OSU Joins Alliance to Give Federal Workers Affordable Learning Options Online

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by MaceWindu, Jun 11, 2023.

  1. MaceWindu

    MaceWindu Active Member

    “CORVALLIS, Ore. (KTVZ) — Federal government employees have access to more affordable learning opportunities online and enhanced career advancement pathways, thanks to a new agreement announced Tuesday between Oregon State University and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

    By joining the Federal Academic Alliance, Oregon State will provide reduced tuition scholarships to eligible U.S. government workers and their families who enroll in an Oregon State Ecampus online program.

    OSU Ecampus, the university’s nationally ranked online education provider, delivers more than 100 degrees and programs at a distance. This includes short-form offerings such as microcredentials, which are three-course.
    Dustin likes this.
  2. Vicki

    Vicki Well-Known Member

    Hmmm…. My husband is a federal employee….
    MaceWindu likes this.
  3. Vicki

    Vicki Well-Known Member

    Ok, I found them on the OPM website. The discount is only 10% which is about the same as most in the list.
    Dustin and MaceWindu like this.
  4. MaceWindu

    MaceWindu Active Member

    10% seems a tad bit low. Hoping that one day they’ll bump that number up higher.
  5. Vicki

    Vicki Well-Known Member

    Definitely could be better. The first time my husband mentioned this, I took a look at the options. I thought it could be helpful to any of us. My husband doesn’t have a degree, I was planning an MBA and our son is in High School. Honestly, I don’t think any of these are attractive enough. There’s a couple that aren’t bad, but I was able to find better elsewhere. 5-15% isn’t worth it, unless you were planning to go to that school anyways. Here’s the list: https://www.opm.gov/wiki/training/our-academic-partners.ashx
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    They're doing it wrong. But they have no other choice.

    There are not-for-profit universities with business development departments. These organizations have a function: get more enrollments backed by organizations and businesses. Successfully done, it's a two-way street. The university provides the discount while the organization delivers the enrollments. The more concrete these deals the better. Simply offering a discount is passive.

    Made worse is that, unlike the military, the federal government doesn't have a defined tuition assistance program. Each agency is different. Some have pretty structured processes for applying for tuition aid, others are on a case-by-case basis.

    Made even worse is the low amount allowed by the IRS before the assistance becomes taxable. That number has remained the same for years ($5,250) (When I was with AT&T 20 years ago I got $5k.) The agency can exceed that amount but only for training necessary to perform one's current job. Tuition assistance to earn a degree is, logically, excluded. (Hard to argue for paying for a degree to perform a job you're already in.)

    I did get them to exceed the limit once. When I was chief talent officer of a particular agency, I made the argument that coaching was on the rise. I needed to become a coach to more effectively supervise the coaches on my staff. Also, as a GS-15, I would be more effective coaching others at that grade level. They bought it, waived the limit, and paid for all of my coaching school. I returned the investment by doing about 400 hours of coaching, mostly my peers and other senior staff. Coaching now makes up about 80% of my consulting work. Fair trade, for sure.
    MaceWindu likes this.

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