North Island College and McDonald’s announce credit agreement program

McDonald’s employees on Vancouver Island have a new post-secondary education opportunity in their midst.

The world’s largest fast-food chain and North Island College announced a new credit agreement program on Nov. 30 in Courtenay.

Under the agreement, McDonald’s employees can obtain up to 24 credits (eight classes worth) towards NIC’s Bachelor of Business Administration degree if they’ve completed all of the management training modules offered through the restaurant.

This means McDonald’s employees can save more than $2,300 in tuition if they enroll in the community college’s business administration program.

“This agreement recognizes the training and development our managers undertake during their time working at McDonalds,” said Stuart Aldred, the owner and operator of the Comox Valley’s four McDonald’s restaurants. “NIC has looked at our curriculum and they’ve matched it with the curriculum they offer in their business program.”

The agreement was signed last summer and implemented this fall.

NIC president John Bowman says the program will save new students time and money, as 24 credits are the equivalent of one-fifth of the college’s business administration program.

“The high-quality training that McDonald’s offers is equivalent to much of our first-year business program, so we’re happy to be able to certify it on behalf of the college,” he said.

The first person to participate in the program is 24-year-old Brandon Sawyer, who has worked at McDonald’s for eight years in various capacities. Sawyer enrolled at NIC this fall.

“With the McDonald’s training, it really set me up for this course. I actually found a couple of the courses [this semester] were very similar to the McDonald’s training,” he said.

Bowman said that with more than 30 McDonald’s restaurants located throughout Vancouver Island, participation in the new agreement is expected to grow.

“The numbers are still small because it’s in its first semester, but it’s expected to grow in the years to come,” he said.

“There are potentially hundreds who can access the program.”

Correction: A previous version of this article insinuated there are more than 80 McDonald’s restaurants on Vancouver Island. There are closer to 30 restaurants.

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