California workforce training

Newswise – ​When companies want to invest in their employees’ education, they turn to CSU because it offers the best value for money in higher education. At just $5,742 per academic year, CSU tuition is among the lowest in the country and hasn’t increased in more than a decade, consistent with the university’s commitment to making college affordable for all.

CSU works with industry partners to help employees advance their careers and foster a better educated workforce for the California economy. Read more about some of these partnerships.

Amazon Education Partners

Amazon’s Career Choice program offers education and training opportunities that include full tuition, industry certifications, and essential skills like English, high school diplomas, and GEDs. Eligible are full-time and part-time Amazon employees who have worked at least 90 days.

The e-commerce company has selected several CSU campuses as educational partners and serves regions where the company operates: Channel Islands, Fresno, Pomona, San Diego, San Jose and Stanislaus.

“[Earning a degree] can be the difference between employees in a warehouse position and a higher-paying executive position, so it could have tremendous benefits — life-changing in some ways,” said Ron Rogers, Ph.D., San Jose State Interim Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Online -Initiatives. “Career Choice offers them mobility within their careers, which will ultimately contribute to their social mobility.”

The program also offers employees the opportunity to explore other career opportunities at Amazon such as communications and marketing, software development and more. Students receive quality education from the university, as well as strong study and career guidanceStanislaus state student and Amazon employee Mischelle Martin​ez. Photo credit: State of Stanislaus

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For example, as a Career Choice Education Partner, San Diego State University’s Global Campus offers access to a number of SDSU graduate programs that are offered entirely online or hybrid with some in-person components, allowing students flexibility in how, when, and where they study.

“We were delighted when Amazon approached us to become their first Career Choice partner in the San Diego area,” said Casey Rothenberger, executive director of Academic and Professional Programs for SDSU Global Campus, in a press release . “This partnership enables SDSU and Amazon to provide increased access to a bachelor’s degree for the thousands of Amazon employees in our region

Mischelle Martinez, a Stanislaus State business major who transferred from Modesto Junior College last spring, was pleasantly surprised to learn that her Career Choice is available.

“I moved abroad and found that I qualified for this program, so I decided to definitely take it,” says Martinez, who works 30 hours a week as a packer at Amazon and does quite a bit at the same time courses taken. “It’s a great help because it covers all my education costs.”

Martinez, a Patterson resident and mother of two young children, said she chose to attend Stan State because of its business programs and proximity to Patterson, which allows her to save money by living at home and commutes. She is considering training in human resources and wants to complete her bachelor’s degree in spring 2023.

“Cal State Disneyland”

Last summer, Cal State Fullerton joined Disney Aspire, the Walt Disney Company’s educational investment and career development program that offers 100 percent prepaid tuition for hourly employees

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Dozens of CSUF programs will be available beginning spring 2023 to more than 29,500 hourly employees eligible to attend Disney Aspire in California, of whom more than 3,400 are already enrolled at the university.

“It was always a bit of a joke that CSUF would be called ‘Cal State Disneyland,’ because so many Disney cast members also attend or graduate from Cal State Fullerton, so it’s a natural fit,” said Elva Rubalcava, associate vice president of Government and CSUF Community Relations. “Disney also recognizes that CSUF has made an incredible impact on Orange County’s economy. In fact, nearly 80 percent of our more than 310,000 alumni have lived within a 50-mile radius of campus.”

In addition to tuition, Disney also reimburses employees for applicable books and fees. Employees have access to a variety of classroom and online courses at CSUF, located approximately 7 miles from Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

CSUF joins Disney Aspire as the program’s first four-year face-to-face university, as all previously established educational opportunities are offered through online universities and programs. This will give local staff the opportunity to participate in a college student experience on campus.

serving working adults

Cal State San Bernardino established the Stater Bros. Market Graduate Program to help employees advance their careers. Through this partnership, the grocery chain can offer its employees a meaningful educational opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Administration through the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration (JHBC).

“Stater Bros. has provided seed capital for the program and is promoting the program among its own employees,” said JHBC Dean Tomás Gómez-Arias, Ph.D. “As part of our agreement with Stater Bros., their employees receive a 15 percent tuition discount and Stater Bros. offers an additional 15 percent tuition refund.”

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The program is similar to the curriculum of CSUSB’s regular Bachelor of Arts in Administration program, but is delivered entirely online in a more flexible modality with eight-week courses. It is designed for students who have completed their lower division courses at community colleges or other institutions and can complete the program in 60 units.

“Because it’s fully online and asynchronous, it fits people’s schedules,” says Dr. Gómez-Arias. “The short course format allows students to graduate in predictable strides that reflect the changing needs of people’s lives.”

The partnership will also have a major impact by providing access to a quality educational program and opportunities to increase college graduation rates for Inland Empire residents. The landlocked region has a population of 4.5 million, but less than 20 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree.

Learn more about these programs by visiting Amazon Career Choice, Disney Aspire​ and CSUSB Jack H. Brown College​ websites.

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