FAQ

1. What is the nonprofit and voluntary sector?

2. What is the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management program?

3. Who should register in this program?

4. Is it difficult to enrol? Do I have to get academic transcripts?

5. Do I have to belong to, or work in, a nonprofit organization in order to register?

6. How do I register in the program?

7. Can you explain the required and elective courses?

8. Do I have to register in the certificate in order to take courses?

9. Do I have to enrol in the courses starting with CINP 900 before moving up to the higher numbered courses?

10. How long does it take to complete the certificate program?

11. Do I need any special equipment or skills to succeed in the program?

12. Are distance education (Internet) courses open to anyone? Does it matter where you live?

13. Please explain the difference between “hybrid” and “distance” courses.

14. What teaching and learning modes are used in the courses?

15. How many hours a week will I have to spend studying for a course?

16. Can I transfer courses from other universities and have them count towards the certificate curriculum?

17. Is the certificate program recognized in the broader academic and nonprofit community?

18. Are the courses in the program eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) funding?

 

­1. What is the nonprofit and voluntary sector?
The nonprofit and voluntary sector is comprised of a whole range of organizations from libraries and universities to recreation organizations and healthcare providers, all of which are operating in communities providing services to the public. These companies come in a wide range of sizes and carry out a wide range of activities, but their goal is not to make profits nor is it to pay money to shareholders. This sector is called the “Third Sector” as it is neither government nor for-profit business, but is an essential part of our communities. The sector employs people with a wide range of skills, and a major element is the role of volunteers.

­2. What is the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management program?
The Chang School’s Certificate in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management is an interdisciplinary program bringing together expertise from a variety of backgrounds with experience in the nonprofit and voluntary sector. The academic faculties at Ryerson that help to manage the program are Arts and the Ted Rogers School of Management (Faculty of Business).

­3. Who should register in this program?
People with varied backgrounds join the program. Current students include people working in the sector, people who are working in the governmental or private sector and looking for a career change, and undergraduate students who are completing a Minor in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management as part of their degree program. Some of our students are volunteers who want to understand the sector better in order to better serve their organization or community. We have people coming from large and small organizations, as well as those who plan to start their own organizations.

­4. Is it difficult to enrol? Do I have to get academic transcripts?
Enrolment is open to adults as mature students or to those who have completed high school. If you apply as a mature student, transcripts are not required.

­5. Do I have to belong to, or work in, a nonprofit organization in order to register?
The program is open to anyone with an interest in the sector. You will be encouraged to link up with a nonprofit organization as you progress through the program, but your classmates and instructors will help you do this.

­6. How do I register in the program?
You will find application instructions in the Registration in a Certificate Program section of The Chang School website.

­7. Can you explain the required and elective courses?
As you know, students must take four required and four elective (or optional) courses from the list of CINP courses.

The four required courses are as follows:

  • Understanding the Nonprofit Sector - CINP 900
  • Developing Effective Organizations - CINP 901
  • One of the following:
    • Program Evaluation - CINP 902
    • Financial Management - CINP 915
  • Critical Issues in the Third Sector - CINP 920*

*Please note that students must have completed the other three required courses (CINP 900, CINP 901 and either CINP 902 or CINP 915) before they can enroll in this course.

Students must choose four of the following list of electives to complete the certificate:

  • Program Evaluation - CINP 902 (if not taken as a required course)
  • Strategic Planning - CINP 910
  • Advocacy and Governmental Relations - CINP 911
  • Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations - CINP 912
  • Leading Through Change - CINP 913
  • Issues of Diversity - CINP 914
  • Financial Management - CINP 915 (if not taken as a required course)
  • NGOs and World Governance - CINP 916

­8. Do I have to register in the certificate in order to take courses?
You can enrol in a course without registering in the certificate program. However, we do recommend that you register in the certificate at the start of your studies if possible. This will enhance your opportunities for student awards, etc.

­9. Do I have to enrol in the courses starting with CINP 900 before moving up to the higher numbered courses?
You are encouraged to consider starting the certificate by taking CINP 900 and 901 because they provide a foundation about the nonprofit sector and nonprofit organizations that will be helpful for the other courses, but it is not a requirement and you may enrol in any course you feel you need or are interested in.

The one restriction on enrolling in courses is the existence of course prerequisites. CINP 920 is the last required course and must be taken after you have completed CINP 900, 901, and either 902 or 915.

­10. How long does it take to complete the certificate program?
The answer depends on the individual’s choice as to how many courses he or she is able to take in one term, while balancing work and personal life. We have students taking up to four courses a term – a VERY heavy load – and others taking only one course per term. We encourage students to pace themselves so that they have time to really absorb the curriculum materials from each course. The quickest time to complete the program would be three terms – an academic year – but this would depend on the course schedule. Realistically, you can expect to be able to complete the program within four to five terms. We currently only offer one course in the Spring/Summer term, though that may change in the future.

­11. Do I need any special equipment or skills to succeed in the program?
You will need regular access to a computer and the Internet, and basic keyboarding or typing skills.

­12. Are distance education (Online) courses open to anyone? Does it matter where you live?
Online courses are open to anyone and we find that many students who live in or near Toronto take a combination of Internet and classroom courses. For those outside the Toronto area and across Canada, the entire certificate program can be taken through online courses.

­13. Please explain the difference between “hybrid” and “distance” courses.
Hybrid courses are taught through a combination of in-class and Internet instruction. One typical model is for the class to meet in person three times over a term – three Saturdays spaced about three to four weeks apart – and the rest of the teaching is done online and do not have any in-person components Increasingly, courses have opportunities for online students to engage with instructors in real time, i.e. through chats or virtual office hours, and some courses use technology (Google apps) to support student engagement and group work. See Distance Education for more information about The Chang School’s distance education delivery.

­14. What teaching and learning modes are used in the courses?
There will be variation between the courses, but you will find a combination of group work, case studies, class presentations and discussions, essays and some form of in-class testing, and, finally, exams. Not every course will have all of these modes, but all will have some combination of them.

­15. How many hours a week will I have to spend studying for a course?
This will vary from course to course and week to week. Some weeks you may have less required work to do while in other weeks there may be quite a lot. We usually advise students to calculate it will take about six to nine hours a week on average. However, we do warn students that if you are enrolled in an online course course you will need an extra bit of self-discipline to make sure you are keeping up with the work. No one is looking over your shoulder and there isn’t that weekly meeting with the instructor in the classroom to motivate you to keep up!

­16. Can I transfer courses from other universities and have them count towards the certificate curriculum?
You can apply for Transfer Credits for courses taken at another university. Courses must have been completed within the past 10 years, have similar or comparable content, and have a focus on the non-profit sector. Before applying, please contact the academic coordinator to discuss your situation.
Note: There is no guarantee your application for Transfer Credits will be approved. Ryerson also has a residency requirement that means that at least 50 percent of all courses in a program must be taken through Ryerson in order to graduate.

­17. Is the certificate program recognized in the broader academic and nonprofit community?
All of the courses in the program have university level status. Students from other universities register in the courses. In the community, there is general recognition of the program and we find managers frequently direct employees – or would-be employees – to The Chang School’s certificate program.

­18. Are the courses in the program eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) funding?
If you are registered in the Certificate in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management, you are eligible to apply for OSAP funding. See Need-Based Financial Aid for more information on Ryerson bursaries and government assistance.