In the Starbucks College Achievement Plan FAQ, the company writes, “Investing in our partners and education is one of the very best investments we can make”. However, when Starbucks announced its employee benefit plan in response to the tax savings today, the company stated that the education benefits will remain the same. In other words, Starbucks will only provide tuition assistance for partners who take courses with Arizona State University online, which doesn’t provide degrees in many baristas’ chosen fields. I hope that Starbucks will prioritize its commitment to education and ensure that all baristas will have access to the education they want by expanding its tuition assistance options.
To: Starbucks Coffee Corporate
Starbucks: Don't Limit Our Education to ASU
When Starbucks announced its partnership with Arizona State University (ASU) for its College Achievement Plan in 2014, I was really looking forward to taking part in the program. I would have access to the education I needed to pursue my goal of becoming a Cyber Security technician. As I did more research into ASU’s academic programs, however, I realized that ASU did not offer the certifications required for my professional pursuits.
With so many accredited online universities out there, I believe Starbucks should give partners more education options than just ASU. Starbucks should offer tuition assistance for a wider range of accredited online colleges and universities so that employees can get the education they need to strive for their future goals.
Why is this important?
More online degree options will give more baristas the opportunity to make a positive change to our lives. While ASU has many great programs, their online course selection is rather limited. They don’t offer degrees in many baristas’ chosen fields (such as Animation, Physics, or Neuroscience) or some of the certifications we need to find employment after completing our education (such as A+, Net+, and Security+ certification for Cybersecurity and Network engineering). By offering more online degree options, Starbucks can unlock the potential of every employee in every geographic location.
In addition, more online degree options will make it easier on baristas’ schedules. We will have the flexibility to choose the program we want and the classes that will best fit with our working hours.
Starbucks has always had a progressive company culture that encourages employees to achieve their future goals. While Starbucks’ partnership with ASU has opened up doors for many employees, it is time to expand educational offerings so that all employees can pursue their aspirations through education.
Here are just some of the other online accredited degree colleges and universities I've found through my own research:
Western Governors University
Colorado Technical University
Colorado State University
Gonzaga University Online