Humber College has announced a new partnership with Walmart Canada.
Walmart Canada launched the AdvancED program to help its employees and their families pursue post-secondary education. The program unveiled on Feb. 26 ensures that Walmart employees pursuing post-secondary education are eligible to receive a $2,500 tuition reimbursement. With the new partnership, those enrolled at Humber can receive “an additional 20 percent tuition reimbursement” according to program details.
The collaboration comes as part of Humber’s five-year strategic plan implemented last year. The strategy highlights “creating accessible education, establishing industry collaborations” and integrating “student health and wellness on campus” according to the 2018-2023 document.
In a press release, Humber College’s President and CEO Chris Whitaker said, “This important partnership reinforces Humber’s leadership in collaborating with Canadian companies and organizations to help build tomorrow’s workforce today.”
“Through AdvancED, our current and future associates can enhance the skills required for today while preparing for new and innovative ways of working in the future,” Whitaker said in the release.
Humber College has more than 30,000 full-time students and is one of the largest post-secondary institutions, boasting 10,000 graduates yearly.
In an email, Media Relations and External Communications Specialist for Humber College, Nadja Araujo said, the reason why Walmart chose Humber was because of “Humber’s comprehensive transfer options and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process.”
The Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition is a way for students to gain course credits based on previous learning. Walmart employees may be able to receive credit based on the training they have done on the job.
Similarly, Susan Muigai, Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs for Walmart Canada, responded in an email, writing, “After connecting with dozens of universities and colleges across Canada, Humber College stood out as the most innovative in their thinking. We were looking to go beyond a simple tuition reimbursement program to find a partner who could help provide our associates with flexible, life-long learning options and career and academic-advising services. We felt it was important to have a lead partner to help co-create and innovate our education assistance program.”
The program is offered in both official languages. As it stands now College Boreal — the other institution currently involved — offers courses in French. Walmart employees are now able to access courses both online and in person. If the program is successful, the AdvancED program will include colleges and universities across the country.
“Our hope is that this program inspires our associates to engage in continuous learning – regardless of the stage of life and career they are currently in,” wrote Muigai in an email.