Syllabus for NPM-610

NONPROFIT GOVERNANCE AND BOARD LEADERSHIP


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Nonprofit Governance and Board Leadership explores governance within contemporary nonprofit organizations. The course focuses on leadership dynamics from theoretical and practical perspectives. Students will explore salient internal and external environmental factors that influence behavior through the examination and analysis of best practices. The primary goal of this course is to provide a realistic understanding of the elements that both support and impede effective governance for nonprofits. The significance of strong leadership and governance practices is reinforced in the course's discussion of emerging trends within nonprofit entities.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Evaluate elements of leadership and governance within a contemporary nonprofit entity.
  2. Analyze the theories, roles, responsibilities, and legal duties of nonprofit boards and executive staff.
  3. Evaluate the importance of ethical behavior as part of good governance.
  4. Analyze and discuss organizational life cycles and their impact on governance styles.
  5. Assess emerging organizational and governance trends in the nonprofit environment.
  6. Apply course concepts to one or more real-world situations.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks

  1. BoardSource (2007). The nonprofit board answer book: A practical guide for board members and chief executives. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (Wiley).

ISBN-13:978-0-7879-9461-7

  1. Carver, J. (2002). On board leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (Wiley).

ISBN- 10: 0-7879-5844-1

  1. Wood, J. (2006). Leaving Microsoft to change the world: An entrepreneur's odyssey to educate the world's children. New York: Collins Business (HarperCollins).

ISBN-13:978-0-06-112108-1

COURSE STRUCTURE

Nonprofit Management is a three-credit graduate course, consisting of four (4) modules.  Modules include learning objectives, topics, study materials and activities.  Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Nonprofit Leadership

  1. Module 2: The Dynamics of Good Governance

  1. Module 3: Organizational Life Cycles and Governing

  1. Module 4: Emerging Trends and Practices

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar  for due dates.

Discussion Forums

Within each module you will participate in one or more online class discussion forums. All discussion forums take place asynchronously on the class Discussion Board.

Online discussions provide an opportunity for you to interact with your classmates. During this aspect of the course, you respond to prompts that assist you in developing your ideas, you share those ideas with your classmates, and you comment on their posts. Discussion board interactions promote development of a community of learners, critical thinking, and exploratory learning.

Please participate in online discussions as you would in constructive face-to-face discussions. You are expected to post well-reasoned and thoughtful reflections for each item, making reference, as appropriate, to your readings. You are also expected to reply to your classmates' posts in a respectful, professional, and courteous manner. You may, of course, post questions asking for clarification or further elucidation on a topic.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubrics used in the grading of discussion forums.

Written Assignments

Each module contains several types of assignments:

  1. Reflection Questions (one per module): These assignments ask you to reflect on key course elements in written assignments of 1 to 2 pages.
  2. Written Assignments (one or more per module): These assignments ask you to discuss or analyze key course concepts in written assignments 1-1/2 to 3 pages.
  3. Module Papers (one per module): In each module you will read an article about the nonprofit field and analyze it in a paper of 2 to 5 pages. Some of these papers will involve case studies.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site are the rubrics used in the grading of these assignments.

Final Project

Your final assessment will be a paper that allows you to synthesize and apply what you have learned in this course. You will read John Wood's book Leaving Microsoft to Change the World and then write a 10- to 15-page (2500- to 3750-word) paper that applies course concepts to this book. Your paper should follow the guidelines provided in the assignment. Be sure to follow accepted research approaches and citation format (APA). A full description of the project and its requirements is found in the Final Project area of the course Web site.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the rubrics used in the grading of discussion forums.

A Note About Research

The use of Wikipedia or other online encyclopedias for graduate-level papers is inappropriate. Aside from the uneven quality of the information that may be found in these sources, the real issue is that the information presented in these sources is "already digested." Use of such sources is an unacceptable shortcut for the graduate student. Students gathering information from these sites are essentially obtaining analyses done by someone else, not doing the work themselves. Rather than exploring the literature on a subject, such students are merely using the words of others who have already taken this vital step in academic research. It is imperative that graduate students be able to search the more academically-oriented literature, sift through useful (and not so useful) information, analyze, synthesize, and report the results of their activities. All of these steps are bypassed if information is cited from an online site such as Wikipedia. To sum up: Using information summarized or annotated by someone else is an unacceptable shortcut for a graduate student.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Discussion forums—15 percent
  2. Reflection questions and written assignments—30 percent
  3. Module papers—25 percent
  4. Final paper—30 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

B–

=

80–82

A–

=

90–92

C+

=

78–79

B+

=

88–89

C

=

73–77

B

=

83–87

F

=

Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams and arrange for proctors, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments and posting discussions.

  1. Check the Announcements page and class Discussion Board regularly for new course information.

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
  2. Take time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
  4. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  2. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or the College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of the intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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