In partnership with Western Governors University, the KFC Foundation announced that eligible KFC restaurant employees in its 60 restaurants in Arizona will have the opportunity to receive 100% free college tuition when attending WGU to earn their degree.
Through this partnership, KFC restaurant employees can choose from more than 60 different bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and certification programs across Business, Information Technology, Education and Healthcare. The KFC Foundation program is non-competitive, meaning every eligible employee who applies and enrolls will get tuition coverage. Access to this opportunity is available beginning day one on the job for restaurant employees. WGU also offers rolling start dates every month, so KFC restaurant employees have the flexibility to enroll at any time and begin online courses as soon as they’re ready.
“Every year we look for new ways to support and enhance the lives of KFC restaurant employees,” said Emma Horn, Executive Director of the KFC Foundation. “What better opportunity to be able to offer team members than a flexible college degree program from Western Governors University that can fit seamlessly into their schedule. The program at WGU is perfect for someone who may not have enough hours in the day to balance a traditional college experience on top of a full- or part time- job and other life priorities.”
Western Governors University is an accredited online university dedicated to making higher education accessible for as many people as possible. It is the leading academic institution where students learn and advance through competency-based education, rather than semester completion. As soon as a student masters the skills in a course and proves them through rigorous assessment, they progress in the program. Competency-based education works particularly well for learners in the workforce, giving them control over the pace of how and when they learn and may save them time progressing through the degree program.
“We are excited to participate with KFC Foundation, as the preferred educational partner, on this new initiative that will expand higher education pathways to thousands of KFC employees across Arizona,” said Rick Benbow, VP of Western Governors University. “The Traditional college pathway has proven to be inflexible and costly to millions of talented students who want to get certificates, degrees, or masters to increase their earning potential and career trajectory. The recent broader adoption of companies to offer the ‘earn while you learn’ model implemented by KFC makes higher-level education more accessible to employees while enhancing KFC talent and workforce pipelines.”
The KFC Foundation is an independent 501c3 organization that supports and empowers KFC restaurant employees and their communities by providing education opportunities, hardship assistance, grants for non-profits, and more. In addition to the WGU tuition coverage program, the KFC Foundation offers participating restaurant employees up to $20,000 in educational grants to attend the two- or four-year college, trade school or graduate school of their choice. KFC restaurant employees can apply for and win KFC Foundation scholarships year after year.
Programs offered by the KFC Foundation are funded and made possible by initiatives and programs including at-register Round-Up donations and purchases of KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries. KFC Franchisees have the opportunity to participate in the Foundation’s Annual Franchise Donation Program, in which a portion of every case of Secret Recipe Fries sold at participating restaurants goes directly to the KFC Foundation. The KFC Foundation’s other charitable programs help restaurant employees earn their GED, receive support during a crisis, build an emergency savings fund and give back to non-profits in their community.
“Together with our franchisees, we seek to create meaningful career growth and employee development opportunities for our restaurant teams every day,” said Karen Ancira, Chief People Officer, KFC U.S and KFC Foundation Board Member. “Whether it’s the opportunity to earn a GED for free, a scholarship to the educational institution of their choice, or 100 percent tuition to WGU, our restaurant teams now have more options than ever to grow their careers with KFC or pursue any career they wish.”
KFC restaurant employees interested in the WGU college program can go to Kfcfoundation.org/wgu to learn more, and those interested in working at a KFC restaurant can visit kfc.com/careers for more information about available job opportunities in their area.
*To be eligible for the KFC Foundation’s programs, one must be employed at a KFC restaurant participating in the KFC Foundation’s Annual Franchise Donation Program and in good standing. Must maintain employment while taking advantage of these programs. Some restrictions may apply. See KFCFoundation.org for details.
Please note – To be eligible to receive 100% college tuition coverage at WGU through the KFC Foundation, employees must be employed at a KFC restaurant in the U.S. participating in the KFC Foundation’s Annual Donation Program. 97% of KFC restaurants in the U.S. participate.