Madonna to admit next group of business students into Haiti program

June 01, 2016

LIVONIA, Mich. – This fall, two dozen students will begin a Madonna University School of Business program in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, continuing the University’s commitment, made six years ago, to provide high-quality university education there.

Paul DeNapoli, science instructor, and Don Conrad, Ph.D., accounting and business law professor, recently returned from Haiti where they interviewed potential students and tested their language skills; ultimately selecting about 25 to take part in Madonna’s business degree program. This marks the sixth cohort of Haitian students to pursue a Madonna degree. This group is expected to graduate from the three-year program in 2019.

Students will earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration, conducted fully online, through the Madonna University School of Business. To be considered for the program, students must already have earned an associate degree and have taken prerequisite classes, which include accounting and English.

DeNapoli explained that a degree from an accredited American university can carry a lot of weight when it comes to job offers and networking. As a result of its program, Madonna University has graduates working in government, for large corporations, and in other prestigious positions in Haiti. “Our goal is to continue our educational leadership, but also for them to be successful in the industry so their success will be our new students’ success,” he said.

DeNapoli and Conrad will return to Haiti this September to conduct student orientation and to host an alumni event for previous graduates. “We want them engaged,” he said of the students.

He hopes soon to offer a certificate in hospitality and tourism in addition to the business degree.

DeNapoli said Madonna University created the degree program to help develop business leaders who could rebuild Haiti after the devastating earthquake in January, 2010. Under the leadership of past Madonna University president Sr. Rose Marie Kujawa, CSSF, the School of Business worked to create an established relationship and “a sustainable, long-term program,” DeNapoli said.

He hopes that eventually the program will be able to sustain itself. “We’re looking to create a successful mission, and then make a successful exit,” he said.

DeNapoli credited the program’s success in part to the support from Madonna administrators and professors, including: Conrad, Associate Professor Michelle Proctor, Adjunct Professors Marian Gonsior and Gerald Charbonneau, and others in the School of Business, who may teach some of the online classes or otherwise support the program.