Guild’s academic network is vetted for adult learners in 5 critical ways

Guild’s academic network, which provides education and upskilling to working adults, is one of the cornerstones of our business. Through Guild, employers can offer certificates, programs, and degrees — ranging from highschool completion to Master’s degrees — all of which have been rigorously vetted to ensure optimal outcomes for working adults. 

Over 10,000 employees every month contact Guild with interest in going back to school. So as our student population continues to grow, in both number and diversity, we continuously evaluate our academic partners and programs. Metrics like cost per credit, admission and graduation rates, career placement data, and scalability all factor into our selection process. We also place a higher emphasis on innovative institutions that find new ways to serve working adults within the future of work.  

At Guild, the intersection of education, outcomes, and learners is outlined by 5 main components: 

Scalability: Guild’s student population is growing by the day! We want to work with partners capable of enrolling students online across multiple states, knowing that the nation’s largest companies demand this. A unique solution for each learner ensures that each employer’s programming fits their workforce. 

Quality: Not all academic institutions are created equal. Our deep integrations with academic providers focused on retention rates, graduation rates, job outcomes, and students supports, have proven success for a diverse workforce. Finding the sweet spot of low-cost and high-quality education is key to serving America’s working adults. 

Affordability: Many education and upskilling policies do not cover the full cost of a degree or credential. So, we prioritize affordability starting with the academic institution — breaking down cost by credit hour and underlining the importance of transferring credits, because many working adult learners have prior college experience that should be recognized. We work with low-cost schools and negotiate discounts to build a network that delivers a meaningful impact on corporate strategy without sacrificing quality. 

Accessibility: We partner with schools that are held at the highest standard and are open to — and in some ways designed for — nontraditional students. To ensure accessibility, we look at metrics like the percent of applicants admitted, how many students receive Pell Grants, the average age of students, and the number of students who are and aren’t attending college for the first time.

Representation: Guild’s DE&I efforts that begin internally trickle down to how we vet academic institutions. The majority of Guild’s student population is nonwhite, and we want to make sure we connect students with institutions that understand and reflect our constituency. Guild collects data regarding the number of undergrads who are nonwhite and the graduation rates for nonwhite students.

Flexibility: Working adult learners have competing responsibilities and struggle with time poverty more than traditional students. To drive flexibility, we ask prospective academic partners about their delivery methods (sync/async, online, hybrid), part-time attendance options, and the calendar system.

With all of these outputs in mind, we’ve curated a broad, high-quality, low-cost network designed for all working adults. Our employers deserve diversity of choice when it comes to selecting education programming, but all of the employees we serve deserve schools that prioritize, encourage, and celebrate their learning.

Written by Guild Education

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