Posted on: 18 April 2016 by Mark Howells
JetBlue Airways has unveiled JetBlue Scholars, a new programme which offers crewmembers the opportunity to earn a fully accredited college degree with JetBlue covering most of the cost.
The airline says the programme “takes an unconventional approach to employer-sponsored education by providing alternative college credit options and going well beyond standard tuition reimbursement. JetBlue Scholars addresses the needs of those working full-time with college advisement and resources”.
Through a pioneering partnership model, JetBlue claims it to have “unbundled the higher education system, step-by-step, to make it easier for crewmembers who have some previous college credit but do not know how to move forward to complete their degree”. JetBlue Scholars is designed to provide a clearer path and to convert aviation and military training and other professional certificates into college credit, helping to reduce the time to complete a bachelor’s degree for crewmembers.
“Crewmembers asked for help earning degrees and we knew we could take a big step beyond tuition reimbursement,” explained Bonny Simi, founder of JetBlue Scholars. “We rethought the employer’s role in investing in education. Utilising the alternative credit model to unbundle the higher education process, we’re eliminating some of the complexity. We hope to inspire other employers to adopt this model which will help dramatically increase the percentage of Americans who have access to post-secondary degrees.”
As part of the initial launch, more than 400 JetBlue crewmembers are currently advancing toward their bachelor’s degrees. The first class is scheduled to complete curriculum requirements in May 2016. The first graduation ceremony will take place in September with more than 50 crewmembers predicted to receive their degrees.
Photo shows JetBlue's tail design known as "Building Blocks".