum emphasizes nonprofits, financial management and philanthropy in tandem in order to produce well-rounded graduates capable of succeeding in all areas of nonprofit organizations, Ulrich said.
“They are all linked,” Ulrich said. “If you understand it all, you can see that
Nonprofits are a growing economic sector in Alabama. Statistics show that 12.5 percent of Alabama’s economy is associated with nonprofit organizations, Ulrich said.
“So it’s a place where people can plan a career,” Ulrich said.
The program also requires a minor, a three-hour practicum and a full-time, ten-week internship.
The College of Human Sciences began offering a minor in philanthropy and nonprofit studies in 2011. The success of the minor is what spurred the development of the major, Ulrich said.
As of the spring 2018 semester, more than 100 people have graduated with the minor. There are currently more than 100 people working toward the minor.
“It has steadily grown over the past seven years,” Ulrich said.
Ulrich thinks the degree will bring an awareness of the integration of nonprofit, financial management and philanthropy to students on Auburn’s campus, including students in other colleges or programs.
“It is a very important part of our world,” Ulrich said.