MNO Program Receives Inaugural Accreditation; Celebration Planned for September 27

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The Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) has accredited the Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) program at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University – one of just nine graduate programs in the first cohort ever accredited by NACC, the only program in Ohio, and the only program housed in a school of social work.

“To be among the first accredited nonprofit management master’s degree programs is a mark of excellence,” said Grover C. Gilmore, PhD, Dean of the Mandel School. “It is a credit to the academic leadership of MNO Program Chair Dr. Robert Fischer, the expertise of our faculty and nonprofit leaders who teach and mentor students, and our steadfast commitment for more than 35 years to this important field of study.”

On September 27, the Mandel School will host a celebration of the MNO’s accreditation and the launch of a new MNO scholarship. Alumni, students, and members of the nonprofit community in Cleveland are invited to join special guest Matthew Hale, PhD, President of the NACC Board of Directors.

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“There are more than 600 colleges in the United States that offer coursework in nonprofit studies. But since 1984, the Mandel School has been committed to offering a rich academic program that educates innovative nonprofit leaders, strengthens the nonprofit sector, and better serves society,” said Robert Fischer, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of the MNO program since 2012. “I was thrilled to be able to work closely with NACC to meet their standards and ensure the MNO was included in this inaugural cohort.”

This is just the latest nonprofit milestone for Cleveland. The city has a thriving nonprofit sector and a long history of nonprofit innovation as the birthplace of the Community Chest (predecessor of the United Way), home to the oldest community foundation in the United States (The Cleveland Foundation), and the location of the first healthcare conversion foundation.

The MNO was first launched as a certificate in 1987, then as a full master’s degree program in 1989, making it one of the first nonprofit leadership programs in the United States. Today it is a 39-credit hour program with full and part-time options; required courses in strategic planning, law, and ethics; elective courses in international NGOs, program design, and fundraising; and study abroad and dual degree opportunities.

The MNO is accredited from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2025 for meeting the accreditation standards and graduate curricular guidelines. NACC accreditation fosters third sector academic programs worldwide, including nonprofit and nongovernmental studies and management, social entrepreneurship, social-purpose organizations leadership, and philanthropy studies and management, all with curriculum that places the civil sector at the center of the curricular perspective.