UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new partnership between Penn State and the convenience store chain Sheetz provides education benefits to the company’s employees, an initiative aimed at helping them complete their college degrees.
Through the agreement, Sheetz employees and their spouses and legal dependents are eligible for a 5 percent tuition reduction on undergraduate and graduate degree programs through online or in-person learning at select campuses. The agreement helps further Penn State’s commitment to expanding access to higher education.
The benefits can be used at Penn State World Campus, which is the University’s online campus, as well as Penn State Altoona and Penn State Great Valley, which are two of the University’s Commonwealth Campuses.
The agreement also provides webinars designed for Sheetz employees and access to admissions and student services. Employees and their family members must apply for admission and be accepted to receive the benefits.
Sheetz is an Altoona, Pennsylvania–based, family-owned chain with 20,000 employees and 600 locations in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.
“Day in and day out, Sheetz strives to create a place where employees know they are valued and have the chance to grow,” said Sheetz President/COO Travis Sheetz. “We are proud to partner with Penn State Altoona and Penn State World Campus to offer our employees new educational and growth opportunities.”
Sheetz is the latest organization to partner with Penn State World Campus through its Education Alliance program. There are more than 300 businesses and organizations in the Education Alliance, which seeks to make a Penn State education more accessible to employees of companies around the country.
The Sheetz partnership allows employees and their immediate family members to use the tuition reduction benefit at any of three Penn State campuses that are most convenient for them.
Penn State World Campus
Employees who want an online education can apply to Penn State World Campus, which for years has been ranked consistently in the top 10 of U.S. News and World Report’s best online program rankings.
Penn State World Campus offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs online in fields such as business, health care, human resources, information technology, and more.
“The Penn State World Campus Education Alliance helps make a college degree an attainable reality for working professionals, and we welcome Sheetz as a partner of our program,” said Renata Engel, vice provost for online education at Penn State. “Penn State World Campus understands the flexibility needed by adult learners as they balance work and family responsibilities. We are pleased to partner with Sheetz in support of their employees to pursue their educational goals.”
Sheetz employees who have credits from another university can consult with Penn State World Campus staff to determine how to complete their degree. World Campus staff will also work with employees who want to start a new undergraduate or graduate degree. As Penn State World Campus students, the employees would have access to other academic services, such as tutoring and career counseling.
Penn State Altoona
Sheetz employees in Central Pennsylvania who prefer to learn at a campus can apply the tuition reduction to the tuition rates at Penn State Altoona. The campus offers 23 undergraduate majors, including degree programs in business, IT, nursing, and more.
“Penn State Altoona is honored to be part of the corporate partnership among the Sheetz Corporation, Penn State Altoona, and Penn State World Campus,” said Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry, Penn State Altoona’s chancellor and dean. “Penn State Altoona has a long history of collaborating with communities and businesses in our surrounding area, and we are proud of these relationships, including our relationship with Sheetz.”
Bechtel-Wherry said the campus’s relationship with Sheetz is a symbiotic one. The company was founded in Altoona, and several members of its senior leadership team serve on various Penn State Altoona boards. In addition, campus officials work closely with Sheetz leaders to create opportunities for students, such as arranging internships at the company and designing class projects to assist Sheetz in its business endeavors.
Bechtel-Wherry said the ongoing philanthropy of Steve Sheetz, chairperson of Sheetz’s CLI Transport, and his wife, Nancy Sheetz, has helped transform the lives of many Penn State Altoona students. The Sheetz family has contributed scholarship support and created the Sheetz Fellows Program.
“The Sheetz company was founded in our city, and we enjoy a strong partnership with Sheetz,” Bechtel-Wherry said. “Penn State Altoona is the first Commonwealth Campus to enter into such an agreement with Sheetz, and we are pleased with our continued partnership with them.”
Sheetz employees located in the Delaware Valley of Pennsylvania or southern area of New Jersey may also apply their tuition reduction benefit toward a graduate degree or certificate through the Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies, which is located in Malvern, Pennsylvania.