Estimates indicate that approximately 40 million working-age adults in the US do not have a high school diploma. [i] To advance in their careers, these individuals will need to attain high school diplomas or earn a GED. These are the most foundational workforce credentials people must possess to be positioned for advancement. Many employers are now working with high school or GED completion programs to help their entry-level workers complete their high school education. Examples include the following:
In August 2018, The Walt Disney Company announced the launch of Disney Aspire, an education program for 80,000 hourly employees in the US. The program includes a network of schools that offer a wide array of disciplines and diplomas—including college and master’s degrees, high school equivalency, English-language learning, vocational training, and more. The company covers 100 percent of the cost of tuition, application fees, books, and materials. Aspire gives employees choice and flexibility with their studies, regardless of whether the program and classes they choose are tied to their current role at Disney. Disney has partnered with Guild Education to provide personalized coaching for participating employees.
- News: Disney Launches New $50 Million Higher Education Program for Employees (January 2018)
- News: Disney Invests in Employees’ Futures with Unprecedented Education Program (August 2018)
Hilton Worldwide GED Assistance Program
Hilton partners with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) to give its team members the help and support they need to study for and pass the GED exam. Participants receive one-on-one advising and test preparation support at no cost. The program also covers the cost of the GED exam.
- Hilton GED Assistance Program Information
- Playbook Profile: Hilton GED Assistance program
- News: Hilton Worldwide Rolls Out Industry-Leading GED Assistance Program (October 2015)
- Editorial: Credentialing Programs Keep Companies Competitive (November 2015)
- News: Hilton Worldwide Expands Employee Benefits, Including GED Assistance (November 2015)
- Video: Win/Win: Making the Case for Employer Talent Development (April 2016)
McDonald’s Career Online High School Program
McDonald’s employees can graduate from high school by successfully completing classes online — whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them — through Cengage’s Career Online High School. The school even helps students navigate the process of applying credits from high school courses they’ve already completed.
- McDonald’s High School Diploma Program Information
- Playbook Profile: McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity/Career Online High School
- News: After One Year, McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity Enrolls More Than 5,000 People Seeking Education (April 2016)
- News: McDonald’s Boosts Tuition Assistance for Employees (March 2018)
- News: Archways to Opportunity Participants Achieve Major Milestone (July 2018)
Walmart Career Online High School Program
Originally a benefit for employees, Walmart has expanded its partnership with Cengage’s Career Online High School to offer all Walmart associates and their benefits-eligible family members the opportunity to earn accredited high school diplomas and career certificates. Offered through Walmart’s Lifelong Learning program, Cengage’s Career Online High School is designed to re-engage adults in education and is free for Walmart associates and eligible family members beginning on the first day of employment.
- News: Walmart and Cengage Learning Deliver H.S. Diploma and Career Certificate Opportunities for Associates (July 2016)
- News: Walmart Expands Partnership with Cengage to Offer Free High School Diploma and Career Training to Family Members of Associates (January 2017)
[i] “Diploma to Career Pathways,” Ohio Board of Regents (2014).