Family Fusion Newsletter

Img: Family Fusion

Dear Parents and Families,

This is the latest in our series of periodic communications to aid you in supporting our students’ success at Alvernia University. In each edition, we share information about one or more subjects that are of particular importance at the time of publication, as well as reminders of upcoming deadlines and events.

This month, our students will be preparing to register for fall semester classes (and perhaps even for an additional class this semester, in our fourth "Mod") and apply for and choose 2017-18 housing (a process closely associated with registration).  This edition contains information that will help you help your student with each of these important tasks.  And don’t miss the announcement of our Live Auction to help us support our Alternative Breaks program.

Please don’t hesitate to call or write me if additional information or assistance would be helpful.


Joseph J. Cicala, Ph.D.
Vice President for University Life and Dean of Students // 610.796.8211


Important Dates for Advising and Summer/Fall Registration

Registration for classes at Alvernia for Summer and Fall 2017 will be here before we know it! Official registration dates are as follows:
Monday, March 27 = Seniors
Tuesday March 28 = Juniors
Wednesday March 29 = Sophomores
Thursday March 30 = Freshmen

Students must meet with their academic advisors before pre-registration. For freshmen, advisors are still their First Year Seminar instructors from the fall. For sophomores through seniors, advisors are faculty members in their majors. Students' academic advisors' names appear at the bottom of their schedules in Self-Service.

A student will not be able to register until the advisor has authorized it and until all holds on the student’s account (signified by “stop signs” in a student’s record in our Self-Service system) are removed.  

In some cases, students might want to consider adding another class to their spring semester schedule or to plan ahead for summer.  MOD 4 – an 8 week evening session - begins on Monday, March 13 and might be a good option in order to maintain satisfactory progress or to improve grades.  Summer sessions begin on Monday, May 15.  

Help is available for all students, year-round, in many places:
Office of Residence Life (610.796.8320)
Student Financial Planning (610.796.8356)
Student Billing (610.796.8214)
Registrar (610.796.8201)
Public Safety (610.796.8350)
Athletics (610.796.8276)
Academic Success Center (610.796.8266)
Please encourage your student to take advantage of all the opportunities at Alvernia.

New Initiative for Parents and Families

New for Alvernia parents and families is a series of thinking and learning sessions sponsored by our Parents Association that will be held on campus, and rotating through areas where our families live, such as Baltimore and northern New Jersey. The sessions are designed to help parents and families engage with university staff and faculty on a variety of timely topics to help us all work together to enhance the Alvernia experience for our students. This semester, Head Football Coach Ralph Clark and University Life Vice President Dr. Joe Cicala will talk about how we will ensure that our new varsity football program contributes positively to Alvernia’s culture. Next semester, our topic will focus on financial management strategies for students, both while they’re in college and after graduation.

How To apply for Fall Housing

Our students are preparing to make their housing applications and selections for next year, a process closely associated with registration for fall semester classes. (Registration for fall semester classes is required in order to finalize the housing application.) Living on campus is an integral part of your student’s college education. In fact, results from research conducted on our campus shows just how important living in on-campus housing can be to a student’s success. Students who live in university housing at Alvernia:

• earn higher grades
• are happier with their college experience
• have more positive contacts with faculty and staff
• use academic support resources more frequently
• feel a greater sense of connection to the University community
• report greater improvement in multiple areas of academic and personal growth
• feel less overwhelmed and more able to manage their time

As residents, students also have more opportunities to get involved with the social, cultural, and extracurricular activities on the University campus. And the more connected students are to the University’s community, the more relationships they develop. As a result, the more satisfied they tend to be with their total college experience.

As the deadline for applying for on-campus housing approaches, there are a few details you should be aware of. In order to be eligible for campus housing, students must complete the following steps:  1) complete our online housing application 2) pay the housing deposit 3) register for 12 or more credits for the fall 2017 semester.

The deadline for all three steps is April 3rd.

In addition to our traditional housing options, students can become even more involved in their housing by participating in a number of co-curricular and interest-based communities (CHOICE Housing). For returning students, those communities include Sophomore Serve, Academic Village, and Affinity Housing.

• Sophomore Serve is a community that works with the Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement on service opportunities in the local community.
• Academic Village is a community that centers on dedication to academic rigor through extended quiet hours and extra learning support.
• Affinity Housing is designed for a group of students who want to live together under a theme of their choice (Cancer Awareness, Men's Baseball, Berks Animal Rescue League, etc.) and complete at least one service and community project each semester. Students interested in this housing option will need to complete the application by mid-March.

 If you have any questions about our housing selection process, housing options, or the advantages of living on campus, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Residence Life at 610.796.8320.

Get ready to get your bid on!  Alternative Breaks presents our First Annual Live Auction!

On March 14, from 3:30-5:30 in the McGlinn Conference Center, Campus Ministry will host a unique event combining a live auction with a silent basket auction.  This event will raise funds for Alternative Breaks, which sends more than 70 students to service sites in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.  The program is fully funded by donations and requires about $50,000 a year to sponsor all our students who participate. 

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and families are invited to participate in the live auction.  We have several attractive items on the bidding block that you can learn about below.  If you would like to bid on an item but will not be present at the event, we encourage you to talk with your student about coming to the auction and making a bid!  All are welcome!

Live auction items to date include:

1) The Deluxe Commencement Package: For graduating seniors, this package includes
     *Dinner at the DoubleTree Hotel-Reading (for 4)
     *One hotel room at the DoubleTree along with a Continental Breakfast
     *Six (6) floor seats at Commencement (Santander Arena)
     *Two (2) Complimentary Parking Passes for Santander Arena

2) The Commencement Package: For Graduating seniors, this package includes:
     *One hotel room at the Candlewood Suites in Reading
     *Two (2) Complimentary Parking Passes for Santander Arena

3) Reserved Parking Spot On Campus
     *For Fall 2017 Semester
     *Spot placement to be negotiated with Public Safety

4) Spend the Day with the President
     *Win a full shadow day experience with Dr. Tom Flynn, President of Alvernia University
     *Great for students who are aspiring to a career in Higher Education!

5) VIP Spring Fling Passes
     *Four (4) backstage passes to meet with X Ambassadors (the 2017 Spring Fling Band)

6) That's Entertainment! Dinner and a Movie for Four with Drs. Blessing and Cicala.
      *Share a meal, a movie, mountains of memorable minutia, and merriment with Professor Tim Blessing and VP for University Life Joe Cicala. Dr. C. will prepare a home-cooked Italian dinner and both will share their love of and informal scholarship about the Golden Age of the Hollywood Musical in a screening of the classic MGM film "That's Entertainment!"

For more information about the Live Auction please contact Julianne Wallace @ 610.796.8300 or

Spring 2017: Show Up to Meet the Freshman Squad Goals

The Freshman Year Experience - Squad Goals, is a component of the FYE program for the spring of 2017. Freshmen will have the opportunity to engage in different events from different categories that will provide them additional ways to connect with the Alvernia community and enhance their student experience. There are opportunities to win prizes by completing individual categories, as well as being entered into a larger prize for completing all categories. For more information, visit our Squad goals webpage: click here.

family fusion newsletter

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ YouTube RSS Feed Pinterest Instagram tumblr Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ RSS Feed