Online course addresses shortage of credentialed volunteer leaders  

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Online course addresses shortage of credentialed volunteer leaders  

An online course, “Effective Volunteer Administration,” offered through the Humanics Program at Fresno State will help address a shortage of credentialed administrators of volunteer programs.

The 14-week course, which begins Monday, Aug. 29, with registration now open, leads to volunteer administrator certification by the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration.

Dr. Don Simmons, the course instructor who is a lecturer of humanics at Fresno State, said very few organizations in the Central Valley have a credentialed and certified volunteer administrator. He said most heads of volunteer organizations are volunteering in that position and their only experience is as a volunteer.

“While that is usually good experience, it often misses the mark for administration of a program and can be expensive and time-consuming for the organization,” said Simmons, who is also president of Creative Potential Consulting and Training that offers leadership solutions for community benefit organizations, corporations, churches, professional associations and government agencies.

He said professionals who are certified gain a better understanding of how effective volunteer administration supports an organization in fund development, public awareness, reducing operating costs, generating creative ideas for program delivery and providing a sense of community ownership of an organization.

“A professionally trained and certified volunteer administrator has a better grasp on the engagement, maintenance and retention strategies for high-capacity volunteers and can position the organization to engage volunteers as catalysts for community change,” Simmons said.

The online course is open to undergraduate and graduate students, Humanics Program alumni, professional staff employed by nonprofits and volunteer coordinators for community benefit organizations.

The class will address professional ethics, organizational management, human resource management, accountability, leadership and advocacy.

“As a certified volunteer administrator, the individual practitioner gains credibility, improved career opportunities, increased skill and knowledge and support in professional development to build projects that engage citizens in meaningful, goal-directed work that addresses the organizational mission and meets identified needs,” Simmons said.

Participants will earn one unit of credit from the University. Class registration is open now through Open University. The last day to add classes with permission from the instructor is Monday, Sept. 19.

The Humanics Program offers a related online course in the spring semester, “Engaging Persons with Disabilities as Volunteers.”

For more information, contact Simmons at 559.246.9970 or creativepotential@gmail.com; Dr. Matthew Jendian at 559.278.2891 or matthew_jendian@csufresno.edu; or see the Humanics Program online at www.humanicsfresnostate.org.