CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University and Peet's Coffee, The Original Craft Coffee, today announced the Peetnik Pathway to College Program, a tuition reimbursement plan that gives thousands of the specialty coffee company's employees access to OSU's top-ranked online education.
The program opens the door to potential life-changing career advancement possibilities for many of the 5,000 Peet's Coffee workers nationwide - known as Peetniks - who wish to earn a bachelor's degree. The collaboration empowers eligible employees to enroll in one of more than 20 rigorous undergraduate programs delivered online through Oregon State University Ecampus.
All benefits-eligible Peet's Coffee employees who work part-time or full-time, do not already have an undergraduate college degree and meet university admission requirements can enroll in OSU's nationally ranked programs such as business administration, liberal studies, sustainability, Spanish and human development and family sciences.
"As a national leader in online undergraduate education, OSU Ecampus enables working adults to engage with our world-class faculty in a cutting-edge learning environment that offers the exact same quality OSU's on-campus students receive," said Oregon State President Ed Ray. "We're excited to work closely with Peet's Coffee and its employees to offer a plan that leads to their career and life success."
By serving workers across Peet's Coffee, including those at more than 270 of the brand's coffee bars, this program aims to produce thousands of college graduates from coast to coast who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate degree. It is designed to support working professionals by providing enhanced work-life flexibility and a robust academic experience that positions them well for potential career advancement.
Peet's will reimburse each eligible employee up to $5,250 in qualified tuition and fees annually, with federal financial aid and any applicable scholarships also contributing to reduce student costs. Upon being reimbursed following each academic term, a Peetnik will pay as little as $15 per each successfully completed course credit.
"Peet's Coffee is committed to making significant investments in our employees through competitive wages, generous 401k plans, affordable health care, and many other benefits that build lasting careers," said Jane Marvin, senior vice president, people and culture, Peet's Coffee. "We're proud to unveil the Peetnik Pathway to College Program in collaboration with Oregon State University to further that commitment by providing education assistance and only the highest-quality learning experiences to our Peetniks."
Since 1868, Oregon State has been committed to its land grant mission to serve people in Oregon and beyond. This inclusive initiative was developed with that goal in mind.
OSU Ecampus is regarded as one of America's leading providers of online education thanks to high levels of student engagement and the credentials of the OSU faculty who develop and teach Ecampus courses. For the third straight year, OSU's online bachelor's programs are ranked in the top 10 in the country by U.S. News & World Report. OSU Ecampus has also been honored nationally in recent years for its excellence in faculty development as well as the innovative use of technology to boost student success.
To encourage student success, everyone in the Peetnik Pathway to College Program will have access to many of OSU's essential academic resources, including student success counselors, an academic adviser, library access and career services.
"We're focused on extending educational access to adult learners who want to complete their degrees from a highly respected university," said Lisa L. Templeton, associate provost for OSU Ecampus. "Our collaboration with Peet's will introduce a new audience to Oregon State's signature areas of strength, and we're eager to meet their unique needs through quality instruction and excellent student support services."
The OSU College of Business, which already offers a popular online business administration bachelor's program, is developing a new retail management option to address retail industry education needs.
"We're excited to be a part of this new collaboration with Peet's," said Mitzi Montoya, dean of the College of Business. "The existing online business administration bachelor's program is immediately available to Peet's employees, providing them with the tools to solve complex challenges and lead by example as innovative business people. The new retail management option, which will be open to all students, will add another important dimension to our business education offerings."
Eligible Peet's employees can apply to Oregon State University now as part of the program and begin taking Ecampus classes this fall. OSU's fall term begins Sept. 20.
"Purpose is powerful, and it's our purpose to help people find their opportunities for a better future," said Dave Burwick, CEO, Peet's Coffee. "This is an opportunity for Peetniks to open new doors professionally, here and everywhere, without having to go into debt or put their lives on hold."
About Peet's Coffee: Peet's Coffee is a U.S. specialty coffee company founded by Alfred Peet in 1966 in Berkeley, California. Mr. Peet grew up in the coffee trade and moved to America from Holland after World War II. His coffee style was unlike anything Americans had ever tasted before - small batches, fresh beans and a superior quality roast that is rich and complex. Mr. Peet's influence on the artisan coffee movement inspired a new generation of coffee entrepreneurs, including the founders of Starbucks. Today, Peet's upholds its commitment to delivering a premium product by continuing to source the world's best beans, hand-roast in small batches, and craft every beverage by hand. Peet's asserts a strict standard of freshness to ensure optimum flavor, including a unique direct store delivery network serving over 14,000 grocery stores to personally vet the freshness date on every bag. Peet's is dedicated to growing its business through its retail, grocery and e-commerce channels while maintaining the superior quality of its coffee. Peet's is also proud of its status as the first LEED® Gold certified roastery in the United States. For more information, visit peets.com.