College Achievement Plan Introduced to Starbucks Partners in Korea

Starting this fall, Starbucks partners (employees) in Korea will have a new opportunity to achieve their academic goals.

Today (July 28), Starbucks Coffee Korea introduced its College Achievement Plan to provide tuition support for partners who want to finish four-year college degrees.  A total of 146 partners were recently selected to enroll in Hanyang Cyber University for the fall 2016 semester.

“At the core of our success are our partners who deliver an unparalleled Starbucks Experience and we are pleased to help them achieve their academic dreams,” said Seock-koo Lee, chief executive officer, Starbucks Korea.  “The College Achievement Plan gives partners the opportunity to earn their degree without the financial burden.”

The largest online college institution in Korea, Hanyang Cyber University offers 36 majors ranging from liberal arts to business management, which also include barista training.  As all regular classes and tests are given online, students can focus on their jobs as well as their studies without having to physically be at school.

Partners who apply for the program are asked to provide their study plans and complete aptitude tests. Once admitted, students are free to choose any major, even those that are unrelated to their work. Starbucks Korea estimates that more than 1,000 partners will be able to earn bachelor’s degrees by 2020, when this year’s freshmen graduate from the university.

“The biggest reason I never went to college is the financial burden,” said Sangun Yu, a shift supervisor in Seoul who was selected for the program. “While working part-time, I tried to go back to school, but I had to give up school again for the same reason.”

Starbucks Korea and Hanyang Cyber University plan to recruit up to 300 students per school year.  All partners who receive a grade point average of B or higher will be entitled to a Starbucks scholarship, which will cover full tuition. Partners who receive the scholarship are not obligated to work for Starbucks after graduation. They have the opportunity to work wherever they choose.

“I am very happy to be going back to school, added Yu. “ I will also do my best to apply what I learn at school to my daily work environment.”

The program in Korea was preceded by Starbucks College Achievement Plan in the U.S., which was introduced in 2014. Through this program, all eligible partners can earn their bachelor’s degree with full tuition reimbursement for every year of college through Arizona State University’s (ASU) top-ranked online degree program. Starbucks is committed to helping at least 25,000 partners graduate by 2025.

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