Grand Opening of Sanford Education Center at National University Marks National Expansion of Programs Benefitting Nonprofit and Education Sectors

Sept. 18 event highlights collaboration with Long Island University to expand Sanford Harmony Program; Sanford Institute of Philanthropy Symposium Scheduled for Nov. 19

San Diego, Calif. – Sept. 18, 2014 – National University, the 2nd largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California, announces the grand opening of the Sanford Education Center and the national expansion of research-based initiatives aimed at empowering nonprofit leaders, educators and others serving the public good. Also part of today’s grand opening, National University is announcing three key milestones. The University is collaborating with Long Island University to expand to the East Coast the Sanford Harmony Program, which encourages positive relationships between girls and boys at the Pre-K through 6th grade. In addition, elements of the Sanford Inspire Program have been incorporated into National University’s own teacher programs, and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy is expected to launch a Master of Arts Degree in Cause Leadership in Spring 2015.

National University is leading the nationwide introduction of the Center’s three projects – Sanford Harmony Program, Sanford Inspire Program and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy – from California to New York. All three initiatives are overseen at National University by Sanford Education Center Executive Director Dr. Allyson Handley, a former university president who earned her doctorate degree from one of the top education schools in the country, Johns Hopkins University. Today’s grand opening marks the unveiling of the Center’s state-of-the-art facilities at National University’s La Jolla, Calif. headquarters. The Center includes a lecture hall space, capacity for 150-plus people and integrated video technology. The result is an enhanced learning experience that will feature educational offerings being developed through the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, which will be showcased during a Nov. 19 Symposium.

“This is a momentous occasion for National University, for the City of San Diego, and for communities around the country as we oversee the national expansion of the Sanford Education Center’s initiatives that address needs in the education and nonprofit sector through research-based practices and innovative approaches,” said National University President Michael R. Cunningham.

Today’s announced collaboration with educators at Long Island University (LIU) in New York marks a major expansion of the Sanford Harmony Program, which emphasizes positive interactions between girls and boys at the Pre-K through 6th grade level with the goal of improving gender relationships into adulthood. Initial research results have indicated improved learning experience, stronger academic performance, an improved attitude towards school, empathy between children, reduced gender stereotyping, and reduced classroom aggression.

The signed Memorandum of Understanding between National University and LIU outlines collaborative efforts between the two schools to work with program specialists, called Ambassadors, to introduce the Sanford Harmony Programs to schools in the Northeast region. The nationwide Ambassador team, made up of former principals and superintendents, is currently introducing the program to schools around the country, including San Diego. The collective efforts mean that in October the Harmony Program is expected to be introduced to 30 classrooms in schools in California, Florida and New York City, including Long Island and Brooklyn.

Sanford Harmony Program is one of two education-focused programs at the Center based on the work of researchers at Arizona State University. The other program, Sanford Inspire Program, helps teachers create inspiring learning experiences aimed at increasing student learning at the K- 12th grade level. National University’s School of Education, which awards more master’s degrees in education than any other university in California, has integrated Sanford Inspire standards and best practices throughout all teacher education classes and degrees.

The third Center initiative, the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, provides training in nonprofit leadership with an emphasis on fundraising techniques, cause selling and relationship building, through programs being developed by National University’s School of Business and Management. Joining the Institute recently as an Executive-in-Residence is philanthropic organizational leader Bob Kelly, who served for 20 years as President of the San Diego Foundation.

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