VERMILLION, S.D. – The South Dakota Board of Regents recently approved an undergraduate minor in nonprofit studies, allowing USD students to be more competitive in the growing nonprofit sector.
The nonprofit sector is the fastest-growing sector with jobs in almost every major-related field, according to Richard Braunstein, Ph.D., professor of political science and the director of nonprofit studies. In South Dakota, nonprofits constitute 13 percent of the private sector employment.
The minor requires 18 credits to complete. The three required courses are taught in the Department of Political Science and include Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector, Fundraising for Public and Nonprofit Organizations and Nonprofit Governance and Administration.
Students also take two elective courses in their area of professional development, which can be in their major or a related field of study. A final three-credit service learning experience requirement exposes students to field internships or service projects in the nonprofit sector at which they can develop practical skills.
Braunstein describes the core values of the nonprofit studies minor as service, collaboration between public and private sectors, accountability and ethical management.
“Volunteerism is part of South Dakota’s culture,” said Braunstein, who has extensive experience working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector. “South Dakota is ranked fourth in the nation for volunteerism. Overall, the entire state of South Dakota benefits from the creation of this minor.”