The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Marketing students suggest improvements to center

CSUN’s Family Focus Resource and Empowerment Center took suggestions from marketing majors on how to better manage the program May 16.

Professor Deborah Cours, marketing professor, assigned her Marketing 640 class, a graduate class on marketing management, the project of coming up with proposals about improvements the center could make.

Marketing graduates Julie Liu, Kevin Riley, and Edward Drake presented their proposal to Ivor Weiner, director of the FFREC, and Theresa Quary, the center’s coordinator, during their class.

“The purpose of this project is to help create a marketing plan for the FFREC, to make them a better, more professional organization,” said Julie Liu, marketing graduate student.

Some suggestions the group made in their presentation included fundraising ideas, how to efficiently utilize the space of the center and how to make a better Web site for the center.

Riley said all the groups that presented had many of the same suggestions, very similar suggestions in fact. The suggestions offered Weiner many different and unique possibilities for improving the program.

“That’s probably the best benefit for him, getting a lot of different ideas,” Riley said. “Knowing that (they’re) actually going to be used has made (the project) more real.”

The center’s is a non-profit organization that offers support, information, and referral services for families with children between the ages of 3 to 22 who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Sambrano said the FFREC branches out into three age groups, which are birth – 0, 3 t o 22, and 23 and older.

The center is a separate building located near the Education building.

Carolyne Sambrano, FFREC Coordinator (for infants and toddlers) said the IEP refers to free, appropriate, public education for children with disabilities that is guaranteed to children by a federal law under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

Cours said she usually assigns a “real-life project” to her students so that they can deal with the same problems and experiences that they will fact when they Graduate from CSUN.

“I think the (real) beautiful thing about this project is not only that students have the opportunity to complete a marketing plan for a real client who will really use it, but it also made the students think about the special-needs community,” Cours said.

Last semester, Cours’ Marketing 640 class developed proposals for the San Fernando Valley Research Center, and her Marketing 304 class presented plans for the Girls Scouts of the San Fernando Valley.

Edward Drake, a marketing graduate student who also presented some of the class’ suggestion, said he hopes Weiner will decide to use some of their ideas for the center.

“That will make us all feel good, I think, because we did something good for a center that obviously does a lot of good for the community,” Drake said.

Weiner could not be reached for comment.

Many CSUN professors give their students “community service learning projects,” Cours said.

Cours said Quary gave her information about the center.

“The most interesting part (of the project) was actually doing the research, getting to know to know the center and then getting to know the other organizations that are involved in providing assistance to developmentally disabled children. It’s definitely a worthy cause and a positive thing for society.”

Jennifer Balao can be reached at

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