The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) Why was this program created? What is its goal?

Nonprofits and other social enterprises comprise a significant part of our economy (10-15% by most counts) and an essential part of our society. In pursuit of their missions, social enterprises face a variety of business-like challenges well understood by business schools. The goal of this program is to bring business-like thinking and solutions to social enterprise organizations.

2) Who should attend the CSEE Program?

This program is designed for Executive Directors of organizations focused on social missions, or those who to aspire to such positions, sponsored by their organizations.

3) What types of organizations is this program designed to serve?

This program was created exclusively for addressing the unique challenges facing nonprofit organizations and other social enterprises - organizations with a social mission as its primary focus. The participants come from both local and regional sites - anyone that can get to Knoxville/UT campus four times a year for the weekend residencies. Here is a list of the organizations represented in the 2012-2013 program:

  • Museum of Appalachia
  • InterFaith Health Clinic
  • Girl Scouts
  • Knox County Public Library
  • Yoke Youth Ministries
  • Emerald Youth
  • Project-GRAD Knoxville
  • Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Distinguished Professionals Education Institute
  • Arts & Culture Alliance
  • Knoxville Area Urban League
  • Scarecrow Foundation
  • ASAP of Anderson County
  • Project-GRAD Knoxville
  • East Tennessee Technology Access Center
  • United Way
  • Great Schools
  • TN Achieves
  • Ijams Nature Center
  • Knoxville Leadership Foundation
  • Issac Walton League
  • The Literacy Imperative

4) What will the program cost my organization?

The cost of the yearlong program is $6,000. This 'all inclusive price' covers all program fees, materials, and meals during the program. Need-based scholarships are available on a competitive basis to cover up to half the cost, if necessary.

5) Is the tuition due in one lump sum?

Normally yes, but we can work with organizations to meet their particular budget and funding cycles. However, special payment arrangements must be agreed upon, in advance, by the program director, Dr. Alex Miller.

6) Are there scholarships available to support the program?s tuition?

There are need-based scholarships for coverage of up to half of the program fee if needed. Individuals must supply information supporting their reasons for a scholarship request. The scholarship requests are competitive - compelling reasons and early applications are recommended.

7) How much time is required to complete assignments outside of the classroom?

Between residency weekends, participants do two types of work related to the program. They do 'real' work on their Personal Development Plans and their Enterprise Strategic Planning. We say these projects entail 'real' work in the sense that they require work within the participant's own organization applying what has been learned in the prior residency weekend. Beyond this, there is also 'homework' to complete in preparing for the next residency period. Our emphasis is on 'real' work, and this is not so much additional work time as it is doing work that was already required, but using tools from the course to do it better. The 'homework' required to prepare for the next residency weekend is typically reading 3-6 articles and 1-2 case studies, and this reading usually requires 2-4 hours.

8) What are the residency dates for the 2013-2014 program?

  • R1 - August 17-18, 2013
  • R2 - November 16-17, 2013
  • R3 - February 15-16, 2014
  • R4 - May 17-18, 2014

9) What types of skills and knowledge will I gain by attending this program?

This yearlong program is designed to do many things. At the individual level, emphasis will be placed on assessing your leadership skills from a strength and weaknesses perspective. You will learn to accelerate those strengths and develop areas identified as needing improvement. At the organizational level, you will learn to think strategically about your organization and its mission. We will walk you through a structured process to map its guiding vision, the mission, goals, objectives, and plans. Out of this will come a clearer focus, including a 'Stop Doing List' and a 'Big Idea' worthy of your time, energy, and capital. You will learn how to engage your organization behind your strategy, and you'll end the year with a 'board-quality, investment-ready' business plan to take your organization to the next level.

10) Why is the Haslam College of Business interested in helping local and regional not-for-profits?

By reaching out to nonprofit organizations and other social enterprises, we can bring the full force of a business college's acumen to help advance local and regional organizations' social missions. This leads to a stronger, healthier, more vibrant community for us all to enjoy.

11) What is the size of a typical class?

Class size each year is limited to 24 participants.

12) How do I apply to the CSEE program?

The application is available here.

13) How do I apply for a CSEE scholarship?

The application is available here.

14) Is there a deadline for applications?

Applications are taken year-round and we encourage early application. No applications can be accepted two weeks before a class starts its yearlong program.

Consortium for Social Enterprise Effectiveness ~ 418 Stokely Management Center ~ 916 Volunteer Blvd ~ Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: 865-974-1705 ~ E-Mail:


Contribute to a big idea. Give to UT.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System