BVU, Avalon Center Establish Strategic Partnership

Collaboration with Buena Vista University provides educational benefits to Avalon Center employees and eligible family members.

Buena Vista University (BVU) and Avalon Center have established a Strategic Partnership that will benefit both organizations as they work to uplift the people and communities they serve.

This partnership allows for employees of Avalon Center, as well as eligible family members of full-time employees, 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.

“We love education and ongoing education, so this partnership is a win-win for Avalon Center.”

Avalon Center Executive Director and Counselor Leah Weber

“We love education and ongoing education, so this partnership is a win-win for Avalon Center,” says Avalon Center Executive Director and Counselor Leah Weber. “This Strategic Partnership allows our staff and their families the opportunity to start or continue their education, which always benefits everyone. Ongoing education is so important.”

Avalon Center is a nonprofit social service agency which aims to provide caring and creative options and connections for children, families, and individuals through adoption, mental health, mentoring, and supervised visitation services.

Established in 1999, Avalon Center employs seven staff members at its two locations in Charles City and Mason City.

“I personally chose BVU for my undergraduate degree,” says Weber, who earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from BVU’s Mason City Center in 1995. “The evening schedule worked great for me as I was working full-time and had two young children. Later, after I received my master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa in mental health counseling, I taught at BVU as well.”

BVU has long enjoyed strong educational ties in and around Mason City, home to North Iowa Area Community College, a campus that has collaborated with BVU for decades. Students enrolled in a program through NIACC can seamlessly transfer their credits toward their bachelor’s degree at BVU. Students receive personalized support including admissions and enrollment counseling and academic advising right in Mason City through BVU’s office on the NIACC campus.

“Buena Vista University is excited to partner with Avalon Center, providing educational benefits to its employees and their eligible family members,” says BVU Director of Strategic Partnerships Laura Todd. “Access to quality, affordable education opens many opportunities for individuals, which strengthens the communities we serve.”

For more information about BVU’s Strategic Partnerships and partner opportunities, please visit the BVU website at or contact Strategic Partnerships at