Spring 2007 Course Description

Topics in Policy

Please note: Public Affairs undergraduate courses do not count toward any graduate degree program offered by the LBJ School. These courses are intended for students enrolled in undergraduate programs at the University.

Section Title: Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector
Instructor(s): Sarah Rehnborg
Course: P A 325 - Topics in Policy
Unique Number: 63320
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Room: SRH 3.111
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

Description: PA 325 is designed to introduce students to the nonprofit sector and role volunteers and social entrepreneurs play in addressing community needs and affecting social and organizational change. Through readings, class discussions, lectures, field trips and carefully focused service learning opportunities, students will consider questions such as: Why do nonprofits exist and what role do these organizations play in society? How do nonprofits differ from private and public sector organizations? If you were to start a nonprofit organization, where would you begin and how complicated is the process? What roles do volunteers play within the sector and does a voluntary workforce affect nonprofit performance? What and who are social entrepreneurs ? is this a new phenomenon or simply new words for an age-old practice? How are nonprofit organizations funded and what is the role of philanthropy in supporting the sector? While PA 325 is not a management course per se, it is designed to review some of the basic constructs in the management process and ground students in a broader understanding of the sector and some of the trends affecting nonprofits today.

This year PA 325 is being designed in close cooperation with the Eastside Community Connection organization (ECC). ECC was formed by UT students for the purpose of involving UT students in the life of the community and in particularly the East Austin community. Some of our classes will be held at ECC located at 5810 Berkman Drive (Austin 78723). The organization is easily accessible via public transportation. Students will gain hands-on experience as they assist ECC in many of the tasks of running a nonprofit organization. The student?s writing component exercises will be a combination of journal entries and project reports for ECC.

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