From left to right, Heidi Fischer, HPU director of study abroad; Dr. Christine Cugliari, associate professor of nonprofit leadership; and Nicole Jacobs, capacity building advisor with RTI International, stand alongside visiting Khone Kaen faculty, Dr. Buapun Promphakping, Rattaphon Pitakthepsombat and Dr. Sataporn Roengtam.
HIGH POINT, N.C., June 1, 2017 – Faculty from the University of Khon Kaen in Thailand visited High Point University to learn more about HPU’s nonprofit leadership and management program.
Dr. Buapun Promphakping, Rattaphon Pitakthepsombat and Dr. Sataporn Roengtam came from the Center of Civil Society and Nonprofit Management at Khone Kaen. They met with professors in HPU’s nonprofit leadership and management program and learned the specifics of the curriculum for the purpose of strengthening their own.
HPU is one of a handful of universities offering an undergraduate major and minor in nonprofit leadership and management. The program has existed at HPU for more than 40 years, making it one of the most established university programs available.
Experiential and service learning are a unique focus of HPU’s program. Students majoring in nonprofit leadership and management are required to complete an academic internship after a practicum that prepares them to work off-campus at a nonprofit organization.
“We’ve included the service learning because reflecting on your time spent working in the community and then bringing it back into the program is a strong approach incorporated university-wide at HPU,” says Dr. Christine Cugliari, associate professor of nonprofit studies at HPU.
Numerous service learning and internship opportunities can be found locally. The United Way of Greater High Point, World Relief, West End Ministries, Open Door Ministries and Susan G. Komen Foundation have provided HPU students enrolled in the major with the practical experience sought by employers.
And, graduates of the program find employment before or soon after graduating. Class of 2017’s Nicole Drinkwater now works for the Better Business Bureau in Denver, Colorado, as an engagement specialist – a position she secured ahead of graduation.
“The HPU program is well established and has faculty with not only academic credentials but also years of professional experience,” says Cugliari. “The university’s auxiliary programs such as service learning and study abroad enlarge our opportunities for students and expand our impact on nonprofit organizations. This all comes together and provides a complete package and great example for a university like Khone Kaen with a newly established Center for Civil Society and Nonprofit Management seeking proven experiences upon which to build a program.”
During their visit, professors from Khone Kaen received an overview of HPU’s program, discussed the importance of internship experiences and the role of practicum in preparing students for life after college.