WCU offering Certified Nonprofit Professional credential; open house set for Feb. 24

Western Carolina University has joined the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance as a campus partner and soon will be offering one of the leading nonprofit management and leadership credentials, the Certified Nonprofit Professional (or CNP).

Starting later this month, Western Carolina is launching a CNP program designed for emerging nonprofit leaders. The program, which blends face-to-face and online elements, is designed to help fast-track or launch careers in the nonprofit sector. According to independent research conducted in 2014 by the business- and employment-oriented social media platform LinkedIn, CNPs are seven times more likely to rise to director or higher level, compared to peers.

nla_logo“The CNP credential is built on 70 years’ experience developing effective nonprofit leadership development programming,” said Susan T. Schmidt, president of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. “Every person who carries the CNP emblem has completed a rigorous program that combines both coursework and application of principles. By getting their hands dirty, these emerging leaders are able to test the theories and best practices gained in the classroom. We focus on a reduction of learning curve, which is what sets our CNPs apart and places them on the path to employment success.”

Western Carolina is joining a network of more than 50 regionally accredited universities and national nonprofit organizations working to build a pipeline of qualified professionals. To earn the CNP credential, learners must successfully complete eight courses (five weeks in length). Each course includes a one-day, on-site workshop, with the remaining four weeks offered online.

The courses are facilitated by content experts who provide rapid feedback on progress. Throughout the program, learners develop a professional portfolio, demonstrating proficiency in the CNP’s 10 core competencies. After completion of each course, learners earn e-certificates (digital badges) that may be uploaded to LinkedIn and other digital platforms.

“Today’s professionals are seeking flexibility to help balance education, career and life,” said Jill Thompson, WCU’s associate director of professional development. “A hybrid model that includes both face-to-face and online learning will most certainly fit well with the busy schedules and lives of our learners.”

An open house to learn more about the program will is set for Friday, Feb. 24, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Suite 102 of WCU’s instructional site at Biltmore Park in Asheville. The first course for the program, “Management and Leadership of the Nonprofit Sector,” begins with an on-site workshop Friday, March 10.

To register for this course and learn more about the program, visit go.wcu.edu/cnpworkforce. Contact Jill Thompson at 828-227-3070 or jcthompson@wcu.edu for more information about the program curriculum and credential process.

Founded in 1948, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance includes nearly 40 colleges and universities, 15 national nonprofit workforce partners and more than 9,600 CNPs. Its CNP credential is the only national nonprofit management certification in the U.S. offered in conjunction with regionally accredited universities.