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Monday, April 22, 2024
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

Walmart partners with UF Online for associate education program

Walmart unveiled a new program May 30 that will allow its associates to enroll in college classes for $1 per day. The program will be available to all full-time, part-time and salaried Walmart or Sam’s Club employees who have been employed for at least 90 days.

Associates can enroll through UF Online, Brandman University in California or Bellevue University in Nebraska, according to Walmart’s website. They can choose to major in supply chain management or business.

Walmart has partnered with Guild Education to help support their associates at every step in the collegiate process.

Guild Education is an organization dedicated to helping working adults with no college degrees to complete their college education, according to its website.

Walmart associates will have access to Guild Education’s network of coaches and advisers who work with 150 students each. They can assist Walmart associates in applying, making sure they receive financial aid from Walmart and helping them succeed in their chosen programs.

Zachary Rowe, Guild Education’s director of strategic partnerships, said the collaboration with the “largest private employer” was the logical next step to help Guild achieve its goal of providing 64 million employees with access to a college degree.

“Guild’s partnership with Walmart ... closes the skills gap for 1.4 million working adults,” he said. “For Walmart, this program is the next step in preparing their associates to do bigger things.

This partnership marks a big milestone for UF Online, said Evangeline Cummings, the director of UF Online. It’s the first time that UF Online has ever partnered with a big corporation like Walmart, and they are excited to be able to offer students a chance to join UF.

“The university is always eager to innovate to the benefit of future Gators,” she said. “We are delighted to welcome students who otherwise were unable to attend.”

According to Erica Jones, the senior manager for communications at Walmart, the company hopes to further refine the program with the help of Guild Education and the three participating universities.

“We want to make sure we’re doing this right at first,” she said, “but we do plan to expand the program to other majors in the future.”

Eligible Walmart employees are able to apply for the program for the Fall.

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Follow Charlie Daffron on Twitter @Charlie_Daffron and contact him at cdaffron@alligator.org.

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