Graduate-level Certificate Programs

In partnership with Suffolk University in Boston and Clark University in Worcester, the Providers' Council offers the graduate-level Certificate in Nonprofit Human Service Management for mid-career human service professionals.

This year-long, graduate-level certificate program has been specifically designed for mid-career professionals in nonprofit organizations. Recognizing the complex and challenging set of skills that are necessary to excel in human services management, this program includes six blocks of classes in key subject areas. This certificate program is offered in partnership with Suffolk University in Boston and with Clark University in Worcester. The Suffolk program meets Fridays and the Clark program meets Wednesdays.

Apply for the 2020-2021 Certificate Program 

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Who attends this program?

This program is for nonprofit agency staff working in program management, human resources, administration, and finance capacities. Current participants include program managers, residence directors, project managers, office managers, executive directors, and staff accountants. Registration is open to employees of Providers’ Council members and non-member nonprofit organizations, and experienced professionals who would like to enter the nonprofit sector.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must have a supervisor recommendation and a bachelor’s degree or at least six years’ work experience (please note that Clark University applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, however this requirement may be waived under special circumstances). Admission to the program is contingent upon approval by the university partner and the Providers’ Council.

What does this program offer participants?

  • Academic training specific to management, evaluation, administration, and finance responsibilities in a human services nonprofit
  • Preparation for career growth opportunities
  • A professional network among the participants
  • Potential graduate credit waivers to a Master in Public Administration program

What benefits does this program offer to employers?

  • Educational curriculum that addresses your organization’s needs
  • Great employee benefit for committed staff
  • May help retain critical staff
  • Can increase the capacity of the organization
  • Can develop new leadership candidates

2020-2021 Curriculum and Program Structure

The Certificate in Nonprofit Human Service Management Program consists of six mandatory blocks of classes for the 2020-2021 academic year. The program allows students to explore crucial topics in greater depth. For example, the comprehensive class on Alternative Revenue Strategies for Nonprofits covers a variety of strategies for diversifying an organization’s income and financial sustainability, including grant writing, fundraising, and social entrepreneurship. In this course, students develop a strategic understanding of how nonprofit organizations can integrate diverse revenue streams into a comprehensive revenue strategy in order to effectively achieve their mission in a critical and dynamic fiscal environment. In addition, the program allows for an expanded focus on the important Legal & Ethical Issues for Nonprofits class. These course topics, along with the other courses focusing on Introduction to Nonprofit Human Service ManagementFinancial ManagementProgram Evaluation, and Human Resources Management, provide graduates of the Certificate Program at both schools with a well-rounded skill set to be successful managers in today’s human service sector.

What are the classes in this program?

The program will provide education in the following areas for the Certificate in Nonprofit Human Service Management:

  • Human Service Management (overview)
  • Human Resource Management
  • Financial Management
  • Nonprofit Legal and Ethical Issues
  • Information Based Management
  • Alternative Revenue Strategies for Nonprofits
  • Program Evaluation

Reasons to consider applying to the program:

  • The program is a great value — for less than the cost of one graduate class you get several graduate classes, valued between $7,000-$14,000
  • Receive training and education that will make you eligible for career advancement
  • Develop a professional network to support your career advancement


The Council strives to offer this important program to its members at an incredible value; less than the cost of one graduate class. Pricing for the 2020-2021 Program will be as follows:

Member Price Non-Member Price
Clark University $3,250 $6,000
Suffolk University $3,550 $6,700

There is also a $50 application fee per sponsoring organization, regardless of the number of applications submitted.

Graduate Credit

In additional to developing critical skills sets, those who complete the program may also be eligible to receive credits towards a master’s degree program.

Students must maintain an adequate GPA to qualify for transfer credit towards graduate programs. Additionally, students must have a bachelor’s degree before beginning the program in order to qualify for graduate credit. This applies for both the Clark and Suffolk certificate programs.

Suffolk University allows graduates of the certificate program to apply 12 graduate credit waivers and six credits for graduate course requirement waivers toward a Master in Public Administration. The credit waivers, equivalent to four graduate classes, account for approximately one third of the total credits needed for a degree.

Clark University allows graduates of the certificate program to apply 2 course credits towards the 10 course degree requirement for a Master in Public Administration degree at Clark. Additionally, graduates of the certificate program receive a 30% discount on their tuition for the MPA program.

About Our Partnerships

Suffolk University’s Moakley Center for Public Management began a human service management certificate program in partnership with the Providers’ Council in 2002. More than 350 future leaders have graduated from the Suffolk University and Providers’ Council program. For more information about Suffolk University’s Moakley Center for Public Management, please visit

Clark University’s  School of Professional Studies began a partnership with the Providers’ Council in 2005. The affiliation with Clark allows the Providers’ Council to offer a certificate program in Worcester that has graduated more than 100 future leaders. For more information about Clark University with the School of Professional Studies programs, visit its website at to or email

Questions? Please contact Eliza Adams at or call 508.598.9700.

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