Students Turn Knowledge into Practice to Help Local Nonprofit

Maybe you haven’t picked up your company’s employee handbook in a while, and maybe you wouldn’t even realize how out of date some can be. Globe University-Appleton students taking the Business Law class this quarter recently partnered with St. Vincent de Paul, a local nonprofit organization that seeks to provide tangible assistance to those in need. The main goal of this applied learning project was for the students to restructure, update, and add new items to St. Vincent’s current employee handbook as they saw fit (in accordance with the law) to make it more relevant for their organization.

Peggy Miller, paralegal program chair and instructor of Business Law, explained that the students had to become familiar with the organization’s current policies, update those that were outdated based on the law or contained politically incorrect language, as well as add new policies that were necessary or relevant to changes in society since the handbook was originally drafted.

Becca Merklein, General Manager of St. Vincent de Paul, was thankful for the help. “The Globe students took a lot off my plate, and I knew together they would come up with ideas that I couldn’t think of on my own,” she said. “The material they included and updated was very extensive. In today’s world, there are so many new laws and policies to keep up with.”

paralegal program

Instructor Peggy Miller; students Averil Brown, Roger Jazdzewski, Matt Schroeder; and St. Vincent de Paul General Manager Becca Merklein

Students made adaptations to the organization’s current employee handbook including sections such as an index, sanction, professionalism, sexual harassment, media and social media, and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). They needed to do their research to make sure these additions and adaptations not only made sense for the organization to add into their employee handbook, but that they were in accordance with the law.

“It was a pleasure to do the project,” business administration student Matt Schroeder said. Matt, who is about to graduate this December, also said, “Doing these things makes my background a little stronger as I work towards improving my career path.”