Retail giant Walmart has teamed with American Public University in order to provide more educational opportunities for employees of Walmart stores across the nation. It’s estimated that many of Walmart’s employees do not have a college education and this initiative by the retail chain is hoped to allow their workers to earn their degree online and there is also the incentive that on-the-job training at Walmart stores may count for credit towards their degree.
However, there are reports calling into question the usefulness of this partnership with American Public University and Walmart due to the fact that it seems some classes are tailored so that Walmart employees can earn college credits, but these credits may be of little use if an employee wishes to transfer to another online university or traditional college. Also, there is concern about the cost of this online college as many of Walmart’s employees may not make enough money to meet the tuition fees that are required to take classes and earn a degree.
Yet, on the other side of the argument, there are many who feel that this is an excellent opportunity for many of Walmart’s employees who do not have a college education but would love the opportunity to earn a degree. Walmart’s employees have real-world experience in the area of retail business and this experience can transfer over to a college environment, in many cases. However, there is concern that some real-world experience, although applicable in a retail climate, may not be enough to fully develop the student in an academic area. One example of this is from Pamela Tate, president of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning who mentioned that bookkeeping at Walmart didn’t equate to a college accounting course.
It was also reported that Walmart screened many universities before deciding on American Public University and it is also said that this University is willing to cut some of the costs for Walmart employees who are seeking a degree. While there are some who feel that this partnership between Walmart and American Public University may confine Walmart employees by only allowing them credits and an affordable education through this particular university, others are saying that this is a wonderful step in the world of retail by providing employees the opportunity to better themselves through a college education.