Master's degree for non-profits

AIC will be offering a master's degree for non-profits

SPRINGFIELD Thousands of people in the Greater Springfield area benefit from the work of nonprofit agencies. Now, American International College is offering a new master's degree program to help these organizations operate more efficiently. Starting in January, AIC will begin the Master in Nonprofit Management program.

Representatives from more than 20 nonprofit organizations joined AIC President Vince Maniaci in announcing the program at a news conference on Nov. 6.

"This is a program that is badly needed so these organizations can continue to help those in need," Maniaci said.

Henry Thomas, president of the Urban League of Springfield, said education is the key to better management and ultimately, it will help the Urban League and other organizations operate more effectively.

"Serving as a professional in the non profit sector in today's environment is extremely challenging. The demands for professional excellence, operational effectiveness and ethical leadership is extremely high. The establishment of this program for nonprofit professionals is timely, greatly needed and will provide a tremendous asset to the region," Thomas said.

The nonprofit management degree is a 30 credit program structured toward the needs of working professionals. Courses include strategic planning, fundraising, board development, grant writing and planned giving, as well as accounting and other financial courses.

Stephen Davis of the Davis Foundation said he is excited about the new program.

"This is great news for all nonprofit agencies. I think everyone should think seriously about taking advantage of this new program at American International College," Davis said.

Roland Holstead, dean of the school of continuing education and graduate studies at AIC, said the program will be set up to meet the needs of those already in the field.

"The first semester will be traditional 16-week courses, but there will also be a blending of classroom and web-based learning. By incorporating graduate courses already offered at AIC, therewill be a mix of students in the nonprofit and for profit sectors," Holstead explained.