President's Newsletter October 2015

Community Engagement

Our Reading Collegiate Scholars Program, aimed at preparing larger numbers of Reading students to attend and succeed at the college of their choice, continues to gain momentum. Last year we worked with 152 “College Readiness” students in the program. Alvernia’s five Freshman Scholars achieved an average GPA of 3.5; this fall 10 new Scholars were enrolled.

The Holleran Center is facilitating two multi-session nutrition education programs at Millmont Elementary School this year, with the first beginning in October. Alex Roché, our Sustainable Food Access VISTA, and student volunteers will teach 4th and 5th graders about nutritional alternatives and snack recipes, along with providing hands-on cooking opportunities.

Sustainability students are researching three aquaponics systems to determine the most cost effective option for residential use. They are also assisting Millmont Elementary School in rejuvenating its aquaponics system and integrating related lessons into the curriculum there.

The Academic Compliance Office continues to manage and improve acquisition and tracking of affiliations with more than 770 agency agreements in place to support clinical and fieldwork requirements. Over 600 students are completing over 800 agency placements this semester.

An academic minor and certificate in Community Engagement is being launched in partnership between the Holleran Center and the Humanities Department. Available to students in any major, the minor will begin this spring with the offering of PHI 207: Ethics and Community Engagement with Dr. Josh Hayes.

The 40-hour Community Engagement Requirement has been amended to make the requirement part of the General Education program. Students will now need to participate in one of a list of activities in order to satisfy the requirement. This change does not affect the total number of service hours required for graduation.

As part of New Student Orientation, the Holleran Center organized the 2015 Orientation Day of Service for new students, upperclass student leaders and First Year Seminar faculty members. Approximately 500 people served at 16 sites throughout the City of Reading.

This fall’s St. Francis Day of Service took place at the 22-acre Angora Fruit Farm. Though Alvernia has been working at the site for over a year, this is the first time volunteers were able to see the fruits of their labors (literally!) as they harvested apples for use at local food banks.


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president's newsletter october 2015

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