The brilliant business move all universities should know about

Starbucks’ partnership with Arizona State University could herald an effective way for students to get meaningful degrees–and turn a university into a powerhouse.

Sean Wandzilak /

The announcement this weekend that Starbucks is partnering with Arizona State University to offer free online college degrees to thousands of its baristas raised a number of questions. First and foremost: Arizona State who?

In unveiling its new “College Achievement Plan,” Starbucks put the spotlight on ASU, calling it one of the “most forward-looking universities in the country.” It illuminated an aggressively growing public university in the Phoenix metropolitan area that has been quietly earning academic standing and a reputation for innovation. What probably helped cement the deal is that the university’s sense of civic responsibility matches that of the coffee company.

We don’t want to heap too much praise on Starbucks Corp., as it still make a tidy fortune on the backs of thousands of low-paid workers slinging extra-caffeinated beverages and baked goods. The company reported a profit for the three-month period that ended March 30 of $427 million.…Read More

Top 5 online computer science master’s degree programs

The University of Illinois had the top-ranked program this year.

The unveiling of Georgia Tech’s massive open online course (MOOC)-based computer science master’s degree, offered for about one-sixth the cost of the university’s traditional computer science master’s program, reflects the economic demand for computer-related jobs, Georgia Tech officials and technologists said.

A recent study from the job search website CareerCast pegged software engineer as the top job of 2012, based on criteria including salary, hiring outlook, stress levels, and work environment. Seven computer-related jobs made the CareerCast top jobs of 2012.

No institution will compete with Georgia Tech’s $7,000 Udacity- based computer science program — not yet, anyway — but many universities have seen their web-based comp-sci courses gain prestige over the past few years. compiled a list of the country’s top online computer science master’s degree programs, as seen below, along with varying tuition costs from one school to the next.…Read More

Indiana forms state branch of private online college

Nearly 20,000 students are already taking classes through Western Governors University, including nearly 300 in Indiana
Nearly 20,000 students are taking classes through WGU, including nearly 300 in Indiana.

A new agreement between the state of Indiana and a private online university will allow Indiana residents to use state scholarships to pay for tuition at the computer-based program. The arrangement is the first of its kind, but it could signal the beginning of a larger trend in higher education.

WGU Indiana is a new branch of Western Governors University, a private, nonprofit university designed for working adults trying to earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says he considers WGU Indiana, established June 11 when Daniels signed an executive order, to be the eighth state university—although it is technically a private program and will not get state funding like other colleges.

Daniels said WGU Indiana will help adults earn degrees at their own pace and on their own schedule.…Read More