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Students praise Philadelphia Center’s flexible class schedule and affordability

Date: 5/30/2012

Nikia Chambers is a new transfer student at Alvernia University’s Philadelphia Center, drawn to the college by its convenient location and flexible scheduling. The ability to take both evening and weekend classes, she said, will enable her to earn a criminal justice degree in less time than she’d ever imagined. 

“I love the combination of the weeknight and Saturday classes,” said Chambers, 32, of Philadelphia, who works full-time as a manager for a behavioral health company. “Having the flexibility to do that means I’ll be able to get my degree sooner and find a job I really want.”

She also likes the fact that it takes her only about 15 minutes to get to the Philadelphia Center, which is conveniently located near the intersection of Broad and Cheltenham Avenue, just outside of the city.

“I’m excited because it’s close to home and easy to get to,” Chambers said. “There’s plenty of parking and I don’t have to worry about anything but my classes. That gives me more time to be at home with my family.”  

And, said Carol Taylor, 57, a student since August 2010, Alvernia is more manageable financially than other schools she considered.

“It’s a much more affordable choice than other schools,” said Taylor of Philadelphia, who has a double major in behavioral health and social work.  

Having already earned an associate’s degree and worked in a variety of social service jobs, Taylor said, “I feel right at home here. I like the way the leaders and instructors work toward the mission of the college by providing students with educations that allow them to give back to their communities.” 

Her goal is to complete her bachelor’s degree, then pursue a master’s degree at Alvernia before establishing an agency to assist young people who find themselves with no place to go after leaving foster care when they turn 18.

Alvernia University’s Philadelphia Center offers a variety of bachelor, graduate, and adult degree completion programs and certifications, as well as English as a Second Language. For a complete listing of programs offered at Alvernia University’s Philadelphia Center, visit

  • 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.