Anthem’s eligible 55,000 full-time and part-time associates have a new employee perk: no-cost college degrees. Specifically, any Anthem employee who works 20 hours or more per week and has been employed with the company for at least six months can pursue an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree through a new national partnership with College for America (CfA) at Southern New Hampshire University. Anthem’s tuition reimbursement plan will cover the full price of the online degrees.
Tuition reimbursement is a growing benefit among many companies, and health insurer Anthem Inc. is just the latest big employer to offer its workers a no-cost college education. “Anthem is committed to offering its associates a robust benefits package that goes beyond salary and health benefits,” says Jose Tomas, chief human resources officer at Anthem, Inc., in a written statement.
Gene Rodriguez, an Anthem spokeswoman, explains to Bloomberg Business how Anthem began the pilot program with College for America in 2013. Since its launch, nine employees have earned Associate’s degrees. “Our partnership with College for America has proven successful for our associates who participated in the pilot program in New Hampshire and we want to build on that success by providing opportunities for education, development, and career advancement to all our associates,” notes Thomas.
College for America partners with employers to offer a competency-based, online curriculum that is engineered to align with business needs. For instance, the school offers Associate’s degrees in general studies, with focuses on business or healthcare, and Bachelor’s degrees in communications and healthcare management.
More importantly, the program helps associates fit a fully-accredited college degree into the busy lives of working adults. For example, students are encouraged to progress through their education by completing projects at their own pace.
“This is a tremendous win-win for Anthem and its associates. As an employer, Anthem is building talent and the skills needed for promotion in its workforce while associates earn an accredited degree that will help them get ahead in their life and career without taking on debt,” said Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University. “SNHU’s partnership with Anthem will educate thousands of associates and is a model for aligning employer demand with the kind of competency-based, workforce-applicable higher education we have pioneered at College for America.”Join the free webcast Wednesday, June 10, Bridge the Skills Gap With Competency-Based Education, to learn how Anthem and CfA are working together to advance the careers and lives of working adults while developing a thriving workforce.