Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The next generation of nonprofit professors are coming!

There was an interesting debate at the ARNOVA conference about pursuing a PhD specializing in nonprofit management vs. pursuing a traditional PhD and writing a nonprofit focused dissertation.

Historically professors who teach nonprofit education earned PhD degrees in Sociology, Education, Public Administration, Public Policy, Political Science, and other fields. Some of these professors advocate for the continuation this type of broad education for future nonprofit studies professors.

However, new programs are popping up across the country offering specialized doctoral programs in Nonprofit Management, Leadership and Philanthropy, and enrollment is on the rise. Obviously I am an advocate for specialized PhD programs in nonprofit management because I am in one of those programs. I want to study the nonprofit sector and be a professor of nonprofit management. I believe that my specialized field will help me be more effective at teaching the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

2 comments:

Afrika said...

I will follow your blog. I am in a Doctoral nonprofit program myself.

Shironda A. White said...

I think both paths are necessary. I am currently taking courses in non-profit management (my undergraduate major was Poli Sci), and the diverse backgrounds of my fellow classmates is astonishing. I can only imagine how boring we would be if we all had the same backgrounds and same educational experiences.

Since students who are taking graduate or undergraduate courses in non-profit management are usually planning to go out into the non-profit field in specialized areas (education, family services, etc.), it is imperative that they have professors of a myriad of backgrounds as well. There are courses they would want to take from professors with specialized non-profit degrees, and other courses they would want to take from professors with more broad degrees.

I am personally interested in a graduate degree in non-profit management. But I would prefer to have professors with degrees in Public Administration, Public Policy, Non-Profit Management, Business Administration, etc. so that I can benefit from their varied educational backgrounds.