The Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness program uses a two-pronged approach to develop stronger nonprofit leaders. Morning class sessions are traditionally geared toward becoming a better leader by focusing on topics such as effective communications, motivating employees and volunteers, having constructive tough conversations, employing different styles of leadership influence and actively engaging employees. Afternoon sessions focus on teaching students about strategic organizational assessment and big picture thinking, guiding students to take a more deliberate approach toward mission assessment, mission creep, nonduplication of services, and working in collaboration across organizations to achieve greater results.
CSEE faculty use case studies, scholarly articles, and leadership articles to augment their sessions and facilitate classroom engagement. The course allows many opportunities for CSEE students to work in groups or teams on classroom assignments. CSEE students not only receive executive level education, but students report that the peer to peer learning and sharing is invaluable to their experience and developing long term relationships outside of class.
Before each residency weekend, student receives a packet of readings with some broad instructions and assignments to prompt student engagement and interaction once students arrive for class.
CSEE students can elect to participate in two optional opportunities during their 10 month course time outside of class weekends.
Leadership Development: The program involves an in-depth 360 leadership assessment to identify their leadership/personality style. Based on this outcome, students can develop a leadership development plan to help them leverage their strengths and target areas for improvement. Students can elect to work one on one with a faculty coach to guide this plan of action and provide feedback and instruction.
Organizational Development: Over the course of the program’s 10 months, students have the opportunity to work with a faculty expert to provide mentorship on a project or plan for their particular organization. Often students will choose projects that they may not have the bandwidth or expertise or both to execute on their own. The opportunity to consult with a faculty expert allows CSEE students to conclude the program with a board-ready presentation to take back to their organization. Examples of CSEE student projects include 5 or 10 year strategic plans, how to increase donor bases, how to increase volunteers and volunteer participation, replicating services in a new region, rolling out new services within an existing location, and succession planning and building better boards.
The real world cost to hire faculty directly to conduct these types of services in the for-profit world far exceeds the CSEE program’s tuition. Therefore, CSEE students are in a unique position to drive initiatives within their organizations that they might not have the chance to do otherwise.