Social Entrenpreneurship and Non-Profits Bridging Disciplines Program

STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVE: The Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits Bridging Disciplines Program (BDP) brings together students who are interested in pursuing a career in the public service sector and expanding their involvement in the community. Non-profit leaders for the 21st century must increasingly understand the blurring of the lines between private, government, and non-profit sectors. The Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits BDP allows students to tailor their coursework to fit their interests. Possible areas of focus include, but are not limited to:
1. Art and Social Change
2. Environment
3. Health and Health Care
4. International Development
5. Youth and Family

The Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits faculty panel works with students to tailor their coursework to fit their interests, and to identify research and internship opportunities.

BDP certificates combine courses that fulfill core requirements, electives, and a limited number of courses counting toward students’ majors with unique research and internships. With planning, the BDP should not add time to students’ UT careers. Rather, the BDP certificates are designed to help students choose the courses they already have to take in an integrated way, giving them the opportunity to develop a secondary area of specialization.

Our goal is to have the Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits BDP approved for recognition on students’ official transcripts. We would like to begin recognizing the Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits BDP on official transcripts for students who graduate in fall 2009. This change affects pages 21-22 of the 2008-10 Undergraduate Catalog.

NEED (EXPECTED DEMAND): There are currently 50 active students in the Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits BDP, and we expect 3-5 students to graduate with a Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits certificate in the 2008-09 academic year. We expect that the program will continue to grow and could accommodate up to approximately 100 active students in any given year.

In order to earn a Certificate in the Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits Bridging Disciplines Program, students must fulfill the following requirements:

39. At least nineteen credit hours of course work, to be distributed as follows:
a. Foundation Courses: Seven credit hours of foundation courses that introduce key concepts and methodologies related to the interdisciplinary study of Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits. Students choose from each of the following categories:
i. Forum Seminar: BDP 101: Intro to the Non-profit World; or another course approved by the Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits faculty committee.
ii. Additional Foundation Courses (six credits): ADV 378: Integrated Communication for Non-profit Organizations; E 316K: Literature of Charity and Philanthropy; LA 325: Non-profit Consulting; MKT 372: Community Development and Social Enterprise; RHE 328: Writing for Non-profits; SW 334: Social Work Practice in Organizations and Communities; or another course approved by the Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits faculty committee.
b. Connecting Experiences: Six to nine credit hours of undergraduate research or internships that connect students’ Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits BDP to their major field. Connecting Experiences are designed to be individualized based on the student’s interests and goals, and a variety of course numbers offered through the BDPs (BDP 310, 311, 320, 321) and in departments across the University may be used. All students must write a 3-5 page essay reflecting on the experience, in addition to the academic requirements specified by the faculty member supervising the student and assigning a grade. Examples of past Connecting Experiences completed by Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits students include internships at the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service and Refugee Services of Texas. Students have completed research Connecting Experiences focusing on philanthropy in Austin and a non-profit organization in Paraguay.
c. Courses in a Strand: Three to six credit hours of courses in a strand that allow students to focus their remaining BDP course work. Students may choose from among the following six strands, or they may design an individualized strand with approval from the faculty committee: Art and Social Change; Environment; Health and Health Care; International Development; Youth and Family. The attached curriculum sheet for Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits lists the currently approved courses for each strand. The faculty committee for Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits approves new courses that may count toward the certificate each semester, and the committee may also approve student petitions to count unlisted courses on a case-by-case basis.
40. A 3-4 page integration essay in which students reflect on what they have learned and accomplished through their BDP experience. These essays will be reviewed by members of the BDP faculty panel.
41. Students must earn a grade of C or above in each of the courses taken to fulfill BDP requirements. All but one of the courses taken to fulfill BDP requirements must be taken on the letter-grade basis.
42. At least half of the required course work in the BDP certificate must be completed in residence at The University of Texas at Austin.
43. Completion of the requirements of a major.

Pat Stout, (Committee Chair), Professor, Department of Advertising
Andrée Bober, Director, Landmark Arts Program, College of Fine Arts
Sharon Brown, Professor, School of Nursing
Rowena Fong, Professor, School of Social Work
Michael Granof, Professor, Department of Accounting
Elizabeth Hedrick, Associate Professor, Department of English
Kurt Heinzelman, Professor, Department of English
Sarah Jane Rehnborg, Lecturer, LBJ School of Public Affairs
Cal Streeter, Professor, School of Social Work

The purpose of a student transcript is to serve as a comprehensive record of a student’s academic progress and achievement at the University. Students pursuing BDP certificate programs at UT Austin complete 19 credit hours related to secondary areas of specialization without receiving recognition for this work on their official transcripts. Recognizing the Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits BDP on students’ official transcripts will represent a more comprehensive picture of these students' academic achievement at UT Austin.

It is in the interests of our students to list BDP certificates on official transcripts, particularly as they apply for jobs and for graduate and professional programs. In most cases, students pursue BDP certificates in order to develop a secondary area of specialization that enhances their major and gives them an additional professional qualification. For example, a student pursuing a certificate in Social Entrepreneurship and Non-profits through the Bridging Disciplines Program might wish to complement a Government or Social Work degree with a certificate that demonstrates more specific knowledge related to the workings of non-profit organizations. By recognizing this program on transcripts, we will help these students convey more effectively the full picture of what they learned and accomplished at UT.

Recognizing BDP certificate programs is also in the interest of the University, not only as a means of supporting students as they apply for jobs and graduate/professional school programs, but also as a means of recruiting new students and advising current students. From a recruitment perspective, the ability to combine a major with a certificate might prove attractive to prospective students, particularly those with interests in areas where UT does not yet offer a major. From an advising perspective, the option of combining a certificate with a major might help persuade students to choose majors more rationally, especially in cases where students have been rejected from their first-choice college or feel compelled to select multiple majors.


Approver: Paul B. Woodruff
Date: December 16, 2008
Title: Dean, School of Undergraduate Studies