Workforce Development

Program Profile: Hilton GED | High School Completion Assistance Program

June 1, 2017  • UpSkill America & Jaime S. Fall




Upskilling program name

GED | High School Completion Assistance Program


Program goal(s)

Encourage and assist our Team Members to attain their high school diploma or equivalent. We believe that


Who provides the program services (in-house, outside provider, etc.)?

A combination of in-house and outside provider services


If outside providers, please list key partners.

  • CAEL
  • Cengage
  • Pearson


Who is the program is designed to assist?

Team Members who have not attained a high school diploma


Who is eligible for the program?

Our program is available to U.S. based Team Members with at least 6 months of tenure.


How is the program funded (i.e., company/participant share; prepaid by company vs. individual reimbursement; etc.)?

The program is funded through our tuition reimbursement policy. There are no out of pocket costs for our Team Members.


Is there an annual or lifetime cap on the program benefits?

The program benefit is a one time offering; however, Team Members are allowed to retest and continue to receive coaching until they have achieved their GED or diploma.


Do employees get paid time off to participate or are they in any way compensated for their participation?

Team Members are not compensated for their participation.


What is your participation goal, and what actions are you taking to reach that goal?

We have not set a numeric goal; however, we started with a base audience of 5000 Team Members. We learned within the first 6 months of deployment that the GED path was harder to complete than other alternatives for our demographic. To that end, we made plans to add the high school completion alternative to our program.


What, if any, supports do you have in place to ensure participants complete the program?

CAEL provides coaching to help Team Members to be successful. We offer unlimited retests. We also encourage Team Members on a more regular basis through on property “huddles” and other corporate messaging.


What data are you collecting/tracking?

We collect on the following metrics:

  • “Hand raisers” from launch to date (October 2015)
  • scheduled initial Intake appointments
  • Team Members assessed as “Ready”
  • Tests taken
  • Tests passed
  • Graduates


How do you think about, measure, or plan to measure the benefits the program brings to the company?

Number of graduates and then the path taken by the Team Members who graduate


What results have you seen to date?

  • We are anticipating our first GED graduate in January 2017.
  • 181 calls from launch to date (October 2015)
  • 121 scheduled initial Intake appointments
  • 71 Team Members assessed as “Ready”
  • 7 people have taken one GED subject test // 3 of whom passed // 4 are studying to retest.
  • 1 TM has passed 2 GED subject tests and is preparing to take their 3rd subject test in January 2017.


In hindsight, what is the best decision you made in setting up this program?

Committing to it was our best decision. Now we are in the process of creating lifelong learning opportunities that extend far beyond high school and include apprenticeships, ESL, and partnerships with third parties to help Team Members embrace learning formally through degrees and credentials and informally through on-the-job practices, career pathing, and more. This platform also allows us to provide non-traditional and diverse talent pools with opportunities to grow and develop with Hilton and within the hospitality industry.


What, if any, changes have you made in the program since its introduction? Why were these changes made?

Rolling out GED and High School Completion at the same time and as two clearly defined options would have helped to jumpstart results. Additionally, we know now that this is not something that people line up for. They have to be repeatedly encouraged and reminded of the benefits.


What advice would you give those considering a similar project?

Do it. People in your company come from all different backgrounds. They have made decisions to this point about their education because of the circumstances that have surrounded them to this moment. Change the circumstances. Change the moment. Change the way people think about learning.



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