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JetBlue Scholars Reaches A Milestone – 250 Degrees Conferred

Employer-Sponsored College Degree Program Hits That Mark In Just Three Years

JetBlue is celebrating the latest milestone for its award-winning employer-sponsored education program – 250 degrees conferred in just three years. JetBlue’s innovative model goes beyond the traditional tuition reimbursement method. JetBlue Scholars launched in 2016 offering the airline’s crewmembers an opportunity to earn fully accredited undergraduate college degrees, with JetBlue covering most of the cost. JetBlue Scholars now also includes a pathway for crewmembers to earn master’s degrees at discounted and affordable rates.

The JetBlue Scholars undergraduate pathway gives crewmembers the accessibility and flexibility to learn at their own pace. The program provides a clearer path and converts aviation and military training and other professional certificates into college credit, helping reduce the time and cost for crewmembers to obtain their undergraduate degrees. Thomas Edison State University (TESU) is the sole provider of degrees for the JetBlue Scholars Program at the undergraduate level. The undergraduate pathway offers opportunities to earn degrees in business, aviation, liberal studies and information technology (IT).

More than 31 million Americans have some college credits but no degree. With college tuition at an all-time high, the average student is $33,000 in debt. As JetBlue covers most of the costs for undergraduate degrees, crewmembers save an average of $14,000 on tuition, totaling more than $6.5 million in overall college costs savings since the program started.

The latest graduates will have an opportunity to attend upcoming graduation ceremonies at TESU. New JetBlue Scholars graduates were also celebrated at a recent ceremony at JetBlue’s state-of-the-art training facility in Orlando, Fla. Family and friends joined JetBlue leaders, JetBlue Scholars Success Coaches and administrators from TESU to congratulate and celebrate the latest alumnae. TESU President Dr. Merodie A. Hancock traveled to the JetBlue Scholars graduation to confer the degrees personally.

JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Joanna Geraghty, gave the commencement address offering words of advice and encouragement to the program’s newest graduates. “If there’s any advice that I can give you to, it’s this: Never stop learning, stick with it, and to the extent that you can, pay it forward. You have the power to make a difference in whatever you choose to do and I can’t wait to see how you inspire humanity next.”

The prototype of the average college student is changing. As such, JetBlue has taken an innovative approach to the traditional higher education. In line with JetBlue’s mission of inspiring humanity, JetBlue Scholars offers convenience, online learning and Success Coaches to support crewmembers throughout the process of completing their degrees.

JetBlue Scholars was developed based on crewmember feedback. The program has proven to be a valuable retention and development tool, leading to increased crewmember engagement and loyalty and resulting in a greater return on investment for JetBlue.

“I believe that all is possible in life, even if it takes you many years of hard work. No one in my family has been able to attend college. To be able to fulfill my dream has been incredible. My degree allows me to use new skills in my everyday life and at work. Now I will be able to move forward with my career growth and development,” said Pedro Hernandez, a Facilities Supervisor at JetBlue who recently earned his Associates of Arts and Bachelors of Liberal Arts degrees with JetBlue Scholars.

“Finishing my degree is the end and the beginning of an important journey for me. During my classes I had days that I felt overwhelmed. The process was not easy especially when I received orders to deploy with the US ARMY. But it wasn’t impossible either. I saw myself growing professionally and personally with new skills that are making me more competitive in the workforce. Today I can say I did it,” said Alex Rosario, an Inflight Team Leader at JetBlue who earned his Associates of Arts and Bachelors of Liberal Arts degrees through JetBlue Scholars.
JetBlue Scholars Undergraduate Pathway.

Through an innovative partnership model, JetBlue unbundled the higher education system, step-by-step, to make it easier for crewmembers who have some previous college credits but did not know how to move forward to complete their degrees. JetBlue Scholars undergraduate pathway utilizes low cost, high-quality alternative college credit options, including new technology-based learning platforms like Study.com, Sophia.org and StraighterLine.com. These courses are accepted for college credit at partner school -Thomas Edison State University and are a fraction of the cost of traditional college classes.

Nearly 700 JetBlue crewmembers are currently working towards their college degree through the JetBlue Scholars program. On average, it takes crewmembers about 13 months to complete an associate degree and 16 months to complete a bachelor’s degree through JetBlue’s model.

(Image provided with JetBlue news release)

FMI: jetbluescholars.com

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