Starbucks unveiled its first store in Ferguson, Missouri

FERGUSON, MO, 2016-May-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) today unveiled its first store in Ferguson, Missouri as part of a national plan to provide local jobs, create training opportunities for youth, and support efforts to rebuild and revitalize communities.  Starbucks plans to open similar stores in at least 15 low- to medium-income communities across the U.S. by 2018. With an estimated 5.5 million young Americans not in school or at work, the majority of whom live in some of the country’s most diverse, yet undeserved communities, Starbucks aims to make a long-term impact by opening stores that will help provide a tangible boost to the local economy and bring meaningful jobs.

“We’ve long considered how we can help deliver social impact in ways that drive our business forward,” said Rodney Hines, Starbucks director of Community Investments for U.S. Retail Operations. “We have always seen investments in the communities where Starbucks partners live and serve as investments in our business and brand. As we got to know the Ferguson community over the last year, we heard incredible stories of strength, empathy and understanding. We also heard loud and clear the need for business leadership and investment in the form of new jobs and training opportunities, particularly for young people. That’s why we are proud to be here with the community as we prepare to open our doors. Together, we want to help demonstrate that coming to a city like Ferguson is not just good for the community, but good for business too.”

Nationally, 1 in 7 young adults does not work or attend school[1], a challenge that is compounded in low- to medium-income communities like Ferguson, particularly among young people of color. In the St. Louis region, 14% of young people ages 16-24 – an estimated 48,000 young men and women – are disconnected from jobs and educational opportunities[2] and nearly half of all young African American men in the area are unemployed, compared with 16% for young Caucasian men. In addition to creating new local jobs, Starbucks will work with nonprofit partners like the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to provide a robust, multi-week job skills training program for local youth, using a specially-designed classroom space within the store. Starbucks hopes to work alongside community partners like the Urban League to help address some of the systemic barriers facing young people in the Ferguson area.

“Ferguson was an awakening for all of us to really take a hard look in the mirror, and try to turn what was a tragedy into a triumph,” said Michael McMillan, President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, one of Starbucks key community partners in the initiative. “We saw people from all over the country wanting to be involved in our community, and to give back and help. Yet, the number one thing we heard from young people in Ferguson is ‘we need jobs.’ So we need to engage these youth and we need to figure out how we can help them to get what they need to be productive citizens. The work will take years to complete. This is both a sprint and a marathon for our community, and we urgently need other businesses like Starbucks to join us.”

“Ferguson is grateful to Starbucks for recognizing the strength and resilience of our community by choosing to invest here,” said Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III. “The City of Ferguson and the greater North County region have both obstacles to overcome, but also great potential.  Starbucks has shown their commitment to this region by helping our young people with much needed job training, as well as their commitment to the greater business community by partnering with local entrepreneurs to deliver great services and products to our citizens.  We are excited to welcome Starbucks into the community and look forward to a long and lasting community partnership.”

New Jobs, New Opportunities

The Starbucks store, featuring both a café and drive-thru at West Florissant & Somerset in Ferguson, has hired 30 partners (employees), many of whom are from the Ferguson or greater St. Louis areas, including store manager Cordell Lewis. Hiring locally is an important part of the company’s strategy to support economic development and build stronger connections with the community. With benefits like full health care coverage and equity in the form of stock for both part-time and full-time partners, as well as the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, which gives partners the opportunity to get a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University with full tuition reimbursement, Starbucks will provide Ferguson partners with the same opportunities available to partners across the country.

“I was in essence the ‘opportunity youth’ we are trying to help,” said Lewis, who has already enrolled in online classes at Arizona State University through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. “I come from a single-parent family and was lucky to have a coach who saw a spark in me when I was a high school athlete. That helped me turn my life around. Starbucks opening in this community means the company also sees what Ferguson can become. It has its challenges, and we have to have those conversations, but we also have so many young men and women with a lot to offer, including our new team of partners. My goal is to be their coach, to listen, and to help drive their passions. That’s the type of leader I want to be – for my team and for our community.”

As part of its commitment to investing in the community, Starbucks is also working with Natalie DuBose, owner of Ferguson bakery Natalie’s Cakes & More which suffered extensive damage following the rioting in 2014. In considering ways to invest in the local community, Starbucks is now selling DuBose’s signature caramel cakes at more than 30 St. Louis-area locations and will feature the product in the new store in Ferguson. As a result, DuBose’s workforce has grown from three to more than 20, double what it was when Starbucks broke ground on the Ferguson location in November 2015. DuBose is also heavily involved in the community, speaking regularly about entrepreneurship at local high schools, hiring locally, and sourcing ingredients locally whenever possible. Starbucks also worked with Simms Building Group, a minority-owned general contracting and construction management firm in the St. Louis area, to build the site.

A Pathway to Jobs for Local Youth

The Ferguson store will work with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to provide a unique in-store training program where young people in the community will have the opportunity to enroll in a multi-week retail and customer service skills training program. The program meets a critical need for practical job training opportunities for young people, many of whom are eager to start their first job and work collectively to transform the legacy of the Ferguson community.

Starbucks is set to offer a similar training program for youth at its new store in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, NY, working with local nonprofit organizations like Queens Community House and the YMCA and Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow’s Y Roads program. Starbucks will seek to build similar alliances in each of the 13 additional communities it is considering in the national initiative, including stores in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side and a remodeled store at 7th & Camelback in Phoenix.

“Ferguson’s young people still remain hopeful and resilient,” said McMillan. “An in-store training opportunity with Starbucks will go a long way for a young person preparing for their first job. And that first job is going to set them up for success and help open up a world of opportunity. That’s why we wanted to work with Starbucks and together find a way to use this new space to be so much more than a coffee shop, but a hub for the kind of opportunities that might help a young person get their start.”

Community Support

“I am grateful to Howard Schultz for believing and investing in our community. The impact of Starbucks’ commitment to Ferguson is enormous! It creates a ripple effect – jobs, revitalization, economic opportunities, and restores community pride. Starbucks is leading by example,” said The Honorable Hazel Erby, Saint Louis County Council, District 1.

“As a council member for Ward One in Ferguson Missouri I am so excited and proud to welcome Starbucks to our community!  The confidence and dedication this company has shown in our residents and town is very encouraging and inspiring. We look forward to a long and strong relationship between the city of Ferguson Missouri and the Starbucks Corporation,” said Ferguson City Council member Linda Lipka, Ward 1.

[1] Measure of America, One in Seven: Ranking Youth Disconnection in the 25 Largest Metro Areas

[2] Measure of America, Zeroing In on Place and Race: Youth Disconnection in America’s Cities


Starbucks unveiled its first store in Ferguson, Missouri

Starbucks unveiled its first store in Ferguson, Missouri


Source: Starbucks

43 Starbucks partners received their degrees through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan in December

43 Starbucks partners received their degrees through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan in December

SEATTLE, 2015-12-18 — /EPR Retail News/ — Graduation parties with balloons, cakes and proud families posing for photos take place in homes across the U.S. this time of year. Those types of celebrations also happened in several Starbucks stores recently.

More than 40 Starbucks partners (employees) received their degrees through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan in December, and will embark on a brighter future without being weighed down by student debt.

When the the Starbucks education benefit launched in June 2014, Seattle-based shift supervisor Jessica Andrews was well positioned to take full advantage.

Already enrolled with Arizona State University (ASU), Andrews had a handle on the challenges and rewards of online education. The two-year Starbucks partner was becoming more adept at balancing her schedule to accommodate work, study and free time. And, because she had a year completed through ASU’s online campus when the Starbucks program began, she was familiar with all the support resources the university provides to lay the foundation for academic achievement, including academic success coaches; eAdvisor, which monitors a student’s progress to stay on track for graduation; and Major Maps, step-by-step roadmaps for each degree program.

The one big change was her realization that the looming financial burden she was dreading would be disappearing. Full tuition coverage was previously available to juniors and seniors when the program launched in 2014. Beginning in April of 2015, Starbucks and ASU extended full tuition reimbursement to all eligible partners including sophomores and freshmen.

“I actually applied for student loans the week before the Starbucks announcement was made,” Andrews said. “I was able to more or less finance the first year at ASU through different types of help and financial aid, but then I realized if I really wanted to continue it was going to be tough. I was going to have to apply for student loans, which I didn’t want to do. I was thinking of taking time off and just saving for college. Then the Starbucks College Achievement Plan was announced and it became an easy decision for me.”.

Today, Andrews has her B.A. in organizational leadership.

Hats off to Starbucks College Achievement Plan New Grads

Madison Schmitt, a Starbucks® store shift manager, is also celebrating her new ASU degree in psychology. Schmitt said she was “astounded” with the quality of her education and the consistent, responsive care she received from Starbucks and ASU staff and advisors. She also found the ASU experience to be “remarkably applicable and impactful” to her day-to-day life and career interests.

With career aspirations in human resources, Gabriel Adolphe also has a new degree through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. “I feel blessed for the opportunity and ability to finish college,” he said. “Due to financial reasons, I was unable to finish my degree in the past. Since rejoining Starbucks, the partnership with ASU has given me the chance to pursue my education affordably.”

They are among the 43 Starbucks College Achievement Plan students who graduated from ASU this month – the largest group of grads yet in an ongoing drive to get 25,000 Starbucks partners ASU diplomas by 2025.

For more information on this news release, contact Starbucks Newsroom.

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation


Starbucks College Achievement Plan: enrollees just passed the 4,000 mark and is expected to reach 4,800 by the end of the year

SEATTLE, 2015-10-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — As the number of partners (employees) moving through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan continues to climb, some trends are becoming apparent.

Launched in June 2014, the Starbucks College Achievement Plan provides an opportunity for all U.S. partners working an average of 20 hours per week to earn a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University online campus with full tuition reimbursement. It’s produced a dozen online graduates, with more than 200 grads expected by May 2016.

The total number of Starbucks enrollees just passed the 4,000 mark and is expected to reach 4,800 by the end of the year, according to Leah Lommel, assistant vice president of EdPlus at ASU and chief operating officer at ASU Online.

Starbucks students are generally younger than other online students, averaging 26 years of age. They come from every state in the nation with California, Washington, Texas and Arizona leading the way. Of the more than 50 undergraduate degrees offered, the most popular areas of study for Starbucks scholars are: psychology; organizational leadership; health sciences (healthy lifestyles coaching);  and business communications. Lommel said Starbucks College Achievement Plan students are more inclined to stick with the program, retaining at nearly a five percent higher rate than ASU’s core student body.

“When you take the pressures of finance off and build a support network around this group, it helps give them motivation to stay,” she said.

Taking the Online Option

Finances were certainly a major factor in Ryan Wheatley’s decision to pursue a degree through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. A 23-year-old Wheaton, Illinois, native, his college dreams hit a roadblock after he received an associate’s degree earlier this year. Wheatley hoped to enroll in a four-year university in Chicago, but was forced to abandon that plan when he was unable to secure sufficient financial aid.

“I was contemplating holding off – just working and waiting for my bachelor’s,” Wheatley said. “I think, had that happened, I would have had a hard time going back. As we all know, life happens. I think it would have been hard for me to find the time, because there’s no right time.”

Around the time his Chicago plans were stymied, Wheatley learned about the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. Approaching the offer with some skepticism, he was won over as he dug deeper.

“As I researched it more, it hit me: This is perfect. This is my match. This has been waiting for me this whole time.”

Today the four-year Starbucks partner is pursuing a mass communications/media studies major through ASU Online and hopes to graduate in 2017.

As with Wheatley, the Starbucks College Achievement Plan came at the right time for Julia Brooks. A 23-year-old barista based in Fountain Valley, California, Brooks had accumulated credits from both a community college and a four-year institution, but was finding it difficult to balance work and studies.

“Trying to do both was kind of a nightmare,” she recalled. “When the Starbucks College Achievement Plan was announced it was like I could hear angels singing. It enabled me to take charge of my life and be able to plan my own days and my own weeks.”


Brooks is one of the pioneering graduates in the program, earning her bachelor’s degree in communications last summer. The three-and-a-half-year partner has become an advocate for the plan, having already convinced four partners to apply at ASU.

“Having someone that they know who has done it and had success helps them see it as a real opportunity for them,” said Brooks.

Breaking Down Barriers

Adrienne Gemperle, Starbucks senior vice president of partner resources, said “word of mouth” from students like Wheatley and Brooks will go a long way toward helping hit a target of 25,000 Starbucks graduates by 2025.

“We have more than 100,000 partners in the U.S.,” Gemperle said. “When students can hear from one another about best practices – what makes it easier to be successful; how they’re navigating work/life balance – that’s really helpful.”

Gemperle said she’d like to see 100 percent awareness of the program among Starbucks partners to lay the groundwork for what can be a life-changing outcome. It’s not a simple decision, she acknowledged, but if they’re interested, the next step is to provide the support needed to get them on the path to graduation.

ASU’s Lommel concurs, calling the Starbucks College Achievement Plan a “long-term effort” for the university, Starbucks and scholars. “We are seeing that it takes people six to 12 months to decide to go back to school,” Lommel said. “First you have to get that interest and then you have to give them that support to believe that they can be successful before they make that leap.”

Read more Starbucks College Achievement Plan stories: A Lifetime Opportunity for Starbucks Partners

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.


Starbucks College Achievement Plan: enrollees just passed the 4,000 mark and is expected to reach 4,800 by the end of the year

Starbucks College Achievement Plan: enrollees just passed the 4,000 mark and is expected to reach 4,800 by the end of the year

More than 1,800 have signed up for Starbucks College Achievement Plan

SEATTLE, 2015-5-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Just one month after Starbucks and Arizona State University announced the expansion of a unique benefit to pay for partners (employees) college education, more than 1,800 have signed up.

“These impressive numbers reflect that the students recognize how a college degree can dramatically elevate the possibilities for their income and quality of life,” said ASU Provost Robert E. Page Jr. “The surge of applications also reflects that today’s students are adaptive learners for whom technology and innovative learning techniques enhance their capacity for knowledge.”

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan offers 100 percent tuition reimbursement for all four years of college. All benefits-eligible Starbucks partners working part time or full time may choose from 50 undergraduate degree programs through ASU Online, with no commitment to stay with the company post-graduation. Starbucks will invest $250 million to help at least 25,000 partners graduate by 2025. With this college program, Starbucks also aims to reach opportunity youth – a population of nearly 6 million people.

More than 2,200 partners have enrolled in the Starbucks College Achievement Plan to date, with 200 Starbucks partners expected to graduate from the program over the next year. Partners from every state have applied – with California, Washington, Arizona and Texas having the highest partner participation. The top degrees Starbucks partners are pursuing through the plan are psychology, organizational leadership, and health sciences.

Journey to a College Degree

Phoenix-area Starbucks store partners Stephanie Schreiner and Karli Stone will be among those receiving bachelor’s degrees at ASU’s spring commencement.

Schreiner started at Starbucks as a barista two years ago when she transferred to ASU’s campus program. When she heard about the launch of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, in June 2014, she switched over to the online program to take advantage of Starbucks full tuition benefit starting that fall.

“Enrolling in the Starbucks College Achievement Plan was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” said Schreiner. “ASU Online offered the opportunity to create my own schedule and have much more flexibility for the last year of school.”

Schreiner completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology while working 40-hour weeks at Starbucks. She wants to stay with the company and become a store manager – and she is also interested in human resources and communications. “I love customer service,” Schreiner said. “Starbucks has a lot of room to grow and I want to stay here.”

Starbucks shift supervisor Karli Stone also enrolled in the Starbucks College Achievement Plan soon after it was announced. She had spent more than three years in the ASU campus program, and transferred to the online degree option created with Starbucks for her final year. She took a full course load through the online program while working full-time at Starbucks.

“Right now, I plan to do counseling and I still have a place in my heart for that,” Stone said. “For now, I love Starbucks and I am passionate about it, so this is who I want to be and where I want to be.” Stone is working toward becoming an assistant store manager at a Phoenix-area Starbucks store and planning her wedding.

The Class of 2015

Partners who are graduating from the Starbucks College Achievement Plan will wear an ASU cap and gown and enjoy the full in-person “pomp and circumstance” of a university commencement ceremony this week. One thing they won’t share with peers graduating from colleges across the country is significant student loan debt.

Nationwide, other members of the class of 2015 will each graduate with $35,051 in student debt on average, according to an analysis of government data by Edvisors – a company that provides information to parents and students about college costs and financial aid. The 2015 figure is about $2,000 more than students who graduated last year.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.


More than 1,800 have signed up for Starbucks College Achievement Plan

More than 1,800 have signed up for Starbucks College Achievement Plan

Starbucks and Arizona State University expand Starbucks College Achievement Plan with 100% tuition coverage for every eligible U.S. Starbucks partner (employee)

  • The expanded Starbucks College Achievement Plan will be offered to more than 140,000 full-time and part-time partners (employees) and will also provide a remarkable additional benefit to the 10,000 Opportunity Youth Starbucks has committed to hire
  • Full tuition coverage is now available for all four years of college with access to 49 online degree programs, with no commitment to stay with Starbucks post-graduation
  • Nearly 2,000 partners successfully enrolled to date, Starbucks commits to at least 25,000 graduates by 2025.  Over ten years, Starbucks estimated investment could reach up to $250 million or more

SEATTLE and TEMPE, ARIZ., 2015-4-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Arizona State University (ASU) today announced that Starbucks College Achievement Plan, first introduced in June 2014, will now offer 100 percent tuition coverage for every eligible U.S. Starbucks partner (employee). As part of its commitment to redefine the role and responsibility of a public company, Starbucks developed this program in partnership with ASU to create additional pathways to opportunity for its partners. Full tuition coverage was previously available to juniors and seniors, but now all eligible part-time or full-time partners can apply for and complete all four years of a bachelor’s degree through ASU’s top-ranked online degree program. In addition to partners receiving full tuition coverage, the company is offering faster tuition reimbursement – now at the end of each semester.

“Everyone deserves a chance at the American dream,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo of Starbucks. “The unfortunate reality is that too many Americans can no longer afford a college degree, particularly disadvantaged young people, and others are saddled with burdensome education debt. By giving our partners access to four years of full tuition coverage, we will provide them a critical tool for lifelong opportunity. We’re stronger as a nation when everyone is afforded a pathway to success.”

Nearly 2,000 Starbucks partners have already enrolled in the program, and this significant expansion will offer a top-notch education to all full-time and part-time partners, with the opportunity to choose from 49 undergraduate degree programs through ASU Online. The company will invest up to $250 million or more to help at least 25,000 partners graduate by 2025.

Over the next three years, Starbucks has also committed to hiring 10,000 “Opportunity Youth,” a population of nearly six million disconnected youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not working or in school. With the right skills and training, Starbucks believes Opportunity Youth represent a huge, untapped talent pool for American businesses, and through employment and access to higher education, hopes to help create a sustainable future for these young Americans.

“The College Achievement Plan has been a powerful demonstration of what is possible when an enlightened and innovative corporation joins forces with a forward-thinking research university,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “This program is a clear expression of Starbucks commitment to its partners and ASU’s continuing mission to provide access to higher education to all qualified students.”

United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, looks to this innovative model from Starbucks and ASU as an example for other industries and businesses. “Howard Schultz and Arizona State University President Michael Crow continue to do incredible work together,” said Secretary Duncan. “Today’s announcement from Starbucks and ASU is another win for students.  Partnerships like this one show how innovative strategies can expand access to college for thousands of students.  I hope more institutions and companies will take their lead to collaborate on ways we can all do more to make higher education more attainable and affordable.”

The value of higher education

There is a clear and demonstrated value of having a college degree, both the opportunity it affords and the measureable impact on earning potential throughout a lifetime.

The disparity between what U.S. college and high school graduates earn has more than doubled in the past 30 years (1). A typical bachelor’s degree recipient can expect to earn 66 percent more (compared with a high-school graduate) over a 40-year career (2).

The benefits are not limited to wages alone. On virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment—from personal earnings to job satisfaction to the percentage employed full time—young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education (3).  And, people with a college degree tend to be healthier, and they exercise more (4).

Those with college educations are even shown to live longer than their peers. Between 1990 and 2008, the life expectancy gap between the most and least educated Americans grew from 13 to 14 years among males and from 8 to 10 years among females. This gap has been widening since the 1960s. At age 25, U.S. adults with a college degree can expect to live nine years longer than those with only a high school diploma (5).

A college education promotes civic and community involvement. An individual with a bachelor’s degree is twice as likely to volunteer as a high school graduate (6), and adults with a higher level of education are twice as likely to vote as those with lower education levels.

College education is crucial to getting a middle-class job – millennials with only a high school degree are more than three times as likely to be unemployed as those with a college degree (7).

The fastest-growing jobs in America all require a college degree. By 2018, 63 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school (8).

As an independent, private foundation, Lumina Foundation is committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with post-secondary credentials, and applauds this innovative program from Starbucks and ASU. “The value of a college degree only continues to increase. But so do the costs of achieving that degree,” said Lumina Foundation President and CEO Jamie Merisotis. “Starbucks is not only recognizing the value of higher education, but is actively addressing the disparity in opportunity to achieve a college degree. By investing directly in their partners, they are also investing in the long-term success of their company and the nation.”

In addition to benefitting the individual, educated and employed individuals have a positive impact on the national economy. Persistent high unemployment among young people adds up to $25 billion a year in uncollected taxes. One unemployed 18-24-year-old costs federal and state governments more than $4,100 a year in forgone tax revenue and benefits received (9). Educating America’s young people and giving them the best opportunity for a sustainable future and continued employment is a benefit to our economy and society.

The benefit for Starbucks partners

Through this innovative collaboration, all benefits-eligible partners in the U.S., including Teavana®, La Boulange®, and Evolution Fresh™ partners, who do not already have a college degree, may choose from 49 undergraduate degree programs taught by ASU’s award-winning faculty such as electrical engineering, education, business and retail management. Partners will have no commitment to remain at the company past graduation. This is in addition to the full comprehensive package of benefits that Starbucks offers to its partners – including healthcare coverage, company stock for eligible partners and 401(k) matching.  Starbucks is one of the only retailers to offer a stock program that includes part-time retail hourly partners.

ASU’s online degree programs offer the highest quality and most flexibility, ensuring the best chances for success in achieving a degree. Each course is fully designed to make the most of online learning, and ASU’s highly-engaged faculty are retrained for effective online teaching. ASU is a leader in employing innovative educational technology to deliver tailored academic support. They also invest in the student support services that are critical to reducing drop-out rates, and are ranked first in student services by US News & World Report. The diplomas ASU awards to online students are identical to their on-campus degrees, and their session-to-session student retention rates and graduation rates are extremely strong.

“I know that there is an entire company standing behind me saying ‘You can do this.’ And that is an incredible feeling,” said Markelle Cullom, a three-year Starbucks partner enrolled in ASU Online through the College Achievement Plan. “For me, working at Starbucks is the opportunity for a better future.”

Additional details on this announcement, as well as downloadable photo and video assets – including stories from partners currently enrolled in the College Achievement Plan – are all available on the Starbucks Newsroom

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at

About Arizona State University
Arizona State University is one of the nation’s leading public research universities and is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. Known for innovation and entrepreneurism, ASU has pioneered the model for a New American University with a focus on accessibility and quality education, training students to learn for a lifetime. According to its mission, ASU “will be measured not by who we exclude, but rather by who we include and how they succeed; pursuing research and discovery that benefits the public good; assuming major responsibility for the economic, social, and cultural vitality and health and well-being of the community.”

(1) David H. Autor, Associate Department Head, MIT Department of Economics and author

(2) U.S. Department of Labor

(3) Pew Research Center

(4) The College Board

(5) Center on Society and Health 

(6) Bureau of Labor Statistics, (2015), Volunteering in the United States, 2014

(7) Baum, S., Jennifer, M., Payea, K., (2013); Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current population, Pew Research Center

(8) Carnevale, Smith and Strohl, “Help Wanted” at 13. full article

(9) In This Together: The Hidden Cost of Young Adult Unemployment (January 2014)

For more information on this news release, contact us.



Starbucks and Arizona State University expand Starbucks College Achievement Plan with 100% tuition coverage for every eligible U.S. Starbucks partner (employee)
Starbucks and Arizona State University expand Starbucks College Achievement Plan with 100% tuition coverage for every eligible U.S. Starbucks partner (employee)

Starbucks and Arizona State University created new online Retail Management Degree for partners who are part of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan

SEATTLE, 2015-1-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — Brand reputation, values-centered leadership, and ethical sourcing are components of a new online Retail Management Degree that Starbucks and Arizona State University created for partners who are part of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan, launched June of 2014, is a significant partnership with ASU that creates an opportunity for eligible Starbucks partners (employees) to finish a bachelor’s degree with full tuition reimbursement through the college’s top-ranked online degree program. Junior and senior students receive full tuition coverage to complete their degrees while freshmen and sophomores can access a combination of partial tuition scholarships and access to need-based financial aid.

Classes for the first spring session of 2015 started this week for more than 1,500 Starbucks partners. The term began with the new, customized Retail Management degree in addition to the 40-plus options ASU already offers.

“Finishing college while working is an unbelievable challenge and we are proud to partner with ASU on this new program to make a four year degree a reality for so many U.S. partners,” said John Kelly senior vice president of Global Responsibility and Public Policy.  “We hope Congress and the White House will learn from these private sector efforts to address college affordability.”

Customizing a retail degree for partners

“We have partners who want to stay with Starbucks and grow their careers in retail after they complete their education,” said Dayna Eberhardt, vice president of Global Learning. “This customized degree is meant to help teach them the kinds of skills they need to be successful in doing that.”

Eberhardt and her team defined five categories of learning that are important to Starbucks: people and team leadership; critical thinking and problem solving; business management; customer service; and sustainability. Drawing on classes ASU currently offers related to those key subject areas, Starbucks and the university’s W. P. Carey School of Business created the new retail degree.

Case studies from Starbucks business situations will be used in the classes, which are open to all ASU students. The next phase of the retail degree might include further customizing classes. For example, future course studies could include examining the challenges of balancing a premium brand with affordability or supply chain issues specific to Starbucks. Another possibility is inviting Starbucks leaders to be guest lecturers.

“It would be beneficial to get as close as possible to teaching our partners the specific skills they’d need to be successful at Starbucks,” said Eberhardt. “There are many exciting possibilities that would help our partners learn and apply valuable skills that are relevant to Starbucks.”

The first Starbucks College Achievement Plan graduate – ‘I’m proof it can be done’

Starbucks shift supervisor Kaede Clifford is open to new possibilities this year as the first graduate of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. Clifford has been a Starbucks partner for 13 years. During that time she’s moved from Seattle to Arizona to Germany then back to Washington state. With support from the Starbucks partner education benefit, she recently completed a degree she had started years earlier with ASU.

“I decided to take a semester off and that turned into six years,” Clifford said. “It was important to me to finish my degree. I wanted to finish something I started and also I know it will provide more opportunities to further my career.”

Clifford graduated summa cum laude in December with a BA in Mass Communication and Media Studies. The field interested her after years of being a Starbucks barista and communicating with thousands of customers.

“It’s been interesting watching how people interact with each other in a Starbucks store. It’s almost like a learning lab of its own,” she said.

One of her favorite classes was studying the evolution of digital communications from print, to radio, to television and online.

“It was difficult to take classes online at first. You do have to hold yourself accountable to studying, but I’m proof it can be done,” Clifford said.

For partners who are considering the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, Eberhardt suggested talking with an ASU enrollment coach who can answer questions about managing work, family and online study and can give specific tips about signing up for classes and a special week-long orientation program designed for Starbucks partners.

Partners, learn more about the Starbucks College Achievement Plan and Arizona State University.


For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.


Starbucks and Arizona State University created new online Retail Management Degree for partners who are part of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan

Starbucks and Arizona State University created new online Retail Management Degree for partners who are part of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan

More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University

SEATTLE, 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — A quick learner and natural leader, Lauren Esveld didn’t need a college education to get ahead.

She landed her first retail job at the age of 16 and began managing a store two years later. After a dozen years of increasing responsibility with a clothing retailer, she joined Starbucks four years ago as a district manager overseeing 13 stores in the Washington D.C. area.

Though she’s done well without a degree, Esveld is going back to school.

“You can have a good career, like I did, without going to college. But I’ve always believed a college education is extremely important,” she said. “Now I’m the mother of two boys and I want to set a good example for them.”

Esveld will soon be sitting around the family’s dining room table doing homework with her seven and nine year old sons. She’s among the 1,000 Starbucks partners (employees) who will begin classes through Arizona State University. They’re the first group of partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

“Our first cohort of partners are taking advantage of nearly all the 40 undergraduate degree programs available, with business and psychology as the most pursued,” said Cliff Burrows, group president, U.S, Americas, and Teavana. “I am looking forward to following this new and exciting journey our partners are about to embark on, and supporting and celebrating with them as they achieve their personal dreams.”

Starbucks announced a unique collaboration with ASU’s online degree program this summer. Partners based in the U.S. who work an average of at least 20 hours per week are eligible for the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

Starbucks chose ASU as its educational partner for two primary reasons: First, the university is committed to access for all academically qualified students, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances. Second, ASU has one of the best online education programs in the world, taught by the same faculty who teach on its campuses, and it has the experience and scale to support students with a variety of interests through a broad selection of degree programs.

Partners admitted to ASU as a junior or senior will earn full tuition reimbursement to complete their bachelor’s degree. Freshmen and sophomores will be eligible for a partial tuition scholarship and need-based financial aid toward two years of full-time study. Nearly 70 percent of partners enrolled through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan are continuing their education at the junior or senior level. In addition to financial support, Starbucks partners will have a dedicated enrollment coach, financial aid counselor and academic advisor.

“ASU is thrilled to welcome more than 1,000 Starbucks partners to the Sun Devil family. They come from nearly every state and their presence will greatly enrich our student body,” said ASU President Michael Crow. “The new university model that we are pioneering at ASU is focused on inclusivity and degree completion, and we are proud that this public-private partnership will enable Starbucks partners to achieve the dream of a college degree and the lifetime of advantages that an ASU education provides.”

Starbucks partners from nearly every state will begin classes when ASU’s online Fall B session begins on October 15, 2014. Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree include district managers, like Esveld, store managers and baristas.

Shawn Walker, a Starbucks barista in New York City, always intended on completing his college education in graphic information technology. He stopped one year short of the finish line. Loans added up and weighed him down.

“Not having a degree and having loan debt made me feel hopeless at times,” he said. “Now I have a different range of emotions. Now, I see that it’s possible for me to move my life forward. I am confident I will be successful doing something I love and this opportunity is a new beginning for me.”

Adding online education to work and family commitments will take careful planning, according to Mary Hamm, a 12-year Starbucks partner in Virginia who trains store managers and assistant managers.

When Hamm first heard about the Starbucks College Achievement Plan she thought it was an “exciting” benefit for other partners. But she couldn’t stop thinking about the prospect of completing a bachelor’s degree – something she wanted to do “someday” after her teenagers were finished with college.

Someday starts in a couple of weeks for Hamm. She begins her junior year through ASU while her oldest daughter is a freshman, studying biology, at a university in Virginia.

“I would never be able to do this without Starbucks. This is a blessing,” said Hamm. “With one child in college and another getting ready for college it would have been too expensive for me to take on another loan. This is absolutely huge. Starbucks and ASU are giving me so much.”

Hamm intends to give back. She’ll study project management to support her own development and the non-profit organization she started three years ago called Project Dominic. The group provides basic, daily necessities to homeless people in her local community.

“I’m finally able to do something I’ve wanted to do for so many years. Being able to finish my degree is one more reason why I love this company so much,” she said.

Partners from Starbucks and its family of companies – Teavana, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange and Seattle’s Best Coffee – are enrolled in nearly all of ASU’s undergraduate degree programs. The most popular fields of study for partners this semester are business, organi­­­­­­­­­­­zational leadership, psychology and education.

The Starbucks College Achievement Plan is one example of public-private partnerships Starbucks is fostering to create pathways to opportunity – both within the company and in communities. Other initiatives include: The Retail Excellence Training Program, launched with the Schultz Family Foundation and YouthBuild USA, to provide customer service skills through classroom and on-the-job experience in retail or café settings; Solutions City, a national initiative conceived by Starbucks and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to unite local leaders, non-profit organizations and businesses in solving community challenges through a series of meetings held in Starbucks stores.

For more information on this news release, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.


More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University

More than 1,000 Starbucks partners to take advantage of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan at Arizona State University