Business students at Alvernia Give Back to the Reading, PA Community

Undergrad and MBA program have long history of helping nonprofits

Reading, PA (December 11, 2014) -- Numerous nonprofit organizations have benefited over the years from the service-learning component that’s built into undergraduate and graduate business programs at Alvernia University. This year, marketing students helped the St. Francis Home in Shillington, PA.

The St. Francis Home is a startup end-of-life facility that needed help with fundraising, branding and creating brand equity within the community. The organization is not hospice but rather a home for the terminally ill who need a place to spend the remainder of their lives. The residents are responsible for their own healthcare.

Alvernia students in the undergraduate marketing research seminar met with members of the St. Francis Home board of directors and discovered the organization needed help with fundraising, branding and creating brand equity within the community.

The students conducted an extensive literature review to understand the challenges within this industry, met again with the board of directors and created marketing plans. These marketing proposals were presented to a team of board members from the St. Francis Home on December 8th.

For three years, Dr. Samuel Bradley, assistant professor of business at Alvernia has taught classes with this service-learning component.

“The most rewarding part of teaching these classes is seeing how the student embrace helping the non-profits. Once the class meets with our community partners, they feel a real sense of ownership and develop an interest in making a lasting contribution to support the organization,” says Dr. Bradley. “Not only do the students get the opportunity to conduct a “real world” marketing project, they get to help a local community service organization.“

Other organizations that Dr. Bradley’s classes have provided marketing advice to include:

•    Hay Creek Valley Historical Association - An educational group based in Geigertown that focuses on the 18-19 century history of Berks County received marketing support for branding, fund raising and social media.
•    Reading Aquaponics Project - A start-up project to provide micro aquaponic farms in Reading received a marketing rollout program from the students.
•    Day Spring Homes - A home for people with mental and behavioral challenges that needed support for building brand equity and community involvement.

Students in the MBA program at Alvernia also contribute their business expertise to local nonprofits. In the past, MBA students have created a five-year strategic plan for Habitat for Humanity in Berks County.

Including projects like these into course work helps the university uphold its Franciscan motto; “To learn, to love, to serve.”

About Alvernia University’s Business Programs
Alvernia offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with concentrations in accounting, human resource management, marketing, management and sport management. On the graduate level, the university is known as a leading provider of traditional and online MBA in Reading and the surrounding communities in Pottsville, Harrisburg, Allentown, Lancaster, Kutztown and Philadelphia. Both undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by ACBSP.

About Alvernia

Alvernia is a thriving university that empowers students through real-world learning to discover their passion for life, while providing the education to turn what they love into lifetimes of career success and personal fulfillment, helping them make the world a better place. Situated on a scenic 121-acre suburban campus in historic Berks County, Pa., the university of more than 3,000 students is conveniently located near Philadelphia (60 miles) and within an easy drive of New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. With a College of Arts and Sciences and College of Professional Studies, Alvernia today offers more than 50 undergraduate majors and minors and a range of graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral levels through its School of Graduate and Adult Education. Satellite sites are located in Philadelphia and Schuylkill County. As one of only 22 Franciscan institutions in the country, Alvernia’s focus on caring for each other, the environment and the community are joined with a challenging educational experience to provide an unparalleled environment to grow, develop and mature as a person and professional.

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