The partnership between Starbucks and Arizona State University stirs up the way people can pay for college, have a family, and work at the same time.
Today, the 2014 Arizona Leadership Forum started off with the main message of, “We need you to lead us,” specifically speaking to attending business leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. For quite some time, people have had the wrong impression of Arizona, but that’s about to change.
“Soon the eyes of the world will be on Arizona,” said Jathan Segur, executive vice president of National Bank of Arizona, referring to the 2015 Super Bowl, which will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium. “We will have the chance to talk about what’s right about Arizona.”
Segur’s speech set the tone of hope and optimism for the Leadership Forum.
Among those messages of hope, was one about the American dream to receive a high-quality college education. Unfortunately, it seems an unreachable dream for most. College tuition costs have risen 80 percent in the past 10 years. Therefore, only a select few can afford to go to college, and even fewer get to finish.
The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is the first of its kind, where a national company is taking the initiative to partner with an educational institution to give employees a second chance to live out their American dream. Due to the increasing college expenses, less than 50 percent of college students complete their degree.
“We employ a generation hit hard by our recession,” said Dervala Manley, vice president of global strategy at Starbucks Coffee Company.
Starbucks part-time and full-time employees from around the globe can now apply to receive funding towards their degree from Arizona State University. Freshman and sophomores attending ASU will be given a partial scholarship, accompanied with financial aid depending on their needs. Juniors and seniors will be given full tuition reimbursement with each year they continue to finish their studies. Students will have no obligation to stay at Starbucks after graduation.
Philip Regier, executive vice provost and dean of ASU online and extended campuses emphasized on how ASU wants to give everyone, no mater what their background, an equal chance to get a high-quality education. ASU has all 40 majors online as well as in person, making it more convenient for the working class.
“We did it [partnership] because we had a set of shared values,” Regier said.
This partnership between ASU and Starbucks is a leading example for an innovative state of mind in Arizona. Through the voices of the people, partnerships can form to benefit this generation. This partnership has created a way for aspiring college students to reach their highest potential in life.
“The face of Starbucks is not Howard Schultz, it’s the barista,” Hanley said.