New partnership expands access to higher education for adult learners

Penn State World Campus is now part of a national network of colleges and universities that are committed to improving access to affordable, high-quality college education for adult learners.

Penn State World Campus, which offers more than 175 Penn State degree and certificate programs online, is partnering with EdAssist by Bright Horizons, a leading provider of workforce education programs, to join its Workforce Education Network (WEN). The network consists of select institutions that are committed to developing and implementing best practices in reskilling and upskilling, education pathways and credentialing that lead to greater social mobility for today’s working learners.

As a member of WEN, Penn State World Campus aims to make a Penn State education more attainable to those who want a degree from the University and need the flexibility to earn it online while they continue working.

“In an era of rapid-fire advancement, companies are embracing education benefits as an actionable solution to a myriad of challenges facing the American workforce,” said Diane Bartoli, senior vice president of EdAssist by Bright Horizons. “Employee upskilling and reskilling is a mutually beneficial investment that helps employers fill talent gaps and employees achieve their long-term career aspirations. Penn State World Campus will be a valued partner as we continue to create education, training, and credentialing programs that create real and lasting impact.”

Nationally, there are more than 8 million students ages 25 or older — and an additional 40 million Americans who have some college credit but no degree. At the same time, a growing number of employers are investing in education benefit programs, such as tuition assistance and student loan repayment programs, to boost employee morale, engagement, and retention while meeting their workforce needs.

Penn State has a long history of serving adult learners through its distance education programs. The University was a pioneer in online learning when it launched Penn State World Campus in 1998. Today, Penn State World Campus offers a comprehensive selection of programs in fields such as business and management, nursing and health care, information technology, the liberal arts, public policy, engineering, and more. More than 37,000 students have graduated from its programs.

“We are committed to serving working adults and providing them with the undergraduate or graduate education they need to advance in their careers,” said Renata Engel, vice provost for Online Education at Penn State. “Our membership in EdAssist’s Workforce Education Network helps us carry on the University’s tradition of providing adult and distance learners access to higher education. We are excited to help make a Penn State degree a reality for employees served through the EdAssist’s corporate partnerships.”

EdAssist by Bright Horizons is a leading provider of workforce education solutions, reaching more than 7 million adult learners through partnerships with more than 200 of the world’s largest employers to deliver high-quality, affordable education programs designed to recruit, retain, and grow talent. In collaboration with more than 200 post-secondary institutions in the U.S., EdAssist designs strategic education benefit programs that help build a talent pipeline for in-demand roles, fill skill gaps, and help companies develop the workforce necessary to innovate, grow, and compete in the global economy.

The partnership with EdAssist is through the Penn State World Campus Education Alliance. Those who enroll through the partnership will be eligible for a tuition reduction. As online learners, they will have access to a suite of services such as academic advising and disability support, tutoring and academic support services, and career counseling.

Students who graduate from Penn State World Campus are part of the larger Penn State community, which boasts more than 750,000 alumni.

To learn more about the education alliance and the programs available online at Penn State, visit the Penn State World Campus website.

Media Contact:
Mike Dawson