The NPLS experience at UALR offers students the opportunity to gain leadership and service experiences. Part of this is achieved through their internship, but a significant portion is achieved through two (2) semesters of active participation in the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association (NLSA). Students attend meetings every Friday from 2-2:50pm (Prerequisite: planning retreat held on the first Saturday of each semester from 9am-1pm.) This course can be taken for credit as NPLS 4110/4120, although hours enrollment is not required.
The NLSA is a “student run” professional organization, driven by student leaders under the guidance of a faculty advisor, which focuses on the development of nonprofit management and leadership skills through the practical application of the CNP competencies within the local and campus community.
All of the activities and programs of the association should contribute to your development as a Certified Nonprofit Professional, so that after you graduate, you get hired!
The idea is to use and develop the competencies you learn about in your coursework: plan, market, recruit, raise funds, manage the equivalent of volunteers, or otherwise put the competencies to work. You learn about the competencies in your courses; you have a chance to apply them in your internship, but most of the time in your internship, you’re following through on what a supervisor has asked you to do. In contrast, the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association is an opportunity for you to plan for yourselves and carry out service, marketing, recruiting, fundraising, or other activities. These projects can then help build a strong resume since you will have experience in addition to knowledge from courses.