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65 BizEd November/ December 2014 PESH KOVA/TH I N KSTOCK IN JUNE, STARBUCKS announced its partnership with Arizona State University in Phoenix to provide tuition assistance for employees who pursue one of 40 bachelor's degrees in the ASU Online pro- gram. Called the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, the initiative spurred a flurry of media cover- age about what it meant for the school's programs and whether other companies might replicate the model at other schools. While Starbucks will provide some financial support to the partnership, the university will fund much of the pro- gram. Starbucks provided about $US2.9 million to help ASU hire additional staff and invest in necessary infrastructure, of which ASU will repay close to $1.3 million by June 2015. In addition, ASU will offer Starbucks employees tuition discounts. Eligible for the program are part- time and full-time employees who work at any company-operated store under the Starbucks umbrella, which includes brands such as Teavana and Seattle's Best Coffee. Those taking courses at the fresh- men and sophomore levels will receive no reimbursements from Starbucks, but will receive about $6,500 in assistance from ASU as well as guidance in applying for federal aid. Those with prior college credits admitted as juniors and seniors will receive 58 percent tuition reimburse- ment from Starbucks, as well as tuition discounts from ASU and applicable fed- eral aid. Employees who receive tuition reimbursement have no obligation to stay with the company post-graduation. How will the partnership affect ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business? In a Star- bucks survey of its workforce, about 70 percent of employees report an interest in studying business. That indicates a need for the Carey School to hire new faculty and expand its lineup of online courses, says Amy Hillman, dean of the Carey School. This fall, with Starbucks employees in mind, the school intro- duced an online bachelor of arts in busi- ness degree with a concentration in retail management. The school also will introduce online versions of other undergraduate pro- grams, including concentrations in global logistics, global leadership, and sustainability. Employees must take 21 credits, which they can pay for with short-term loans, before receiving reimbursements. This requirement is designed to motivate stu- dents to commit to and complete the pro- gram, says ASU president Michael Crow. Students also will have access to coaches, counselors, networking opportunities, and adaptive learning services that allow them to progress at their own pace. Between reimbursements, discounts, and financial aid, students should graduate with no stu- dent loan debt. To read more about the plan, visit Starbucks Orders Up Education NEWSBYTES ■ CAPELLA FLEXES Online for-profit provider Capella University has added five specializations to its FlexPath competency-based direct-assessment degree delivery programs. These include human resource man- agement and project man- agement specializations in both its bachelor of science and MBA programs, as well as an industrial and organiza- tional psychology specializa- tion in its master of science in psychology program. ■ DATA AT TIPPIE This fall, the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa in Iowa City began offering a new graduate- level certificate in business analytics. The part-time three- semester evening program includes courses in business analytics, database systems, advanced analytics, modeling with Visual Basic for Applica- tions, and data science. ■ CUSTOM IT Indiana University's Kel- ley School of Business in Bloomington has partnered with GE to create custom- ized 15-credit graduate- level educational programs in information technology as part of the company's two- year Information Technology Leadership Program. The cur- riculum, delivered by faculty from both the Kelley School and the School of Informatics and Computing, will be deliv- ered via a series of in-person and online courses. The first cohort will comprise about 150 GE professionals.

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