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2U, Inc. and Guild Education Partner to Expand Online Higher Education Opportunities for America’s Workforce

Written by 2U on Feb 23, 2021

Related content: Higher Education, Strategic Partnerships

Millions of working adults in the US to gain access to high-quality online degree programs, boot camps, and short courses from 2U’s network of 75+ non-profit college and university partners

LANHAM, MD. – February 23, 2021 Today, 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), a global leader in education technology, announced a partnership with Guild Education, a certified B-corp with a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education and upskilling, to make 2U-powered online offerings from the world’s great non-profit colleges and universities available to some of America’s leading companies. Employees of Guild’s employer partners will have access to a wide range of online short courses, boot camps, and degrees in career-relevant disciplines and subjects from across 2U’s portfolio.

“As companies strive to keep pace with rapid transformations in the economy, investing in the ongoing education and skills development of their workforce has become a critical part of ensuring future competitiveness,” said Christopher "Chip" Paucek, 2U Co-Founder and CEO. “Our new partnership will enable Guild’s growing network of employer partners to access world-class online degree and non-degree programs powered by 2U and unlock transformative educational opportunities for millions of workers across the nation.”

Guild’s innovative technology platform and tuition benefits model gives more than three million American workers access to affordable pathways to education through Fortune 1000 employers like Walmart, Chipotle, Lowe’s, The Walt Disney Company, and Discover Financial Services. With access to 2U’s portfolio, Guild can now offer its employer partners a broader range of online higher education programs to serve a wide range of learners.

In addition to online degree programs, the partnership with 2U will allow Guild’s employer partners to offer their employees access to non-degree programs, such as boot camps and short courses, in career-relevant topics such as DEI Leadership, Sustainability, Data Analytics, and Digital Marketing. These flexible, high-quality, non-degree programs have become even more important in the COVID era as demand for alternative credentials continues to rise, and more Americans look to shorter-term training opportunities as effective stepping stones for career advancement.

"Guild is focused on helping America's workforce access an affordable education, in partnerships with employers. The average college student takes on $29,000 in debt. Guild is proud to help its students avoid that debt, which is even more important considering our student demographics—54 percent of whom are people of color and 56 percent of whom are women—across all 50 states,” said Rachel Carlson, CEO of Guild Education. “As 2U helps top-notch colleges and universities come online, Guild is grateful to play an important role creating access to those schools for American workers across the US. This partnership will support our mission to drive down the cost of higher education, and importantly, help workers advance their education and career.”

2U partners with more than 75 non-profit colleges and universities, including Morehouse College, Michigan State University, Rice University, Simmons University, and UC Berkeley, among others, to power more than 500 digital programs, including undergraduate and graduate degrees, boot camps, and professional short courses designed for a range of learners. These offerings span more than 30 disciplines and align with 50 percent of the careers in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Jobs of 2021, from supply chain management to financial technology to healthcare administration,

According to PWC, 79 percent of CEOs worldwide cite their workforce skills gap as a top three concern. The 2U and Guild partnership will support forward-looking businesses that believe in education and upskilling as a strategic and cost-effective way to recruit talent, improve retention, and develop the talent and skills needed to drive future growth. Employees going back to school with support from Guild are more than 2x as likely to have a role change or promotion than their colleagues. Guild university partnerships also see lower turnover rates with Guild students—about 5 percent compared to the US average of 22 percent.

About 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU)

Eliminating the back row in higher education is not just a metaphor—it's our mission. For more than a decade, 2U, Inc., a global leader in education technology, has been a trusted partner and brand steward of great universities. We build, deliver, and support more than 500 digital educational offerings, including undergraduate and graduate degrees, professional certificates, Trilogy-powered boot camps, and GetSmarter short courses. Together with our partners, 2U has positively transformed the lives of more than 300,000 students and lifelong learners. To learn more, visit #NoBackRow

About Guild Education

Denver-based Guild Education is on a mission to unlock opportunity for America’s workforce through education and upskilling. Guild is a certified B-Corp, founded to bridge the gap between education and employment for the 88M working adults in the US in need of upskilling for the future of work. Guild's industry-leading technology platform allows the nation’s largest employers — including Walmart, The Walt Disney Company and Chipotle — to offer strategic education and upskilling to their employees, connecting them to a learning ecosystem of the nation's best universities and learning providers, with tuition paid by the company. Guild serves working learners from all 50 states, including 54% who are students of color and 56% female. Guild’s platform pairs technology and hands-on coaching to address common barriers to college access and success for working learners. Guild partners with employers to manage payment flows, data transfer, and benefits administration, while helping working adult learners go to school debt-free, with support services all the way through graduation. To date, Guild has helped working learners avoid more than $363 million in student debt.

Media Contact

Kate Welk, 2U, Inc.

Gwen Keefe, Guild Education

Learn more about us.

At 2U, we’re on a mission—to eliminate the back row in higher education and help universities thrive in the digital age. To learn more about who we are and what we do, follow the links below.