TSU, Amazon partnership to provide college education for employees in Career Choice program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University and Amazon have partnered to provide the company’s hourly employees an opportunity to take college courses as a part of the Career Choice tuition assistance program. Career Choice is part of Amazon’s $1.2 billion commitment to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025. The program offers opportunities for employees to earn associate and bachelor’s degrees or certificates for specialized training. TSU joins the growing list of historically black college and university (HBCUs) nationwide participating in the program and is the only one in Tennessee in the Career Choice network.

President Glenda Glover

“We are pleased that our existing relationship with Amazon has grown into this new partnership where Tennessee State University will train and educate hundreds of Amazon’s employees through the Career Choice initiative to help enhance job skills and advance their careers,” said TSU President Glenda Glover.

“TSU has the resources for Amazon employees to flourish and complete any of our academic programs with dedicated faculty and staff who are committed to seeing them succeed and graduate.”

Beginning this fall, Amazon will pre-pay tuition for employees to pursue courses – online or in person – from bachelor’s degrees to certifications at TSU that lead to in-demand jobs. The company accounts for nearly 30,000 employees in Tennessee, with several fulfillment centers.  A new downtown office is expected to bring more than 5,000 tech and corporate jobs to Nashville.

“We’re looking forward to Tennessee State University coming on board as an education partner for Career Choice, adding to the hundreds of best-in-class offerings available to our employees,” said Tammy Thieman, Global Program Director of Amazon’s Career Choice program. 

“We’re committed to empowering our employees by providing them access to the education and training they need to grow their careers, whether that’s with us or elsewhere. We have intentionally created a partner network of third-party educators and employers committed to providing excellent education, job placement resources, and continuous improvements to the experience. Today, over 130,00 Amazon employees around the world have participated in Career Choice and we’ve seen first-hand how it can transform their lives.”

Dr. Verontae L. Deams, with TSU’s Enrollment Management, said the new partnership is part of the University’s commitment to helping companies build their workforce and provide opportunities for professional growth and development. 

“With this partnership, Amazon employees will have access to a range of educational programs designed to help them acquire new skills, enhance their existing skill set, and place them on the track of upward mobility through higher education,” said Deams, who serves as assistant vice president and university registrar.

“Whether an Amazon employee is enrolling as a first-time freshman or transfer student, TSU is here to help that individual obtain an undergraduate degree or certification. We are committed to all of our students from application to graduation.”  

Since launching in 2012, Amazon Career Choice has connected with hundreds of schools across 14 countries to assist with its employees’ future career success. To date, more than 130,000 Amazon employees have participated in Career Choice.

LoLita Toney, TSU’s assistant vice president of Institutional Advancement, serves as the liaison for the partnership with Amazon. She said the Career Choice benefit addresses the barrier of cost that many students face in their pursuit of a college degree.

“We’re honored Amazon selected TSU as a partner,” she said. “Together, TSU and Amazon are providing educational opportunities that will have a lasting positive impact on individuals and their families.  We’re excited about the collaboration and look forward to welcoming Amazon associates to Big Blue.”

Amazon employees interested in Career Choice should visit the company’s designated portal and complete a TSU application as well.  

Vist the Amazon Career Choice portal here: https://atoz.amazon.work/career_choice/welcome

For the TSU application, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/admissions/apply.