Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, associate professor of food studies in Falk College, was interviewed for the Syracuse.com story “Why aren’t NY farm workers in the Covid-19 vaccine line?” Minkoff-Zern, an expert on the intersections of food and social justice, comments on the…
United Technologies Names SU “Preferred University” for Employee Scholar Program
Syracuse University and United Technologies Corp., headquartered in Hartford, Conn., have entered into a unique relationship to provide academic degree programs to UTC employees who would enroll as part-time students. This is a “preferred supplier” relationship that supports UTC’s Employee Scholar Program.
Deborah A. Freund, vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, and UTC’s Stephen A. Bieglecki, director of technical education, signed the one-year agreement in April.
As a UTC preferred university, SU agrees to grant UTC Employee Scholars a scholarship equivalent to 10 percent of the published tuition rate. In return, UTC gives various incentives for employee-students to enroll at SU. As a preferred supplier, SU will be listed on the Learning Portal of the UTC web page and profiled as the University of the Month in the future. The preferred supplier status also enables SU to post program information on UTC division web sites.
Started in 1996, the Employee Scholar Program is the brainchild of UTC Chair and Chief Executive Officer George David, whose goal is “to have the best educated work force on the planet.” This spring, the Christian Science Monitor identified UTC as one of the most generous employee educational assistance programs in the country.
“Not only is the Employee Scholar Program an excellent tool for recruiting new employees, but we have discovered that the retention rate of those involved is also most impressive,” said Bieglecki. “We are delighted to take advantage of the high-quality distance education and other flexible opportunities for part-time study offered by Syracuse University.”
The company’s 2002 goal is to have 20 percent of its work force worldwide pursuing their education through the Employee Scholar Program that encourages eligible employees to develop additional skills and engage in lifelong learning at public or private colleges and universities. Currently, 17 percent of the company’s U.S. work force participates, well above the national average.
“Syracuse University stands ready to advance the educational objectives of UTC through our commuter and distance education programs,” said Freund. Part-time students typically register through SU’s continuing education division, known as University College.
Last May, University College awarded the 2001 Employer Service Citation to Carrier Corp., a Syracuse-based division of UTC. This recognized the company’s generous educational policy for employees and its direct support of employees in various SU part-time programs over many years. Currently, UTC supports the continued education of about 100 employees through SU’s local and distance education degree programs in a variety of fields. Several are resuming their studies and working toward their first degree, while many others are completing master’s degrees. In the past, for many years, SU faculty taught graduate engineering courses at Carrier facilities.
Globally, more than 12,000 UTC employees have taken college classes through the Employee Scholar Program that pays 100 percent of the costs for eligible employees, both in the United States and internationally, who go back to school at regionally accredited educational institutions. The reimbursement covers registration, tuition, required textbooks and academic fees for courses leading to a degree. Employees can enroll in classes and obtain a degree in any field, whether or not it is related to their jobs
The company provides paid time off for qualified academic pursuits. The company awards UTC common stock or UTC stock options to employees for successful completion of degree requirements: shares or options equal to $10,000 when a bachelor’s or graduate degree is awarded, shares or options equal to $5,000 when an associate’s degree is awarded, plus the shares or options equal to $5,000 when the bachelor’s is completed. So far, more than 9,000 employees have earned degrees and the company has paid nearly $280 million in school costs and stock awards.