Earning a degree can be the difference between holding a steady job and pursuing a successful career. At Partners HealthCare we’re committed to creating opportunities for employees to go farther in their careers through workforce development and tuition reimbursement programs. One such program is our unique partnership with College for America at Southern New Hampshire University, which The Boston Globe reported on today.
The online programs offered through our partnership with College for America help us give more employees access to earning a degree. The flat, $2,500-a-year rate that College for America offers makes the program very affordable for Partners employees, many of whom can already take advantage of the $2,000 tuition reimbursement we provide full-time employees each year. In the end, earning a degree can cost as little as $0 to $500 per year, or at the most, $2,500.
The degree programs are tailored to suit working adults, with self-paced schedules and assessments based on mastering workplace-related skills. Students can complete an associate’s degree in two and a half years – and some may progress even faster. The pilot program, which began in 2014, offers self-paced associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in fields such as healthcare management, communications and general studies.
Colin Van Ostern, chief marketing officer of College for America, tells the Globe our partnership may be breaking new ground:
What’s remarkable here is that the largest private employer in the state is making an accredited college degree available for $500 a year or less for any employee who wants it. I’m not sure there is any precedent for that.
Partners and its member institutions have a long history of partnerships with local four-year and community colleges. College for America is an innovative addition to the many options our employees already choose from to advance their careers through education and professional development.
By developing this partnership with Southern New Hampshire University, we’re proud to be part of the growing national movement to bring skills-based work development opportunities to more people. And by doing so, we’re also ensuring that our own employees have clearer paths to career advancement and better economic opportunities for themselves and their families.