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"One of my favorite things about the Nonprofit Administration Program is the people. The connections that I have made, from my mentor, Dani Robbins, to my friends to professional contacts, are priceless. I feel like I received a dual education, one from the classes themselves and one from the people I was exposed to. I learned from my classmates, guest speakers, panelists, and volunteer opportunities.


I was talking with two of my classmates who knew that I was graduating this summer and they were asking me what some of my favorite projects and classes were. In my response, listing what I had done over the span of two years really drove home the value of this program. I've written MOU's and I learned the steps involved in a merger and have outlined the entire process. I’ve written program and public policy evaluations, developed entire marketing plans and put together a comprehensive ethics program. I took a deep dive into management and leadership best practices, and built a fund development strategy. The best part is that those projects are just scratching the surface of what I accomplished while in the NPA program. They also don’t cover the depth of personal growth I have experienced.


The program gave me so much more than a degree, it gave me practical experience, connections, and the understanding that I can do hard things. That is what being an unapologetic social justice leader is all about - taking your toolkit and getting out there, doing better because you know better, and sharing what you have learned with others through service.” 

Picture of Charlotte Lewis, student

-Charlotte Lewis, '20G


"After enrolling in John Carroll University’s Nonprofit Administration Graduate Program, I began seeing differences almost immediately in my professional capacities as a young leader in the nonprofit sector. The program is designed for practitioners who seek to make a difference in their communities, which is apparent from day one. Professors ask students to share real-world case studies and challenges they are working through in class, so I could immediately begin to apply in-class lessons to my work. I also love that the program has been made affordable through a scholarship, meaning I don’t have to take out a student loan to pay for the program on a nonprofit salary! John Carroll truly lives its commitment to service, both to the community and to its students who wish to serve the community.


The faculty have been monumental in shaping my experience. Coming from Ohio State University as an undergraduate student, I was worried what a small, private university could offer me. However, Dani Robbins, the director of the Nonprofit Administration Program, could not have been more welcoming and supportive. Dani also taught my first class, the introductory course, which felt like a mini master’s program all in itself. I saw a marked difference in my understanding of nonprofit management from the beginning of the course to the end and was confident even just after the first class period that the program was the right fit for me.


Perhaps the most important lesson I have learned so far is the role of the board of directors, which is crucial not just to my work as a nonprofit employee but also as a current board member. I feel now that I have a greater appreciation for the work of the board work and what it entails, which is not always understood – even by nonprofit leaders and board members themselves. This knowledge equips me to be a capable leader in the nonprofit sector in the future."

Katie Ferman, NPA Student

– Katie Ferman, '20G



"Enrolling in the Nonprofit Administration program has been an amazing opportunity to learn the skills I need to become a future nonprofit leader and social change agent. Through varied course offerings, I have had the ability to learn information and skills that are both interesting and essential to nonprofit management. Most courses are discussion-based, students come from a diverse group of organizations and positions, and bring their real-life experiences to classroom discussion. Because class sizes are small and collaborative work is a part of the curriculum, I have had the opportunity to get to know my classmates and make connections with people who are interested in making a difference. Additionally, my position has a graduate assistant has not only helped alleviate costs of graduate school, but also become more connected with the program and the John Carroll community.


While I am not currently working in a nonprofit, much of our learning is case-based and has real-world applications that I can take with me into my career. Professors often bring in guest lecturers who are able to speak about their experiences as leaders in the sector and provide students with opportunities to expand their networks. In addition to tenured faculty, I have taken courses with adjunct professors who are experts in their respective fields. It is incredibly useful to take courses taught by people who are actively doing what they teach in their day jobs, and has provided unique learning opportunities. For example, in my Advocacy class, we were able to receive real updates and information based on changes that came with the 2018 state elections as well as attend a candidate’s forum hosted by the professor’s organization.


Not only have I had the opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge about the nonprofit sector, through the program I’ve also experienced personal growth as a leader and as a professional. In our Leadership and Management course, students were challenged to create a personal vision for themselves, outlining life and career goals and to learn about how they operate as a leader and work in a team. From this information, we created a personal development plan with actionable steps we can take to achieve our goals and grow in our leadership. This experience has been instrumental in shaping how I move forward in my professional journey."

Collin Ries, NPA Student

– Collin Ries, '20G


Contact Us:

Dani Robbins
Director, Nonprofit Administration
(216) 397-1568,

Colleen Sommerfeld
Assistant Dean for Graduate
Recruitment and Retention
(216) 397-4902,

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