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Attracting and Retaining Talented Employees — with Education Benefits

two people shaking handsHow tuition assistance builds a cutting-edge workforce

In a competitive job market, where qualified employees are a company’s most valuable asset and its most sought-after resource, employers are discovering the multifaceted return on investment that education benefits offer. Not only do employer-sponsored bachelor’s and master’s degrees sharpen workers’ skills; they also help a company attract — and keep — top talent.

Wilmington University is a leader in higher education for working adults. Since 1968, it has provided affordable, accessible pathways to in-demand careers and professional advancement. About 87% of the University’s students work full- or part-time, and 76% are over 25. The university also partners with Guild Education, which was named to TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential Companies of 2022.

Jeffrey Martino, director of WilmU’s University Partnership Center, says that the university’s accredited, career-focused academic programs are taught by industry-experienced professionals, which set the institution apart as an education destination. “In addition,” he says, “we offer a high-value education at a sensible price.”

WilmU, in fact, is one of the most affordable private, nonprofit universities in the Mid-Atlantic region. With 15 locations across Delaware and South Jersey and over 150 degree and certificate programs available entirely online, WilmU educates over 20,000 students a year worldwide, including through partnerships with diverse companies.

“Even the best companies are struggling to acquire and retain high-quality employees,” says Dr. Eileen Donnelly, WilmU’s vice president of Enrollment Management. “At the same time, mid-career employees are realizing the need to retrain and learn new skills. We believe that organizations that invest in tuition assistance for their workforce are really making themselves a more attractive opportunity and a smarter company. We’d like to be a part of that value proposition.”

“We’re eager to work with companies in diverse industries,” adds Martino. “Through our combined efforts, we can make career-building education a debt-free opportunity for many people. It’s an amazing benefit for employees — the people who make your company work.”

At Discover Financial Services in New Castle, for instance, the College Commitment program allows eligible employees to earn a bachelor’s degree as a fully-funded benefit. For Natalie DiSabatino, a community affairs specialist at Discover, the program assisted her in making her longtime educational goal a reality.

“I always knew I wanted to earn my master’s, and Discover’s partnership with Wilmington University made it possible,” says DiSabatino, who earned a Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Marketing in October 2021. “I liked having the in-person educational experience with expert instructors, but I also enjoyed the convenience of completing coursework online, over the weekends or at night when I had the availability.”

“I even inspired my boss to go back and get her MBA.,” DiSabatino adds. “She’s a proud member of the WilmU Wildcat community, too.”

“Our long-standing partnership with Wilmington University has empowered many of our staff to pursue their dreams of higher education and set a powerful foundation for their future success,” says Lisa Hower, regional operations director at Discover. “We are proud of how our educational benefit can create a lasting impact and are grateful to have helped so many employees obtain their degrees and avoid the debt that often comes with a college education.”

We are proud of how our educational benefit can create a lasting impact and are grateful to have helped so many employees obtain their degrees and avoid the debt that often comes with a college education.” — Lisa Hower, Discover

“We are incredibly proud to work alongside Wilmington University and Discover in service of America’s working adult learners,” says Natalie McCullough, president and chief commercial officer at Guild Education. “Discover’s College Commitment makes it easier than ever for employees to continue their educational journeys at quality institutions like Wilmington University. WilmU has been supporting our nation’s working adults for over 50 years and we’re honored to have them as part of Guild’s learning marketplace.”

Companies can partner with WilmU to allow employees to earn or complete undergraduate or graduate degrees or certificate programs or develop customized academic courses designed to meet their specific training needs. In addition, the University’s budget-friendly tuition offers in-state-resident rates for its award-winning online learning options, no matter where students live.

Paper with Dual Credit Advantage logoPlus, WilmU’s exclusive Dual-Credit Advantage enables students in more than 130 degree and certificate programs to apply the credits they earn from selected courses toward more than one academic credential, saving them tuition dollars and time. These Dual-Credits can help bachelor’s degree students earn a specialized certificate in a related field simultaneously for no extra cost. For instance, they can accelerate their master’s degree studies by taking advanced-level courses as required electives before they’ve graduated. They can also build a five-course certificate program into the foundation of an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Employees can take advantage of application assistance, guaranteed admission with no standardized test score requirements, and a complimentary transfer credit evaluation to maximize their previous educational and work training experiences. Classes begin every eight weeks, and online and in-person student support services and personalized guidance are always available.

To learn more about partnerships with Wilmington University, contact its University Partnership Center at (302) 327-4596 or upc@wilmu.edu.

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