Ivy Tech, McDonald's launch alliance

AP file photo A new partnership between Ivy Tech and McDonald's aims to make the Indiana community college more affordable.

McDonald’s restaurants and Ivy Tech Community College are launching an alliance to make college more affordable and offer training for those new to the workforce that will be shared at more than 300 McDonald’s locations in Indiana and 18 Ivy Tech campuses with 40 sites.

Through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program, restaurant employees who work a minimum of 90 days at 15 hours per week will be eligible for tuition assistance of up to $2,500 per year as a crew member and up to $3,000 per year as a manager. Ivy Tech will offer "crosswalk credits" to McDonald’s restaurant employees for some on-the-job training and classes, plus individualized counseling — allowing them to earn a degree faster.

McDonald’s restaurants in Indiana have enrolled a number of employees in the Archways to Opportunity tuition assistance program since its inception five years ago. Throughout 2019, McDonald’s invested more than $1.2 million in tuition assistance to restaurant employees across Indiana.

“There is no limit,” said Robert Terhune, McDonald’s owner/operator and president of the Greater Indiana Operator Co-Op. “We want to encourage as many of our employees and students across Indiana as we can to take advantage of this tuition-assistance program. We believe this strengthens all of our communities throughout Indiana.”

“We’re proud to work alongside Ivy Tech to help restaurant employees and students balance work and their education,” said local McDonald’s owner and operator Lisa Reiser.

Ivy Tech’s degree crosswalk will allow McDonald’s employees to work with an Ivy Tech counselor to determine which of their McDonald’s training and work experiences may articulate into credits they can apply toward their certificate or degree. The flexibility of Ivy Tech having both online classes and locations statewide will give employees the option to complete coursework on their schedule: whether that be during the day, evening, weekend or whenever it’s convenient.

With most Ivy Tech students working while they attend school, Ivy Tech leadership says this new partnership fits in perfectly with Ivy Tech Community College’s mission.

“Ivy Tech locations across Indiana currently enroll many talented McDonald’s employees pursuing upward mobility in their careers and we expect this partnership to encourage even more employees to enroll and at the same time, assist in finding potential new employees for McDonald’s and new students for Ivy Tech,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann. “Each Ivy Tech campus will dedicate an adviser to McDonald’s employee enrollment, questions and scheduling needs. We are committed to helping each and every employee further their education and achieve their dreams.”

More about the McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity education program is available at any Indiana McDonald’s, the Archways to Opportunity website or any Ivy Tech campus.

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