With Degree Programs One Size Fits All – Until It Doesn’t

With Degree Programs One Size Fits All – Until It Doesn’t

degree programs
There’s been a lot of news lately about some of America’s largest employers getting more active with their tuition assistance programs. Walmart, Disney, Lyft and others have new programs allowing their employees to work on their degree for little to no cost and few restrictions. These programs are part of a partnership with a 3rd party company that connects a handful of schools to the employees for a share of the tuition.These are great steps to allow thousands of employees to advance their education. At the same time however, there are real questions as to what happens if the employees take the offer. For example, Walmart alone has over 1.4 million US employees. If only 5% of employees take advantage of the program then just a few institutions would be faced with an influx of 70,000 students, many of whom have unique educational backgrounds and most of whom little idea how to make online learning work for them. While this is something that these schools will have to work through, the bigger issue is the idea of a one-size-fits-all education.

It’s true that these tuition assistance programs provide efficient, streamlined access to a degree program which fits the distribution model that large corporations are used to: push large numbers of similar products (students) into an efficient, specific and controlled space (a handful of schools and specific programs).

However, what if only 1% of the employees at Disney, Lyft, Walmart want an education experience that’s not one-size-fits-all but instead is based on their specific needs, capabilities or interests? That would mean over 20,000 employees having to choose between the cheap and easy educational experience vs. the better fitting educational experience. Imagine having a relocation assistance program that required every participating employee to live in the same type of neighborhood? The lesson here is that many employees want to evaluate their options and choose for themselves.

There are many situations where a company would rather spend a little more so that they can ensure their employee finishes the degree, gets an optimized outcome that benefits the company and the employee and ensures retention. By exposing employees to the other 3000+ plus schools and 27,000+ additional programs, ensuring that your tuition assistance program provides real options could have an even greater ROI for all involved.

Many of our clients came to us because they wanted a guidance program that was focused on employees, not schools. Learn how we create a custom experience for your team at ClearDegree for Employers.

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