BVU and Hope Haven make connections through Strategic Partnership

May 05, 2022 1:54pm

Storm Lake, Iowa (May 5, 2022) – Buena Vista University (BVU) and Hope Haven have joined forces as Strategic Partners to strengthen their communities and the people they serve.

This partnership allows eligible employees of Hope Haven as well as their family members to receive grant funding to lower the overall cost of education while enrolled in classes at BVU’s Storm Lake campus. Partner grant funding also lowers the cost per credit hour for students enrolled in BVU’s convenient online/hybrid undergraduate programs or the organizational leadership graduate program.

BVU professors and staff are also available for training programs, workshops, and more should officials with Hope Haven seek those services and expertise.

“Aligning with Buena Vista University through the Strategic Partnerships initiative allows Hope Haven to expand upon our broad range of employee benefits,” says Hope Haven Chief of Staff Lisa Schwanke. “Creating more accessible pathways to a BVU education for our dedicated employees and their families will undoubtedly strengthen our workforce, allowing our staff members and their families the opportunity for even more growth as they strive to serve and bring out the very best in the people we serve.”

“Throughout my time at Hope Haven, I have appreciated how the organization invests in employees and encourages each of us to build upon our leadership skills,” says Michaela Simmons, who earned her BVU master’s degree in organizational leadership in 2019. “BVU’s graduate program gave me the tools I needed to become the Director of Employment Services. I appreciated the flexibility of the program and being able to complete my courses online. I am excited my coworkers will now be provided the same opportunity to learn and grow.”

The educational benefits offered by BVU are made even more accessible to employees of Hope Haven who work and reside in locations that are home to BVU offices located on partnering community college campuses, such as Iowa Lakes Community College (ILCC) at Spencer, Emmetsburg, and Estherville; Iowa Central Community College (ICCC) at Fort Dodge; and Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC) in Sioux City.

For decades, BVU has enjoyed educational ties with community college campuses in those locations, working with students as they seamlessly transfer their credits toward their bachelor’s degree at BVU. Students receive personalized support including admissions and enrollment counseling and academic advising through BVU’s offices on the community college campuses serving ILCC, ICCC, and WITCC, to name a few.

Hope Haven is an accredited resource for disability services and advocacy. Hope Haven, an employer of more than 700 people in communities in Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, offers service programs and support to meet a broad range of needs for children, adults, and families, from physical, mental, and intellectual, to residential, vocational, and spiritual. Hope Haven’s international outreach extends to 109 countries through the delivery of wheelchairs to people in need throughout the world.

Through more than 40 community living homes in more than 30 communities, Hope Haven represents a larger community committed to making a positive, lasting impact in the lives of those served. Service programs include: community living, employment services, day habilitation, mental health and recovery, spirit support, and international ministries.

“We at Buena Vista University are thrilled to partner with Hope Haven, within our Strategic Partnerships initiative,” says BVU Director of Strategic Partnerships Laura Todd. “Providing educational benefits that will further strengthen Hope Haven employees and their families as they work to serve those in and around Northwest Iowa serves all of us in our mission to make this region the very best it can be for those who live and work here.”