Bank of America Grant to Support Problem-Based Learning Projects for Not-for-Profit Organization Program

News Story: July 7, 2014

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has provided $10,000 to Sacred Heart University for the new Bank of America Problem-Based Learning Projects for Not-for-Profits Organizations program. The program will combine elements of two existing programs in the University’s John F. Welch College of Business (WCOB)—the Center for Not-for-Profit Organizations and the Problem-Based Learning Lab.

In 2002, in response to a request for strategic planning assistance from the Diocese of Bridgeport Regional Catholic Schools, the Center for Not-for-Profit Organizations was formed. Since then, the Center has grown and serves a diverse group of local not-for-profits, using the skills of WCOB undergraduate and graduate students and students from other colleges. Since its inception, the Center has conducted 134 projects for 50 clients with 23 clients returning for multiple projects. A total of 435 students have participated under the supervision of WCOB faculty and advisers.

The Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Lab is an experiential learning program designed to expose students to real-world business problems requiring real-time solutions and includes both for-profit and not-for-profit consulting assignments. Businesses provide projects for students to complete ranging from strategic planning, business plan preparation and feasibility studies to market research, marketing, pricing analysis, economic impact studies and more.

The Bank of America Problem-Based Learning Projects for Not-for-Profit Organizations program will support three problem-based learning projects each academic year that focus on a critical need of a local not-for-profit organization. The service will be provided free of charge to the not-for-profits. The funding from Bank of America will be used in support of project activities.

“We would like to thank Bank of America for supporting the WCOB and our efforts to both provide real-world work experience for our students and offer much-needed assistance to area not-for-profit organizations,” said John Chalykoff, dean of the WCOB. “Bank of America’s investment in our students will enable us to continue preparing them for the ever-changing employment environment.”

“By partnering with Sacred Heart, we’re able to create a program that will benefit more jobseekers and nonprofits and, in turn, our communities,” added Bill Tommins, Southern Connecticut market president, Bank of America. “Investing in Southern Connecticut’s workforce is a critical component of strengthening our region’s economy.”