This fall, the University of Western Ontario’s (“UWO”) Brescia College welcomed its first class of students who enrolled in its new four-year undergraduate program in non-profit management. According to an article that appeared in The Globe and Mail in July, 2015, this undergraduate degree program is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada and is a testament to the growth of the sector and the fact that young people are increasingly interested in pursuing careers in this area.
In an online interview with Charity Village, the professors who developed the program were quoted as saying that the need for this program comes as a result of the sector becoming highly professionalized and the fact that non-profits are facing increasingly complex challenges. The professors also indicated that this program can be viewed as a specialized MBA degree that will focus on helping students develop management and leadership competencies, as well as skills in research, finance, and marketing.
Brescia College was founded in 1919 by the Ursuline Sisters and has been recognized as the only women’s university in Canada. The decision to offer this new program through the women’s university at UWO would seem to be a very appropriate choice given that the non-profit labour force, which employs well over a million people in Canada, is said to consist of approximately 80% women, according to a report produced by the Ontario Nonprofit Network a few years ago.
Currently in Canada, there are already a number of social sector management post-graduate certificates available through other universities, as well as a number of college diplomas. Some universities and colleges also offer concentrations, majors, or minors in this area within the context of a more traditional program of study.