Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem - JetBlue Scholars
The US Department of Education’s Reimagining the Higher Education Ecosystem Challenge #EDU2030 Challenge set out to match big thinking with actionable projects. JetBlue and its employer-sponsored college degree program – JetBlue Scholars – was recently named a winner of this challenge. Last fall the US Department of Education called upon educators, students, policymakers, industry leaders, technology developers, and the public to develop bold ideas to reimagine what the higher education ecosystem will look like in 2030, and to identify concrete actions. These ideas would ensure all learners, regardless of background, could acquire the skills needed to find meaningful work and live fulfilling, economically stable lives.
JetBlue Scholars offers the airline’s crewmembers the opportunity to earn a fully-accredited associate or bachelor’s degree with JetBlue covering most of the cost. The program utilizes low cost, high quality alternative college credit options including new technology-based learning platforms. These courses are accepted for college credit at Thomas Edison State University, and are a fraction of the cost of traditional college classes. JetBlue covers the full cost of the degree up to the final semester. Since the program launch in 2016, approx. 185 college degrees have been completed. Sixty additional crewmembers are slated to receive their degrees from program partner – Thomas Edison State University by the end of this year.
Aligned with JetBlue’s mission of inspiring humanity, JetBlue Scholars is making the process of earning a college degree more inclusive and accessible than ever. The cost of college is at an all-time high, and more than 31 million Americans have some college education and no degree. JetBlue recognized the dilemma faced by many of its own crewmembers and charted a new, low-cost, high-quality path to make college affordable again.
More than 160 teams responded to this challenge, providing bold visions and transformative pilots for new pathways for postsecondary education and lifelong learning, a marketplace to search for innovative educational providers; and new technologies including virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. View the full list of the 25 finalists at https://tech.ed.gov/challenge.
JetBlue Scholars has proven to be a valuable retention and development tool, leading to increased crewmember engagement and loyalty, resulting in a greater return on investment for JetBlue. For more information, visit www.jetbluescholars.com.