Alvernia to offer MBA program at Penske Truck Leasing Headquarters

Starting in October, associates at Penske Truck Leasing Co., LP will have a very convenient way to earn a graduate degree. The same faculty who teach in Alvernia’s MBA program on main campus will offer classes on location, at Penske Truck Leasing headquarters in Reading. 

Penske associates who enroll in the partnership program will start classes on October 23, meeting once a week, with an expectation to complete the program in about three years. The program follows a cohort model, meaning that students start collectively and graduate together.

While Penske spends millions on training each year and has a long history of promoting educational opportunities to their associates, this is the first time they have partnered with a university to bring classes directly to their associates.

“In the past, we would have an education fair where we would invite all schools in the area to put up a table and associates could bring in their families to explore any school,” said Ken Hurley, senior vice president of human resources at Penske Truck Leasing. “I would call this partnership with Alvernia an evolution of our training efforts.”

Though its Pathways Partnership Program, Alvernia University works with organizations and employers to provide professional development, training, and degree education program options for adult learners. The Pathways program allows Alvernia to assist employers in implementing education and training opportunities that are innovative, effective, and efficient to meet the demands of today’s workplace. The university works to seamlessly integrate education into the busy schedules and personal obligations of working adults, which allows employers to better leverage their investment in workforce education.

“As is consistent for any partnership exploration process, we held information sessions at Penske’s location in Green Hills to gauge the interest of the company’s associates,” explained Daria LaTorre, dean of graduate and adult education at Alvernia. “We found that employee interest was clustered into two areas: degree completion in business management and the Master in Business Administration (MBA) program.” 

Penske and Alvernia representatives met in May 2013 and agreed to implement an initial MBA cohort class on location at Penske. In addition to waived application fees, students in the program receive a reduced tuition rate.

According to Hurley, Penske has had a relationship with Alvernia for a number of years and has quite a few associates who earned either undergraduate or graduate degrees from Alvernia — so this partnership, “made more sense than another school.”

Alvernia’s Pathways program has been implemented on location at other area companies, such as First Energy, Godiva, and The Reading Hospital and Medical Center. Its business faculty also conducts leadership and training seminars in the workplace to help managers learn skills that enhance their productivity and performance. 

“We really believe that partnerships like this are important for professionals in the community,” said LaTorre. “If we can make it easier for Penske employees to gain a career advantage with minimal impact on their busy lives, then it’s well worth the effort.”

About Penske
Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P., headquartered in Reading, Pa., is a joint venture of Penske Corporation, Penske Automotive Group and General Electric Capital Corporation. A leading global transportation services provider, Penske operates more than 200,000 vehicles and serves customers from more than 1,000 locations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Product lines include full-service truck leasing, contract maintenance, commercial and consumer truck rentals, used truck sales, transportation and warehousing management and supply chain management solutions. To learn more about Penske's products and services please visit www.GoPenske.com and the "Move Ahead" blog. Connect with Penske on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

>> Learn more about Alvernia University’s Master in Business Administration program.
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