Wal-Mart Offers Its Employees Everyday Low Prices on College Degrees

I'm seriously considering immigrating to a 24-hour Wal-Mart. As far as I can tell, as soon as Wal-Mart starts offering sleeping pods, a fairly decent lower middle-class, middle-American life-cycle should be possible entirely within the confines of one of the megastores. I will get a job there, purchase my cheap organic produce in-house, pick up a gun if I want one, and buy everything else on the cheap. When I have kids, I will get Wal-Mart to put RFID chips in them, so that they will be easier to keep track of. When I am old, I will get my "women's medications" for osteoporosis at a massive discount. To sweeten the deal, Wal-Mart has announced it is getting into the college education biz:

The purveyor of inexpensive jeans and lawnmowers is dipping its toe into the online-education waters, working with a Web-based university to offer its employees in the United States affordable college degrees.

The partnership with American Public University, a for-profit school with about 70,000 online students, will allow some Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club employees to earn credits in areas like retail management and logistics for performing their regular jobs.

The university will offer eligible employees 15 percent price reductions on tuition, and Wal-Mart will invest $50 million over three years in other tuition assistance for the employees who participate....

“If 10 to 15 percent of employees take advantage of this, that’s like graduating three Ohio State Universities,” said Sara Martinez Tucker, a former under secretary of education who is now on Wal-Mart’s external advisory council. “It’s a lot of Americans getting a college degree at a time when it’s becoming less affordable.”

More on the joys and sorrows of getting a college degree online here.

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  • ||

    When the student loan bubble bursts, this kind of stuff is going to take over. Harvard and their like are the GMs of the education business. And it is about 1975. Give it 30 years and their time will have passed.

  • ||

    are the GMs of the education business.

    I'm really taking it on the chin today.

  • ||

    I hear that it wipes off easily with a towel.

    Rimshot!

  • ||

    You hear? Did you "hear" this from "a friend", JW? That reminds me, do you still have both your kidneys?

  • ||

    Forget it Groovus. I've already woken up in Tijuana, stitched up in an ice bath, one too many times already. You won't fool me again.

  • GM's accountant||

    A boat ain't cheap. Dr slice and dice needs the cash.

  • Forrest||

    And you wonder why you're not taken seriously on health care threads.

  • ||

    Prunes, Tulpa. Prunes.

  • ||

    For areas like "retail management and logistics", maybe. I seriously don't see physics, chemistry, or engineering degree programs working along the lines of that model. Even computer science is a stretch; it would work fine for the talented people, not so well for those who need lots of help.

  • ||

    Yeah, kind what assholes run Wal-Mart? Imagine a company setting up a program to help employees that also helps the Company.

    When I served my apprenticeship years ago, the only training I got was training related to my craft. No Geography, Philosophy or Literature. All it has helped me do is support myself and raise my family. The nerve of those people.

    It doesn't matter what Wal-Mart does, there will be those who will only condemn it.

  • ||

    When I served my apprenticeship years ago, the only training I got was training related to my craft.

    That's because you weren't getting a college degree, you were training for a trade. There's a difference. (Not implying one is better than the other, but just because a certain model works for one doesn't mean it works for the other).

    I'm not condemning anyone. Just pointing out that traditional universities are not going to be entirely replaced by online ones, well, ever.

  • ||

    Just watch, Mr. Predictor!

  • ||

    You are correct - not entirely

  • Whaaaa?||

    "It doesn't matter what Wal-Mart does, there will be those who will only condemn it."

    So long as what they do is cheap crap made by slaves bought by slaves - yes then I will only condemn it.

  • ||

    Right. And you all do realize that this post was written by a Yale graduate, right??

  • hmm||

    I'm a little confused. Are you complaining that a store is educating its employees and making money or are you just reporting on it?

    Are we supposed to be against cheaper education, Walmart in general, or the discount the store is giving it's employees on education? Or is this the usual knee jerk Walmart is evil taking over the world silliness? Cause there's an awful lot to hate Walmart for, I wouldn't put educating employees and people cheaply up there with it's TIFF abuse and cronyism.

  • nobody||

    Katherine likes Walmart.

  • ||

    I don't like Walmart because they sold me a pair of shorts with "used" toilet paper in one of the pockets last year.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Is that for real?

  • ||

    Horribly, horribly real.

    There are some fucked up people in this world, and some of them shop at Walmart.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Wow, that is disgusting. I don't shop at Wal-Mart because it's like shopping in a warehouse full of trailer trash.

  • ||

  • ||

    I don't shop at Wal-Mart because it's like shopping in a warehouse full of trailer trash.

    FTFY.

  • ||

    Damn! My strikethrough tag didn't work. Let me try it in another way.

    I don't shop at Wal-Mart because it's like shopping in a warehouse full of trailer trash.

    Correction: it IS shopping in a warehouse full of trailer trash.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Good point.

  • Jason||

    There is a preview button...

  • ||

    It does look better in italics.

  • ||

    That makes two of us.

  • ||

    It's terribly classist of me to say this, but I get a strong DMV feeling when I go to some Wal-Marts.

  • ||

    That comment may not make as much sense as it used to, in these days of computerized everything. Used to be, when you went to get your licensed renewed. . .well, you got to meet those people you see on shows like America's Most Wanted.

  • ||

    Makes perfect sense Pro'L Dib. I avoid Wally World like the plague. Parking is always terrible and the service is terrible. Last three times I went to one, different ones mind you, only two or three check out lanes were open. With no self-check out stations either.

    I am a Target fellow.

  • hmm||

    The logistic set up for lane check-out at the target nearest to me is fucking genius. From a logistic stand point the guy who came up with it deserves a nobel prize. Great way to solve the single line problem stores have to deal with.

  • ||

    I'll shop at Wal-Mart if they have the best price on an item, like a Blu Ray player or the like, but I generally shop at Targ-ay. It's closer anyway.

  • ||

    I usually shop at Costco -- much more upscale merchandise on average -- but the WalMart nearby isn't bad for some stuff if I'm already in the neighborhood.

  • ||

    Queuing policy at Wal-Mart is determined by a retarded rock.

    At my neighborhood store, they took away self-checkout, which means going through the incompetence line is mandatory.

  • SIV||

    Despite the name Target doesn't sell guns or ammo.
    SIV's guide to WalMart shopping
    Park near the garden center entrance. It's usually easier and close to parking lot exit. Enter main store through garden center. Now you are near the hardware,auto stuff, and most importantly sporting goods, this is where you buy cheap ammo (we'll do that on the way out)..The layout is a bit different store to store but you head opposite the garden department through housewares,clothing etc to get to the groceries. Beer is usually more expensive than elsewhere while spices,sauces,canned goods,condiments are the real bargains. Need a cart? You fail walMart shopping. You probably want a hand basket but many stores don't have them. I forget to tell you to get a plastic bucket back in the hardware/houseware section. Use this for a basket(discard at checkout without purchasing it. OK now we shop.Get what you need moving back to the garden center, put it in your bucket. Don't buy DVDs, use bit torrent. When you are back to the ammo place purchases on the ground and get someone to open the case or go behind the counter for you(sporting goods is often unmanned someone at the auto service counter can help or knows who will). Select ammo, if they have WWB 100 rd bulk pack .45 or .380 buy a box even if you don't need it.They want to ring up the ammo in sporting goods so pay for everything else there too, no waiting.Leave store, if you need something from the garden center (charcoal is always a good deal) go back in and get some. Now leave WalMart.

    If you don't own guns or have plenty of ammo you can check the whole store out at a electronics,sporting goods or jewelry department register and never have to stand in line up front with your fellow proles)

    Multiple quick expedited trips to WM is much better than one long shopping excursion. You'll have a better chance of scoring some cheap ammo too.

  • SIV||

    I forgot to add when everything is rung up except the bucket you say "I don't want the bucket" and set it down.

  • ||

    Ironically, they still don't smell as bad as Whole Foods.

  • ||

    Your average Pet Smart smells better than Whole Foods.

  • SIV||

    I'd have to wear a hazmat suit to go in a PetSmart. Even if I'm very careful where I step and hold my breath as much as possible I want to shower immediately after and throw away my shoes.

  • ||

    I assume your line of work has given you plenty of colorful smell stories to tell, but the closest I can come is the time I was doing Wafers on Wheels for my parish and had to do the Body of Christ thing for an old woman in a nursing home who had just taken a projectile dump on the floor of her room which none of the orderlies seemed particularly interested in cleaning up.

  • ||

    I assume your line of work has given you plenty of colorful smell stories to tell,

    Worst medical smells:

    1) Charred or putrifed flesh.

    2) Fournier's gangrene.

    3) Gastric bleed, latent w/emesis.

    4) Infected abscess (subdermal, necrotic).

    5) Stools associated with ulcerative colitis or C. difficile.

  • hmm||

    Burnt flesh by far. You can't get rid of the smell. You can scrub the putrid rotting smell out. The charred smell seems to stick to everything.

  • ||

    No, charred flesh is a bit unpleasant, but bears no relation whatsoever to Fournier's gangrene or perirectal abscess. It's just Bovie smoke, after all. During residency I did a trauma on a Saturday where a code brown occurred near the end of the case. The smell was still noticeable on Monday morning outside that room.

  • ||

    The DMV is a step up.

  • ||

    Not to mention that participation is VOLUNTARY, and only for those employees with a sustained good work record.

    I think the people taking these classes will actually get a useful education that will help them make more money.

  • Almanian||

    “If 10 to 15 percent of employees take advantage of this, that’s like graduating three Ohio State Universities.”

    I always suspected OSU was a "WalMart" education.

  • hmm||

    Given it's size I'd say it's pretty close.

    (that has a tinge of Sarcasm you nutty people)

  • ||

    Yes, interesting that Ohio State was the example used. Can this be explained. . .Timon19?

  • hmm||

    OSU is the nations largest university by student population. 50kish

  • ||

    Yes, yes, I know, I used to have to park there every day of the work week, but I choose to believe the analogy was based on something else.

  • hmm||

    I choose to believe in unicorns and rainbows.

    I'm sorry you had to live in ComeBlowUs.

  • ||

    It's not a bad town, but it's not exactly thrilling, either. And there's something odd about a city of that size (and a state capitol to boot!) being a college town.

  • hmm||

    Whatever helps you sleep at night.

  • ||

    Well, I'm just saying that there are worse places than Columbus. I live in a much better place now--in my opinion--but there are some real pits in this country.

  • libertytexan||

    Austin is almost exactly the same size and UT is only slightly smaller so its not that odd.

  • hmm||

    Arizona is large too.

  • ||

    Is Austin that large? I always thought of it as more Tallahasseeish. Not having been there, I have no basis for that assumption.

  • EJM||

    Yes, Austin (the one in Texas) is very large now--although I still think first of the one in Minnesota.

  • ||

    That's funny. When I lived in Minneapolis, one of my employees was from Austin. I think his family was pretty big in the Hormel operation, because he pushed Spam on me. That's some nasty shit.

  • In Time Of War||

    Fry it.

  • Joe Cairke||

    You must have gone to Wright State. In any case, kiss my ass.

  • ||

    How competitive would the WalMart football team (The Priceslashers) be? I'm pretty sure they could mop up the Ivy League, but how would they bare against the major conferences?

    This would be a good helmet logo.

  • ||

    Say, there's no legal reason why a college has to run its sports under the NCAA, is there?

  • Mo||

    Not legally, but contractually no NCAA team will play a non-NCAA team.

  • ||

    Yes, but that does leave open the door for a competing league. A league with paid student-athletes.

  • hmm||

    It's called the NBA GED program.

  • ||

    I'm think these new retailer universities could field a competing league of paid players.

  • Wesley||

    Not legally, but contractually no NCAA team will play a non-NCAA team.

    I don't know about other sports, but NCAA basketball teams play NAIA basketball teams all the time.

  • Almanian||

    Love the logo

  • ||

    Didn't Frito in Idiocracy get his law degree from Wal-Mart?

  • ||

    I thought it was Costco.

  • ||

    ...brought to you by Carl's Jr.

  • Costco Employee||

    I love you.

  • ||

    There's that fag-talk again.

  • ||

    Who's up for Starbuck's?

  • ||

    I take it that the unions are already hard at work at institutions that will rapidly remove this knowledge from your melon?

    No, not Congress. We already have that.

  • ||

    I'm more of a Target guy.

  • ||

    Elitist!

  • ||

    It's true.

    Where does Kohl's fit into the retail caste system? I don't want to aim too low.

  • Astrid||

    Above Target and Wal-Mart, I believe.

  • ||

    Not at the prices I pay using the store CC.

  • ||

    Definitely above Wal-Mart. I'm not sure about Target.

  • ||

    Nah, different market. It's more like a teensy Sears without tools, or crappy version of JC Penny's.

  • ||

    Hmm, yes, I suppose JC Penney has to be considered, too, as it is also mammoth.

  • Astrid||

    I find JC Penny's to be crappier than Kohl's, but that could be because Kohl's actually caries clothing for women under fifty.

  • ||

    Okay, so the hierarchy of large retailers is--

    * Target/Kohl's
    * JC Penney
    * Wal-Mart

  • ||

    Sears?

  • ||

    Does Sears still exist? If so, I deem them above Wal-Mart but below Penney's.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    What about K-Mart & Pamida?

  • ||

    Nonentities in the big game.

  • TP||

    "Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears poncho?"

    -FZ

  • ||

    I don't go much above the Salvation Army Thrift Store level in that hierarchy. Except for underwear and socks, which I refuse to compromise on.

  • Entitled Slacker||

    shoutout for Marshalls and TJ Max.

  • TP||

    Macy's???????

  • hmm||

    May Company?

  • ||

    Fuck them. They killed Hechts and replaced it with the shitty Macy's. I used to buy all of my clothes at Hechts, but Macy's can pound sand.

  • Libertytexan||

    What about Dillards and Foleys/Macys

  • EJM||

    Shopko?

  • ||

    I was going to write off Macy's as not big enough, but I'm suddenly not sure.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    I think Macy's is owned by the same corporation that owns Younker's & Bloomingdale's if I remember correctly.

  • ||

    Federated. Unless they've changed names.

  • ||

    What, no Bon-Ton or Carson Pirie Scott? We do cater to a de-classe clientele here at Reason, don't we.

  • EJM||

    FYI (thanks to Wikipedia)...

    The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., also currently includes Bergner's, Boston Store, Carson Pirie Scott, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's, Parisian, and Younkers.

    The current Macy's, Inc., is the official successor of Federated Department Stores and also includes the former May Department Stores.

  • TP||

    Neiman Marcus is the top, baby. Any questions?

  • ||

    Macy's took over Marshall Field's too, the bastids. And in an extra effort to piss off Chicagoans, changed the name -- a New York boot stomping on a Chicago face, forever.

  • ||

    To be sure, we're just talking big box here.

  • TP||

    Big box? That would be Ikea. They got some big fucking boxes in that store. Always bring a friend with a good back.

  • TP||

    Ever since Wanamaker's was sold, nothing really matters.

  • Attorney||

    Being an on-line professor sounds like a fun gig for those retirement years.

  • Old Mexican||

    The purveyor of inexpensive jeans and lawnmowers is dipping its toe into the online-education waters, working with a Web-based university to offer its employees in the United States affordable college degrees.

    If that is not an indication that Walmart is an evil profit-seeking corporation [compared to government which is populated by angels), I don't know what else is needed...

    ::Rolling my eyes to show my disgust for Statist dolts::

  • ||

    I'm seriously considering immigrating to a 24-hour Wal-Mart.

    You should check out the short story "The Next Big Thing" by Stephen Milhauser. He has a decidedly less romantic view of such a concept, but it's still a cool story.

  • ||

    You should check out the short story "The Next Big Thing" by Stephen Milhauser.

    Got a link to that? All I could find was a subscription-only version at that statist rag, Harper's Magazine.

  • cynical||

    More of a Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong fellow, myself.

  • celtigirl||

    +10

  • SIV||

    or Thomas M. Disch's excellent story "Descending" with the one-way department store escalator

  • ||

    Wal Mart is amazing, sounds like you have a pretty good plan to me dude.

    Lou
    www.big-bro-watching.tk

  • ||

    I guess I'm just not as cultured as the rest of you guys, but I like Wal-Mart/Sam's-Club. They've both saved me so much money over the years...
    God bless Sam Walton!

    I'm sure it's heavily dependent upon your locale, but my local Target (Santa Fe) is no better in terms of clientel. The store may be a little cleaner, but Target just doesn't have the selection that Wal-Mart does.

  • hmm||

    Oh I love Sams. They have the best t-shirts.

  • ||

    BJ's kicks Sam's butt.

  • ||

    For some reason, my local Target's red/tan color scheme makes me feel claustrophobic. It's probably something the Evil Empire put in all those $4 giant turkey subs I bought at Walmart during my grad school days.

  • Some Guy||

    How long has it been there? I prefer to avoid going to any WalMart that is more than 5 years old.

    When they are new they care for some period of time, then it just goes further and further downhill. WalMart is basically on the same rung as McDonald's when it come to employment, and they get what they pay for.

    I have no philosophical aversion to their business model, I'd just as well spend and extra 1% on a shopping trip in order to not feel like I had just been to a third world country.

  • SIV||

    Only old WalMarts sell guns.Newer stores don't.

  • ||

    That's what GanderMtn is for.

  • Ryan||

    Not true i work in a store built not even a year ago and we carry rifles...

  • Ted||

    Yeah, just avoid all those darkies, wetbacks and poor white trash.

  • ||

    I find the best way to shop at WalMart is between 3 to 5 in the morning. They've got most of the stocking and done and most of the local freakazoid shoppers have gone home to bed by then. Plus, no kids.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    The problem with that is that there'll be one checkout lane open. Just one. And they'll be JUST ENOUGH other shoppers there that you'll still have to wait in line at least 15 minutes.

  • ||

    I'm the only one on this thread who's actually WORKED for Walmart (and K-mart,.....and Sears,...); Trust Me, they treat employees like shit. I AM a Libertarian,- I don't want the state to step in, yadda, yadda, yadda. It doesn't change the fact that 90% of the people I know who've worked there despise the place. It isn't for nothing, that they keep getting hit with class action suits.
    K-mart? Sears? Target? the 1st two are heading down the toilet (after merging, they didn't resolve ANY of the problems that forced K into ch.11, and are killing Sears.
    I guess its an instructive lesson; Targets' suffering right now, Walmarts doing fine (targets' employee- friendly).

  • SIV||

    SWOT
    Didn't Sears kill the catalogue circa 1994? In some alternate history they could have killed Amazon in the cradle. All it would have required was vision.Classic example of failure to build upon your original business model.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    I've worked for Walmart. For the most part it was all right. There were a couple of managers here and there who were complete dumbasses, but their bosses generally had their heads on straight.

    I found that for the most part employees are treated pretty well, and I was paid very well for being 19, in school, with not a whole lot of work experience.

  • Kolohe||

    The alt text snark 'I got my associate's degree in logistics' is a miss. The 'art and science' of supply chain management has been one of the most important developments in the business world over the last two decades, and in some ways since Henry Ford.

  • Kolohe||

    what I'm saying is, if I needed to move a couple hundred people and supplies to say clean up and oil spill, provide humanitarian assistance in Haiti or Guatemala, or heck, just put on a wine festival, I would be looking for someone with an associates in logistics well before someone with a bachelor's in political science and philosophy.

  • ||

    Douchebags with useless lib arts educations from expensive universities assume that the things they consume get to the stores via storks and rainbow unicorns.

  • -||

    Who said libertarians could not also be elitists?

  • ||

    Please quit your current job, join Walmart, and start enjoying all the benefits. Please blog about your wonderful new life. Looking forward to it...you condescending putz.

  • tgb1000||

    What are the actual chances that the author, a graduate of Yale, will want her children to attend WalMart University? And if she ever needs brain surgery, and must choose between an Ohio State University med school grad or one from WalMart U, which will she pick?

  • ||

    Didn't you go to Yale, you vile harpy? Let me guess, Wal-Mart is good enough for them

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