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Business students prepare strategic plan for non-profit

Date: 12/1/2012

Students from Alvernia, a leading provider of traditional and Online MBA programs in Reading, help Habitat for Humanity

PH: strategic planning

The mission of Habitat for Humanity in Berks County is to, ‘transform lives and communities by helping families in need purchase their own homes.’ But, did you know they also help business students tackle real-world problems? Alvernia University builds experiential-based learning into its traditional and online MBA programs in Reading and this year, the business students prepared a five-year strategic plan for Habitat.

After devoting the entire semester to researching and analyzing Habitat’s operations, Alvernia students presented plans to Tim Daley, executive director of Habitat.

“I thought the project was well thought out,” said Daley. “The students put a lot of effort into identifying our strengths and weaknesses. It helped validate my observations.”

Daley graduated from Alvernia in 1979 and agreed to working with the students since, “It was an opportunity to give back to the university.” 

This collaboration, however, could benefit Habitat as much as the students. 

As Daley explains, “It was also an opportunity to have students see more of what we do and our impact. I told them now that you know who we are and see what we do, please consider contributing a year of your time.”

Overall, the students who participated on the project found it to be an enjoyable and valuable experience. 

“It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it,” said Alvernia MBA student, Denise Elliott. “The most surprising thing about this project was the number of my classmates who did not know that Habitat for Humanity had a Berks County chapter. Hopefully, with the help of our strategic plan, the organization will be able to build their brand awareness in the community.”

In addition, one of the students working on this project received what every student wishes for: a job. Approximately halfway through the semester Russell Popler learned Habitat had an opening for a director of construction. He just happened to have a background in construction and landed the job, a direct result of having met Daley through this class project.

About Habitat for Humanity of Berks County
Habitat for Humanity works to end substandard housing and provide eligible families with a safe, decent place to live. The organization has three guiding principles. First, sweat equity: Habitat families must contribute meaningful effort towards whatever housing solution is undertaken on their behalf. Second, repayment: Habitat families repay the cost of their home with a 0% interest mortgage. And third, that Habitat provides for its volunteers a meaningful experience that enforces the importance of giving back. >> More information

About Alvernia Traditional and Online MBA Programs
Alvernia, a leading provider of traditional and online MBA in Reading and the surrounding communities in Pottsville, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lancaster, Kutztown and Philadelphia, offers classes accredited by ACBSP. All classes are taught by experienced faculty and with several course formats, most students complete their degree in just two years or less. >> More information

  • 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.