Practice makes perfect: A Study of the Impact and Use of Nonprofit Masters Students’ Applied Projects on Nonprofit Organizations in the San Diego Region
Student learning outcomes and student satisfaction of nonprofit management graduate degree programs have received much attention recently from researchers. However, little research examines the community impact of such programs. This paper reports findings from a community impact study of the Masters of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership and Management at the University of San Diego. An extensive qualitative study was conducted to determine whether student-led applied projects conducted for nonprofit organizations had an impact on those organizations, and if so, to assess the type and duration of that impact. Findings contain recommendations for future research and for future students engaging in projects. The future student recommendations range from improving communication between students and organizations to improving the timing and duration of student projects. Nonprofit graduate program directors can utilize these results and recommendations when creating and/or managing the experiential learning components within their programs.