News Jun 12th 2015

Starbucks Offers Free Online Education for Its Employees

Starbucks education

Starbucks Makes Its Employees Happy: Free Online Education for Thousands of Workers

Just when people started believing that the American dream was an illusion because of the outrageous expenses related to education, Starbucks Coffee brought their faith back: the company is going to provide free online college education for its workers. Starbucks will invest up to $250 million to inspire its employees to get college education (whether part- or full-time) without any tuition debts.

At its website, the company announces the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. All eligible employees of the company can apply by submitting transcripts from the previous colleges they have attended. After graduation, they will be free to explore new opportunities outside the company, but they are also welcomed to continue their career paths as Starbucks partners. This program does not oblige them to continue working in the company once they complete the online degree program.

Who can apply for a Starbucks scholarship?

Any of the company's 135,000 employees in the United States has a chance to become part of the program. There are certain conditions they need to work at least 20 hours a week, and they also need to meet the requirements for admission regarding test scores and grades. The company will pay the full tuition for baristas who have obtained a minimum of two years of college credit. Employees with fewer credits can also become part of the program, but Starbucks will only cover part of the tuition expenses.

This is a significant advancement from the previous financial aids the company has been providing. The program, which used to be limited to seniors and juniors, is now expanded to all employees who have potential for college education. The applicants will have an opportunity to obtain a bachelor's degree through the online program of Arizona State University.

Online education in its best form

The online degree programs provided by Arizona State University have achieved a great reputation among students and potential employers. The course attendants enjoy many of the same benefits as on-campus students. Students should keep in mind that the degree is not awarded from Arizona State University Online, but from the actual Arizona State University, with no indication that the credits have been obtained online. Thus, the value of the degree will not be any different from the one obtained during full-time studies on campus.

ASU's online degree programs are considered to be among the best options for obtaining bachelor's degrees online. The classes are structured with a blend of videos, discussion boards, and reading activities, as well as other educational tools.

The programs are offered in a wide range of subjects, including educational studies, electrical engineering, criminal justice & criminology, global leadership, art history, nursing, liberal studies, and much more.

What will Starbucks gain from this deal?

Why would the company want to guide its employees towards over-qualification for the positions it offers? This strategy will help the company maintain its high-quality employees while they are going through the online studies. In an era where unemployment is a big issue, businesses still have difficulties to find reliable workers. With this program, Starbucks is going to attract applicants committed to education and advancement of their skills. Thus, the company will benefit from their qualifications even if it has them for a couple of years.

Even if the participants in the program leave the company upon graduation, their experience would be accredited to the Starbucks brand. I believe it will lower attrition, it'll increase performance, it'll attract and retain better people, said Howard D. Schultz, chairman and chief executive at Starbucks.

Let's hope that these policies will serve as an inspiration to other U.S. companies that are willing to help people live the American dream.

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