College for America Blog

The Boston Globe: Partners HealthCare teams with CfA to offer $500 degrees


Posted In: CFA News

Mar • 31 • 2015

Source:  The Boston Globe

“Now I feel like I can make a difference,” says Tina Byrnes who recently earned her associate’s degree at College for America at Southern New Hampshire University. Byrnes is an office assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital medical group and one of the first Partner HealthCare employees to earn her degree by participating in Partners’ tuition assistance initiative that makes a degree possible for just $500 a year for most employees.

Partners HealthCare offers $2,000 annually in tuition reimbursement for full-time employees, at most of its affiliated facilities. This is during a time where fewer employers are offering this benefit. While $2000 may only pay for a single class at a traditional college, the tuition at College for America (CfA) only costs $2,500 per year. Because Partners HealthCare has partnered with CfA, most employees only have to pay $500 in tuition per year.

“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,” says Colin Van Ostern, chief marketing officer of CfA. “I’m not sure there is any precedent for that.”

This partnership will give Partners thousands of employees, who work 20 hours or more a week, the opportunity to earn an online associate’s degree that can typically be finished in 21/2 years or less. Bachelor’s degrees are also available.

There is no promise of a raise or promotion from Partners to its students, but, “There’s an understanding that they will hopefully be eligible for promotions or advancement,” says MJ Ryan, director of workforce development for Partners.

Find out how Partners HealthCare is using this opportunity to improve their employee retention while keeping costs low by reading the full article.

Read the full article on The Boston Globe