About Laurel College

Passion Led Us Here (Ian Schneider Photo)

“There is no substitute for hard work.”

— Thomas Edison

Laurel College is a school unlike any other you’ve ever seen — in fact, there’s nothing to see here at all! There are no lecture halls, no libraries, no football fields and no student union.

White Board (Jonathan Velasquez Photo)And that’s what makes us different. We’re a private-label institution of higher learning, which means that we partner with businesses large and small — from massive Fortune 500 corporations to the smallest two-person startups — to acknowledge the educational achievements you’ve made beyond the classroom.

According to a recent Lumina Foundation report, nearly 40% of working Americans have a college degree. With more than 120-million Americans currently employed fulltime, that means there are 72-million workers that either did not attend college or university, or didn’t graduate.

These workers, who make up the vast majority of our workforce and are in many ways the backbone of our economy, may not have had the opportunity for higher education. They may not have had sufficient grades or financial resources, or circumstances may have forced them to choose finding a job over earning a college degree. In the latter example, once you’ve found a job and begun raising a family, time becomes a greater factor and it is almost impossible to go back to school.

Instead, you receive your education at work — on the job training in the real-life “College of Hard Knocks.” And while you may get a lot of theory and “book learning” from school, nothing replaces the practical, hands-on instruction you gain by actually doing the work, day after day.

A report by Unbound explains that most colleges require 120 classroom credits to achieve a Bachelors degree.  Generally, one credit equals one hour of classwork plus two hours of homework each week over a 15-week semester, with most courses offering three credits per semester.

Course Credit Equation (Graphic)

The Course Credit Equation, as calculated by Unbound

Based on three credits per course, that works out to about nine hours of “work” per week.

Glass Tower (Joel Filipe)

Meanwhile, a person employed for at least 35 hours each week — the government’s definition of “full-time employment” — is quite often learning practical skills that cannot be taught behind the ivy-covered walls of academia. (This, of course, does not apply to doctors, pilots, and several other professions — nobody wants their surgeon or the person flying their plane to be learning as they go.)

And while that full-time employment may earn you something of great value, a weekly paycheck, it does not provide a tangible acknowledgment of the education achieved as part of the work process, and it does not recognize or validate the accomplishment.

So, how do you recognize your employees that have achieved a high level of education while working 9-to-5, five days a week, for you? Well, of course, you could give them a pay raise or an extra day or two of vacation, but that still isn’t a tangible symbol of their advanced level of training.

That’s where Laurel College steps in. Here’s some college-level math:

An employee working an eight-hour day, five days a week, fifty weeks each year (subtracting two weeks for vacation, but not counting any holidays or sick time, or overtime) could spend up to 2,000 hours on the job annually.

Books and Branch (Alex Loup Photo)If that same amount of time was spent in the classroom instead of the workplace, that four-year Bachelors Degree would be compressed into 675 days, or about 22 months.

But while college classwork may provide a specific level of education, no amount of classroom study can prepare a person for the specific real-world requirements — as well as the unique peculiarities — of actually doing the day-to-day work your business demands.

Laurel College is a way for you to acknowledge the educational experience that your employees earned by working for you. Right now, you are probably thinking of one or two (or several more) of your employees who are doing their jobs at the highest level. It could be a salesperson or an administrative assistant, a chef in your restaurant or the shipping manager responsible for getting your products out to your valuable customers.

Under our program, an employee who has devoted a minimum of two years of verifiable work with your business, and who has achieved at a level of success that you determine is at or above industry standards, is eligible for a certified degree causa honora from Laurel College.

The formula is quite simple:

Two years of continuous employment = Associate of the Arts Degree (A.A.)

Four years of continuous employment = Bachelor of the Arts Degree (B.A.)

Eight years of continuous employment = Master of the Arts Degree (M.A.)

Associate (or novice) degrees are not offered in all fields. In addition, doctorate-level degrees are also offered in several disciplines, with a minimum of twelve years of continuous experience at a verifiable advanced skill level. 

Our certified degree program works with you, the employer, to provide distinctive recognition to your valued employees that achieved levels of training and experience and helped make your organization a success!

Ready to get started? Put together your list of names — whether it’s one employee or several dozen — and click here to begin the simple process.

Are you experienced?
Click here.

Laurel Wreath


Passion Led Us Here: Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash. (And yes, it is from the sidewalk leading to Starbucks in Seattle!)
Whiteboard: Photo by Jonathan Velasquez on Unsplash.
Glass Tower: Photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash.
Books and Branch: Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash.