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Alvernia opens new facility in Schuylkill County

Date: 11/12/2009

Pictured left to right: Tim Seip (PA State Representative, 125th District), Jerry Knowles (PA State Representative, 124th District), Tom F. Flynn, Ph.D. (Alvernia President), Senator David Argall (29 District), Ed Kleha (Schuylkill County Chair) prepare for the ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new Schuylkill Center facility.


Alvernia University enhances commitment to Schuylkill County

New Graduate and Continuing Studies Center features state-of-the-art classrooms

(POTTSVILLE) – In a time when many are cutting back, Alvernia University has invested in the Schuylkill County area, with a new 10,400 square foot facility in the Cressona Mall. A news conference and ribbon cutting was held Thursday, Nov.12, at 11 a.m., followed by tours of the facility.

Alvernia is addressing a community void by expanding into the Cressona Mall, filling space once occupied by retailers. “It’s clear that more adult learners are continuing their education in order to get a leg-up in a challenging economy,” says Dean Kathy Davis, Ph.D., associate vice president for adult education. “Our goal is to fill a growing need for educational opportunities and prepare area residents to advance in their careers, or start new ones.”

For the past 10 years, the university had shared space with the McCann Business School, located about six miles from the new Cressona Mall site. The new central location (at the intersections of routes 61 and 183) will make Alvernia’s bachelor’s and master’s programs even more accessible to the local community with nearby bus routes and plenty of free parking. “We want to help adult students to successfully juggle a personal life and job responsibilities while earning a top-quality education that will serve them long after they’ve graduated from Alvernia,” said Davis. “A larger location in the heart of Schuylkill County will help us do just that.”

“Alvernia’s investment in the new Center demonstrates our commitment to adult education,” said Mary Sacavage, Ph.D., Director of the Schuylkill Center. The facility will have eight classrooms, two laptop computer labs, SMART classroom technology, and generous lounge areas for students and staff. “The SMART technology will allow instructors to use computers and sophisticated audio-visual equipment in their discussions,” said Sacavage.

As adult learners continue to look for better career avenues, many will take advantage of the Alvernia Schuylkill Center’s flexible evening and weekend schedule. “We take pride in giving each student the personal attention and support that everyone needs in today’s ‘fast-paced, take-a-number’ society,” explained Sacavage. “We want to be a partner in lifelong learning, long after our students graduate.”

  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.