Bank of America Continues Support of Program-Based Learning with Second $10,000 Grant

From left are students Rob Coloney, Dave Vitols, Fairfield County's Community Foundation's (FCCF) Elaine Mintz, student Rachel Nielsen and FCCF board member Amy Downer. The students were working with FCCF as part of SHU's Problem-Based Learning Projects for Not-for-Profits Organization program.

News Story: July 14, 2015

Funding will help support the provision of research and services to local nonprofits

Sacred Heart University has received a second consecutive grant of $10,000 from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation as part of its ongoing partnership with the company. This grant funds the Bank of America Problem-Based Learning Projects for Not-for-Profits Organization program.

The Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Lab is a learning program designed to expose students to real-world business problems, requiring them to come up with real-time solutions. This program includes both for-profit and not-for- profit consulting assignments, but Bank of America and this grant specify that students work with nonprofits. Businesses and organizations provide projects for students to complete a variety of tasks, from marketing, strategic planning, business plan preparation and feasibility studies to market research, pricing analysis, economic impact and more.

“We would like to thank Bank of America for supporting the Welch College of Business and for providing our undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to collaborate and come up with real-world solutions for area nonprofits. It’s a win-win for everyone,” said Professor Stephen Brown, director of SHU’s Center for Not-for-Profit Organizations where many of these projects originate.

Adds Valerie Christian, assistant professor of management and one of the teachers of this course, “Working on a live project gives the students a chance to apply competencies in a real-world setting, learn to deal with an unstructured and multifaceted consulting assignment, enhance teamwork skills in a tight-deadline situation, deal with subject areas outside of their comfort zone and assist in the good work of not-for-profit organizations.”

“Sacred Heart University is a well-respected university that provides quality education to local students,” said Bill Tommins, Southern Connecticut market president, Bank of America. “Continued support for this exceptional institute will provide added value to students as they further develop their business skills, while training them to develop solutions to real-life challenges faced by area nonprofits.”

The grant from Bank of America funds a minimum of three projects for teams of students from SHU’s Jack Welch College of Business. Last year’s grant funded projects for Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, the Fairfield Museum and History Center, the Stratford Library, the Center for Family Justice and Wakeman Boys and Girls Club.