Walmart has announced that it’s going to be partnering with American Public University to help its 1.4 million employees obtain online degrees.
As part of the partnership, not only is APU giving Walmart workers grants to cover 15% of tuition costs, but Walmart is going to invest up to $50 million in the next three years to help workers complete their degrees.
As said in the New York Times,
[B]ecause of its size, Wal-Mart’s internal changes often turn into industry standards, as with its efforts involving environmental sustainability. And with 1.4 million employees in the United States, even an employees-only program could have widespread implications.
“If 10 to 15 percent of employees take advantage of this, that’s like graduating three Ohio State Universities,” said Sara Martinez Tucker, a former under secretary of education who is now on Wal-Mart’s external advisory council. “It’s a lot of Americans getting a college degree at a time when it’s becoming less affordable.”
Not only will this program allow employees to take accredited classes, but it will also allow about 200,000 employees to accrue credits for training they currently receive on the job.
Walmart estimates that roughly half of its employees do not hold college degrees; this program is designed to help workers advance within the corporation.