Why NLA? - University of Houston
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Are you interested in making your community a better place?  If so, then consider joining the David M. Underwood Chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) at the University of Houston (UH) to become a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP). The program is open to undergraduate students from any degree program at UH as well as students pursuing the Master of Social Work at the UH Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW).  Whether you have an idea of the specific kind of work you want to do or you just know you want to effect meaningful change in the world, the NLA program can help prepare you for a rewarding career in the nonprofit sector.

The NLA is not a degree program but rather a certification, and we work closely with academic programs to incorporate our requirements into each student’s educational plan.  We work with students to develop the skills needed to become nonprofit professionals and leaders through a combination of coursework, leadership and volunteer opportunities, an internship with a local nonprofit agency, conferences, mentorship, and a variety of workshops and professional development opportunities that connect students with nonprofit leaders in our community and beyond.

Students who join the NLA program gain the added benefit of membership in the UH NLA-AFP Student Association.  In addition to providing those in the NLA program the opportunity to practice their leadership skills by assisting in the planning and execution of the NLA’s activities, this group also serves as the Houston Collegiate Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).  The AFP Houston Professional Chapter provides mentorship and support to our students to help prepare them for this important aspect of nonprofit work as part of the program’s unique learning opportunities.

We welcome inquiries from any undergraduate student at UH considering a career in the nonprofit sector.  Students typically begin the program their junior year, but it is never too early to reach out to us for more details on the process of joining the NLA and completing the certification.   The program also offers enough flexibility so that students may still join as seniors.  The easiest way to determine what may work for an individual is to schedule a time to meet with NLA staff. 

GCSW MSW graduate students interested in the NLA should refer to the Focused Learning Opportunities (FLOs) page for further information.

Please contact us at NLA@central.uh.edu with any questions or to schedule a time to speak with us to see how the NLA program may fit into your plans.  We look forward to hearing from you!