Workforce Edge Partners With Designer Brands, Inc. to Offer Employer-Paid Degree Options to Associates

Tuition assistance benefits platform will streamline access to employer-funded higher education programs for associates while providing full administration of tuition assistance benefits

Workforce Edge, a complete employee education management platform powered by Strategic Education, Inc., has partnered with Designer Brands, Inc., one of North America's largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories, to provide its full-time associates access to higher education options through Strayer University and Capella University that include pathways to degrees with tuition fully covered by Designer Brands, as well as online undergraduate and graduate programs in a network of public and private universities. The partnership is designed to encourage the professional and personal development of Designer Brands associates by reimbursing eligible educational expenses from some of the nation’s leading institutions.

In addition to low-to-no cost options at Strayer University or Capella University, full-time Designer Brands associates will have access to other programs and institutions through the Workforce Edge platform where they can use their $5,250 yearly allocation in tuition assistance funds. All U.S. full-time and part-time associates will have free access to Sophia Learning, an online, on-demand self-paced learning platform providing college-level general education courses, to help them kick start their education journey and pursue professional development, as well as other discounted tuition program options.

“We are proud to partner with Workforce Edge to offer our valued associates streamlined access to top-quality tuition assistance benefits and discounts, making it easier for our associates get to the next step of their career,” said David Giesman, vice president, Global Total Rewards, Designer Brands, “We’ve especially seen the flexibility online learning has provided to our associates – many of whom may be first-generation college students – as they pursue their degree, and we value their dedication towards continuous learning and growth.”

Workforce Edge will serve as the one-stop-shop portal for Designer Brands – which owns popular brands Designer Shoe Warehouse and Camuto Group – to administer and disburse tuition assistance benefits for their associates and to better understand their spend and return on investment.

“It is always encouraging when we see an innovative company like Designer Brands invest in the skill building and economic mobility of their workforce. We’re thrilled to partner with them,” said Karl McDonnell, president and CEO, Strategic Education, “With a best-in-class tuition assistance program administered through a user-friendly platform, Designer Brands will not only be positioned as an attractive employer, it will also help the company retain their highly skilled associates.”

Strategic Education supports more than 1,000 employer partners in their efforts to upskill and retain their workforce and provides a suite of groundbreaking education solutions to help employers stay one step ahead of their competition. Workforce Edge serves as a solution to help employers offer their workforce higher education options that are relevant, innovative and affordable. Since launching in January 2021, Workforce Edge has partnered with over 20 industry-leading employers to help administer tuition assistance benefits.

Companies interested in partnering with Workforce Edge can visit to learn more.

About Strategic Education, Inc.

Strategic Education, Inc. (NASDAQ: STRA) ( is dedicated to helping advance economic mobility through higher education. We serve working adult students globally through our core focus areas: 1) U.S. Higher Education, including Strayer University and Capella University, each institutionally accredited, and collectively offer flexible and affordable associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs including the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, and non-degree web and mobile application development courses through Strayer University’s Hackbright Academy and Devmountain; 2) Alternative Learning, encompassing Employer Solutions, developing and maintaining relationships with large employers; Workforce Edge, a full service, online employee education management platform; Sophia Learning, self-paced general education courses that are ACE-recommended for college credit; and Digital Enablement Partnerships, helping advance capabilities in course development, online delivery, and student support; and 3) Australia/New Zealand, comprised of Torrens University, Think Education, and Media Design School that collectively offer certificate and degree programs in Australia and New Zealand. This portfolio of high quality, innovative, relevant, and affordable programs and institutions helps our students prepare for success in today’s workforce and find a path to bettering their lives.


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