Amazon’s Career Choice program offers its hourly employees prepaid tuition to pursue new skills or education that would lead to a better paying job at Amazon or elsewhere. (Courtesy Photo)

By AFRO Staff

Amazon has chosen Morgan State University as its first four-year HBCU partner in Career Choice, the tech giant’s prepaid tuition program.

Launched in 2012, the program pays for Amazon’s hourly employees to take strides toward their aspirations through education. Participants can pursue degrees, industry certification and garnering foundational such as GEDs and ESL proficiency at partnering education institutions.

As a new partner, Morgan State will offer Amazon employees from Maryland and neighboring states with 60-plus transfer credits up to eight interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree program options through its newly launched College of Interdisciplinary and Continuing Studies. Those starting from scratch also will have the opportunity to enroll in the school’s 60 undergraduate programs. The working students will have access to online learning opportunities and will have dedicated advisors to help shepherd them toward successful matriculation.

“Morgan is proud to be an Amazon educational partner and we look forward to playing a role in the educational journey of their employees,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University. “Whether we are talking about an adult learner at the beginning of the process toward earning a college degree or looking to leverage the college credits they already have to get over the finish line, we’re committed to working with them and getting them to where they want to be. 

He added, “It is our hope that partnerships like this, between corporations and institutes of higher education, can serve as a blueprint for how we can transform the way we meet the expanding needs of the nontraditional, adult student.”

Amazon has formed partnerships with more than 140 colleges and universities in the U.S. for the Career Choice program.

With the initiative, the company plans to invest $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025. Amazon currently has more than 750,000 hourly employees in the U.S., 15,000 of which work throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area.

“We’re looking forward to Morgan State University coming on board as an education partner for Career Choice, adding to the hundreds of best-in-class offerings available to our employees,” said Tammy Thieman, Global Program Lead of Amazon’s Career Choice program, in a statement. “We’re committed to empowering our employees by providing them access to the education and training they need to grow their careers, whether that’s with us or elsewhere. 

She added, “Today, more than 80,000 Amazon employees around the world have already participated in Career Choice and we’ve seen first-hand how it can transform their lives.”

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