Read and post comments

Master of Public Policy (MPP) Students Help Local Nonprofits Through a New Delaware Valley University Course


Posted on April 18, 2018 by By Harry Baturin, a Delaware Valley University faculty member .

Courtesy: Delaware Valley University One of the MPP students, Marian Rubin, helped collect seeds for hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

This month, Delaware Valley University Master of Public Policy (MPP) students completed their clinical projects in their Non-profit Organizations Policy, Governance and Practice Course, which I teach at the University. 

Students who take this Course are linked with non-profit organizations in their specific areas of interest.  The students work with non-profit organizations such as the Central Bucks Family YMCA, MVP360, Seeding Relief, and the local SPCA. A central part of the Course is its clinical component in which students help their assigned organizations in areas such as reviewing and updating policy statements, formatting and preparing sponsorship packets, fine-tuning mission statements, administering and developing community development projects and youth outreach programs, and assisting with grant research.  

This course provides practical experience and experiential learning that is both valuable and rewarding, academically, personally and professionally.  Students who enroll in the program often have a deep commitment to serving the public and are considering careers in the field. Through this course, they learn first-hand about serving the public good in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  The course and non-profit clinical projects are a perfect fit for DelVal's MPP students. 

What the New Course Covers 

The new Non-Profit Organizations course starts with a comprehensive background and history of non-profit organizations in the United States. Students learn about why non-profit organizations are exempt from federal and state taxation. They also learn about the distinctions between the different types of non-profit organizations, and the requirements of forming and operating a non-profit organization along with the moral and legal significance of the term “non-profit.” Then, students apply what they are learning by partnering with real-world non-profit organizations.  Working with local non-profits in the field provides hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for students taking the course which they will carry with them.  And at the end of the course, students write reflection pieces on their experiences with serving the non-profits organizations and deliver them to a panel. 

By enabling DelVal students to work with local, regional and national organizations, the course helps the students and the non-profit organizations alike create positive change. Students get a chance to be a part of promoting a more inclusive and equitable society. 

What Students Are Saying About the Course 

"MVP360 is an organization that resonates to my core,” said Matthew Smith, a DelVal MPP student who worked with MVP360, a youth sports and leadership development program. “I have learned an enormous amount about the everyday challenges associated with a non-profit organization."

“When the government is unable to step in and provide services or solve certain problems, non-profit organizations fill this gap,” said Marian Rubin, a DelVal MPP student. “For my project, I worked with Seeding Relief.  Seeding Relief was started to help restore the decimated agriculture in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which destroyed nearly all of Puerto Rico’s agriculture. The initial objective was to collect donated seeds and provide them to growers in need in Puerto Rico."

“It was my mission to make sure those who wanted to contribute or visit the nonprofit website did so with ease with regards to their mission and goal,” said John Simila who worked with the local SPCA to make their website more user-friendly and aesthetically attractive. “The non-profit class has been an exceptional learning experience.”

Learn More About the New Course
For more information about this Course, please contact me at


About the Author
Harry M. Baturin JD, LL.M. is an adjunct at Delaware Valley University in the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program where he teaches Writing and Communication for Public Policy, Non-profit Organizations, and other electives. He also teaches at Georgetown University in their Summer and Special Programs.