Globalization has prompted a rapid expansion in the number of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) committed to economic development, relief, environmental issues, human rights and the advocacy of a variety of political and social causes. This growth creates employment opportunities for students trained in a variety of fields including social work, health sciences, business, political science, international affairs, education and applied technologies. Those attracted to employment in international NGOs have seldom had exposure to their distinctive work environments or training in the management of such organizations. In particular, students tend to be trained in job-specific and transferable skills in courses that assume work is conducted within the United States.
The Certificate in the Management of International Non-Governmental Organizations, an innovative and intensive course of study, offers students the opportunity to examine how international NGOs are affected by changes in the operating context. Over the course of this program, students will become more familiar with the distinctive features of these organizations, their managerial challenges, their social and political environments, their economic dynamics and the values they seek to realize.
An intensive summer curriculum involves students in a case-based pedagogy requiring them to apply various principles in scenarios central to international non-governmental management. This focused program of 40 weekly contact hours delivers 12 credit hours of instruction in four weeks during JMU's first four-week summer session (mid-May to mid-June). This course work will be followed by a six-credit internship with an international non-governmental organization, thus generating an 18-credit certificate delivered entirely over the summer.
Internships are conducted from mid-June through mid-August and require 300 hours of work. Prior to the summer, the internship coordinator assists students with identifying internship opportunities and approves proposed internships. Because internships may not be available in Harrisonburg, students must be prepared to move to cities elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad to do the internship. Approved internships may be paid or unpaid. The NGO internship combines experiential learning with directed readings and research in which students explore issues from the earlier four courses in more detail and in a manner relevant to the nature of the internship. The internship is not required of students presently employed or recently employed by an international NGO in a substantive position.