Ivy Tech student Sarah Stout (left) and graduate Naomi Craven (center) join Mike Stieglitz, owner of McDonald’s in Bedford, Ind. and other locations, to talk about how Archways to Opportunity helped them pay their Ivy Tech tuition.

INDIANAPOLIS — McDonald’s and Ivy Tech Community College launched an alliance to make earning a college degree more affordable by offering tuition-assistance and future job training opportunities to employees at more than 300 McDonald’s of Indiana locations. Ivy Tech has 18 campuses and 40 sites across the state.

Through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program, restaurant employees who work a minimum of 90 days at 15 hours per week are now 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 is offering crosswalk credits to McDonald’s restaurant employees for some on-the-job experience, plus individualized counseling – enabling them to earn an associate 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 in Indiana as we can to take advantage of this tuition assistance program. This strengthens all of our communities throughout the state.”

Ivy Tech’s crosswalk effort will enable McDonald’s employees to work with an Ivy Tech counselor to determine which of their McDonald’s training and work experiences could turn into credits that count toward earning a certification or associate degree. The flexibility of Ivy Tech having classes online, in-person, at night, during the day and close to home, will give employees the option to complete coursework on a schedule that works for them.

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 McDonald’s employees who are pursuing upward mobility at their jobs and we expect this partnership to encourage even more employees to sign up, and at the same time, assist in recruiting new McDonald’s employees and Ivy Tech students,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann.  “Each Ivy Tech campus will dedicate an advisor to McDonald’s students. We are committed to helping each and every employee further their education and achieve their desired educational goals.”

“This is the exact kind of forward-thinking partnership that enables Indiana to develop a skilled and ready workforce,” said Governor Eric Holcomb. “The combined strength of these two great entities will enable thousands of students to pursue their dreams and simultaneously help keep Indiana’s economy moving full steam ahead.”

Whether crew members plan to enjoy a career at McDonald’s or in another industry, the skills learned at McDonald’s restaurants are transferrable to a variety of career paths.

To learn more about the McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity education program, visit any Indiana McDonald’s or the Archways to Opportunity website (archwaystoopportunity.com) or visit Ivy Tech’s website (ivytech.edu/mcdonalds).

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.