Introduction

When we launched College for America three years ago, our vision was to create a new model for higher education: one that was accountable for delivering learning that is applicable in the workplace, and one that meets the needs of today’s learner by being far more flexible and affordable than traditional options.

Guided by this vision, we work directly with employers to offer our degree programs to their employees. Our employer partners help us to ensure our offerings are relevant to the needs of the labor market, and support our students as they reach their academic and personal goals. A College for America partnership is designed to support strategic workforce development: resulting in higher employee engagement, retention, and performance.

We take accountability seriously. As a non-profit university with decades of experience serving students, outcomes are central to everything that we do. Our success is measured by our students’ success. And we believe that when our students succeed, so do their employers.

The future of higher education is in models that are relentless in pursuing greater outcomes for more learners. Please join us here to continue the conversation!

Workforce Impact

College for America helps our students become more successful personally and professionally – and their employers can see the benefits. We asked our partners to compare participating students with the company’s non-participating employees. Here’s what they reported.


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Employee Retention

100% believe they’re as likely or more likely to retain College for America students, with 10% reporting they are much more likely.


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Promotion

43% of respondents indicated that College for America students were promoted more often.

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Absenteeism

43% felt that College for America students missed work less often.

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“Our employees learn something and can then immediately use it. It’s positive for the business and the student.”

– Executive VP, Human Resources

College for America partnerships bring benefits to the overall workforce by signaling a dedication to employee development and well-being.


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Employee Satisfaction

53% of responding partners felt that their entire workforce, not just College for America students, was “more” or “much more” satisfied since offering the program to employees.


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Employee Loyalty

Among respondents, 34% believe that offering College for America programs to employees made the entire workforce more loyal.

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“This is a benefit that we intend to leverage as a recruitment tool to help battle the hiring challenges that we see annually.”

– Director, Human Resources

Student Impact

Most students have positive experiences with College for America and see its impact on their lives.

Applicability

86% of students agree with the assertion that “College for America will help them with their current job.”

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91%

Good Value

91% of students believe College for America is a good value.

95%

Satisfaction

95% of students report they are satisfied with College for America.

Prior Research

When shaping our approach, we looked at prior studies that explored the business value of employee development programs. We examined which metrics have been used to gauge the success of employee education programs and how the returns on investment were calculated, as well as the markers of effective programs. You can download a summary of the information we’ve found most valuable here.

Download PDF


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Research Methodology

Employer-Reported Data (Observations and Impact on the Overall Workforce)

  • Data were collected in 2016 via telephone and internet surveys of CfA’s main points of contact within its employer partners. Most of these points of contact were located within human resources (HR) departments and were at levels ranging from benefits administrators to managers and directors to executive vice-presidents and presidents of companies.
  • Items were assessed on five-point Likert-type scales, where a “1” equals “Much more” or “Much higher” and “5” equals “Much less” or “Much lower.”
  • Overall, 21 companies provided us with responses to at least some of the questions (10 online, 11 phone), with phone interviews conducted by account managers who entered the data into the online survey system. Companies with multiple responses were averaged together.

Student-Reported Data (Student Impact)

  • Data were collected in July 2016 via an online survey that was distributed to all students beyond the add-drop period. Learning Coaches encouraged students to fill out the survey.
  • We surveyed students who had completed at least their first month (i.e. June ‘16 starts or earlier)
  • 757 students answered at least one item (22.9% of eligible student body), and 693 answered all items (20.9%)
  • Demographically and by program, the sample resembled CfA at large.

This research is, in part, supported by a generous grant from the Walmart Foundation.

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