Extra Space Storage Inc., a self-storage real estate investment trust (REIT) and third-party management company, has partnered with Western Governors University (WGU) to develop an education program designed to help its employees earn a bachelor’s degree. A joint scholarship program offering allotments of up to $2,500 per year will provide access to the WGU College of Business and College of IT degree programs at minimal cost, according to the source.
“This program will set the standard for what company-sponsored, higher-education programs can be,” said Spencer Stewart, WGU’s vice president of strategic partnerships. “Our commitment to preparing today’s students for the future of work is good for individuals, good for employers and good for the economy; and we're proud to be part of Extra Space's investment in its employees’ success.”
WGU awards degrees based on a student’s ability to demonstrate mastery of a series of competencies, skills and knowledge recognized by employers as crucial to career success. This approach enables students to progress through the program as quickly as possible, accelerating through material they learn quickly or already know from work or previous educational experience. It also ensures that what they’re learning along the way is workforce-relevant, the source reported.
“Extra Space Storage is committed to the success of our employees. We want team members to bring passion, innovation and excellence to work every day to help our customers to a better tomorrow,” said Clint Halverson, vice president of people for Extra Space. “Our employees can only be their best if they personally reach that better tomorrow. We are excited for this new partnership because WGU does education differently. It is this innovative attitude that makes them an excellent partner for Extra Space Storage. Their unique and individually customized approach to learning will be a huge asset as Extra Space employees strive to be their personal best.”
In April, Extra Space was named to the 2019 list of “America's Best Midsize Employers” by “Forbes” magazine. It ranked 194 out of 500 listings. It was also recognized among the top five Utah-based businesses and the only self-storage company on the list.
“Earning my degree through Western Governors University was one of the best career decisions I've made. I needed something that I could schedule around my job and family, and wanted to feel like I worked hard and earned a degree. WGU delivered,” said Lainie Ottley, a payroll supervisor for Extra Space. “Many of the courses were incredibly challenging, but I got through them with perseverance and the help, of course, and student mentors. My work experience and prior knowledge allowed me to get through other classes quickly and easily. The time and effort were definitely worth it because earning a degree has already allowed me to advance my career at Extra Space."
Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable higher education online, nonprofit WGU now serves more than 117,000 students nationwide and has more than 155,000 graduates in all 50 states. It’s accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Extra Space owns or operates 1,752 self-storage properties nationwide and in Puerto Rico. The company’s properties comprise approximately 1.2 million units and 134 million square feet of rentable space.
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