Syllabus for MSP-664

VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


Volunteers are the lifeblood of many public and nonprofit organizations. This course serves as an introduction to the theory and practice of the full range of volunteer management from recruiting prospective volunteers to issues surrounding the departure of a volunteer from the organization. Core issues surrounding volunteer management such as motivations, training, and risk management serve as key topics for this course.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. CO 1. Define volunteerism and explain its role in public sector and nonprofit organizations.
  2. CO 2. Discuss the core intrinsic and extrinsic motivations that lead one to volunteer.
  3. CO 3. Assess and evaluate the effectiveness of a volunteer management program.
  4. CO 4. Classify volunteers according to the Volunteer Stages & Transitions Model (VSTM).
  5. CO 5. Design meaningful roles and job descriptions for volunteers.
  6. CO 6. Articulate key risk management issues facing volunteer managers and outline appropriate steps to minimize those risks.
  7. CO 7. Prioritize training objectives to successfully prepare individuals for their volunteer roles.
  8. CO 8. Construct a strategy for volunteer retention that includes appreciating and rewarding volunteers for their service.
  9. CO 9. Analyze strategies for effective volunteer recruitment.
  10. CO 10. Prepare for the inevitable departure of a volunteer from the organization.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks:

ISBN-13: 978-1895271638 (Only the Electronic Version (ebook) is available)

ISBN-13: 978-0764435645

Suggested Reading:

ISBN-13: 978-0470604533

ISBN-13: 978-0764486197

Additional Note:

For some of the articles in the course, you may need to use the New Jersey State Library’s Interlibrary Loan service, ILLiad. To request a free New Jersey State Library card, fill out the online registration form and you will receive your card in the mail. Please make sure to do this at the beginning of the semester as it can take several days for processing before the card is mailed out.


Volunteer Management is a three-credit online course, consisting of eight modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

This course requires you to participate in six graded discussion forums. There is also an ungraded but required introductions forum in module 1.

Online discussions provide an opportunity for you to interact with your classmates. During this aspect of the course, you respond to prompts that assist you in developing your ideas, you share those ideas with your classmates, and you comment on their posts. Discussion board interactions promote development of a community of learners, critical thinking, and exploratory learning.

Please participate in online discussions as you would in constructive face-to-face discussions. You are expected to post well-reasoned and thoughtful reflections for each item, making reference, as appropriate, to your readings. You are also expected to reply to your classmates' posts in a respectful, professional, and courteous manner. You may, of course, post questions asking for clarification or further elucidation on a topic.

Online Discussion Grading Rubric

Written Assignments

You are required to complete seven written assignments. The culminating project for this course is to assemble a volunteer management handbook for the organization of your choosing. Each of the module assignments in this course is designed to be cumulative, slowly building toward that final project. So, for each module, there will be a paper/task/assignment that will be independently graded. Then, at the conclusion of the course, you will package each of those assignments (along with some other pieces) into a single comprehensive volunteer management handbook that could serve as a resource for your chosen organization.

Written Assignment Grading Rubric

Final Project

You are required to complete a final project based on your module written assignments. This final project is to assemble a volunteer management handbook for the organization of your choosing. Each of the module assignments is designed to be cumulative, slowly building toward that final project. So, for each module, there will be a paper/task/assignment that will be independently graded. Then, at the conclusion of the course, you will package each of those assignments (along with some other pieces) into a single comprehensive volunteer management handbook that could serve as a resource for your chosen organization.

A full description of the project and its requirements is found in the Final Project area of the Course web site. 


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:


















Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

Copyright © 2016 by Thomas Edison State University. All rights reserved.