PULLMAN, Wash. — An online Volunteer Management Certificate Program (VMCP) for individuals interested in improving their skills in managing volunteer programs is now available from Washington State University.
The basic level program provides practical skills designed for people who hire, inspire, train, supervise and evaluate volunteers.
Most non-profit groups, many schools, government and civic organizations, as well as corporations, utilize volunteers to increase productivity and output, says Jan Hiller, faculty leader on the project. “Few easily accessible opportunities exist for volunteer managers to learn the necessary skills,” says Hiller.
WSU’s online program eliminates individual travel costs to conferences and workshops on volunteer management topics. The program is flexible, allowing students to work at their own pace through one to four units of study. The four units of content are (1) Recruitment, (2) Training, (3) Supervision and Management, and (4) Evaluation and Recognition. Participants may take one or all of the units and begin with any unit.
All four are required to earn the certificate. Each unit (5 modules) can be completed in six months or less. A certificate can be earned in two years or less. Students anywhere can learn what they need, when they want! All the equipment necessary is a computer with access to the Internet. Costs are $175 for each unit or $640 to register for the full program.
Four WSU faculty members developed the program over the past year after assessing the needs of volunteer managers. They worked with other units on campus to put the program online.
“At last we have the marriage of good, solid, practical training for volunteer program managers and the Internet, the medium ideally suited to reaching out to the people who need it,” says Nan Hawthorne, a well-known trainer and webmaster of an award-winning web site, CyberVPM.com. A program description and more details can be seen at
Features include text, self-paced exercises linked to suggested solutions, informal Internet discussions with classmates, access to valuable volunteer management resources, and personal technical assistance from a dedicated class facilitator. Faculty will respond to individuals when assignments at the end of each module are completed.
This new online program is sponsored by WSU’s Department of Human Development, the College of Agriculture and Home Economics, Conferences and Institutes (C&I), Cooperative Extension, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Student Advising and Learning Center, and by the private firm of Macduff/Bunt Associates. More information about the program can be obtained from C&I at 509/335-3530 or 800/942-4978, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or by connecting to the web site at