April 2019: Approved Courses

  • Nonprofit Management 5290: Role and Unique Nature of Nonprofits;
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution 5240: International Fieldwork

NOPM 5290 Course Overview:

This introductory course sets the context for the unique and fundamental role the nonprofit sector has played – and currently plays – in American society and as a global leader. Changing perceptions of the social compact and the role of nonprofits in civil society will be explored. To those ends, the course focuses on three discrete but interrelated elements: 1) the spectrum of methods by which nonprofit organizations execute their missions for beneficiaries; 2) how philanthropic giving serves as one means to fund nonprofit organizations and advance individuals’ ideas for public benefit; and 3) how both charitable giving and nonprofit activity impact civil society in America.

The course will explore distinctions, similarities and relationships among the nonprofit, government and private sectors as they each seek to meet the social and civil needs of society.   Throughout this exploration, we will identify major ethical issues raised by the very notions of charity, philanthropy and nonprofits, all of which seek to provide for a range of beneficiaries and clients through a spectrum of vehicles.  As a focus, the course examines the parameters and nature of the American charitable sector, although the course seeks to highlight both the unique nature as well as the common traits of the American system compared to international examples.

The course will be discussion intensive and require students to utilize and reflect critical and analytical thinking; students will write individual papers, actively participate in discussion both in class and through postings on Canvas and present material to classroom colleagues. The final exam will tie together the many strands of this complex tapestry we know as the charitable sector.

NECR 5240 Course Overview:

The course is designed to provide hands-on, practical experience for students to apply the skills acquired in the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (NECR) program, namely research and conflict analysis. Students get an opportunity to observe conflict resolution work in an international context and deepen their understanding of critical concepts around mediation, gender, and peacekeeping operations.

For a period of two weeks, students will be on-site at the Columbia Global Center based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prior to arrival, there will be preparatory assignments as well as a debrief upon return. The on-site fieldwork portion will entail students conducting on-site research with the Columbia Global Center and their local partners on issues surrounding. Additionally, students will complete final scholarly journal reflections and complete a final paper based on conflict analysis and key learnings from their fieldwork experience.

We envision this international fieldwork opportunity to be a valuable opportunity for our students to gain hands-on experience in a research capacity that will not only address the stated gap between academic study and marketable skills, but also benefit the mission of the partnering organization. It is important to note that, while the Columbia Global Center and its local partners play a principal role in conflict interventions, our students will not be working with clients directly. Rather, students will be working in a research capacity under the direct guidance of their faculty advisor.

The NECR program is built on a foundation of practice and theory that is informed by research. Our classes are designed for students to learn concepts and skills that are practical and can be used in real world settings. This fieldwork course provides an opportunity for our Master degree students to gain real world experience in applied research and skills that are meant to reinforce and enhance their learning thus far in the program. It is also an excellent chance for them to build the experience portion of the Curriculum Vitae to make them even more eligible for employment in the field upon graduation.

We strongly recommend that students will have taken the following four NECR core courses for a foundation in theory, research, and skills: PS5101 (Understanding Conflict and Cooperation), PS5124 (Intrapersonal Dynamics), PS5107 (Introduction to Mediations), and NECR PS6150 (Applying of Conflict Analysis). To be considered for the course, students will need to complete an application to determine interest, readiness, and fit for the course experience.

About the Columbia Global Center in Rio

The Columbia Global Center in Rio de Janeiro is a hub for Columbia programs and initiatives relevant to Brazil. Established in 2013, the Center contributes to Brazil’s academic and research environment, while also allowing members of the Columbia community to increase their knowledge and explore academic opportunities within Brazil. The Center works in collaboration with local universities, non-governmental organizations, and public institutions to design cross-cutting, innovative programs that aim to improve the understanding of global challenges through a transdisciplinary, transcultural, and applied perspective.

The Columbia Global Center in Rio works to promote Columbia in Brazil by creating opportunities for the academic community to interact with a local base of partners. Success occurs when the ideas created in this process become projects that connect civil society, academia, and governments and that can help find applicable solutions to the world’s more pressing challenges.