Grand Rapids Community College, McDonald's forge historic articulation agreement

April 15, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College and McDonald’s have partnered to form an articulation agreement that provides restaurant employees in various roles the opportunity to earn college credit toward an associate degree.

The credits will be applicable in degree programs such as business administration, and management and supervision. McDonald’s employees in managerial roles who are enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College can earn up to 6 college credits for prior learning gained through the McDonald’s managerial training program, or their work in shift, department or general management.

“Partnering with McDonald’s is an exciting opportunity to make a college education more accessible and affordable for our students who already are in the workplace learning valuable skills that will help them continue to excel and succeed in their career pathway,” said GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender. “Whether their goal is to earn a college degree or certificate, or transfer to a four-year institution, GRCC is providing a foundation on which students can continue to achieve their goals.”

Ken Berg – owner and operator of four McDonald’s restaurants in West Michigan, including Ada, Comstock Park, Lowell and Grand Rapids – said this earn and learn partnership is a win-win for McDonald’s employees.

“At McDonald’s, we believe education is the true game-changer. We are ecstatic that our team members in West Michigan will have the opportunity to pursue a stronger path toward receiving a degree,” Berg said. “The articulation agreement is part of McDonald’s ongoing efforts to lead our industry in promoting workforce education that supports the business and ensures employee success and advancement. Through this investment, we will strengthen the business by building the talent pipeline, improving retention and driving employee capability.”

In addition to earning college credit, McDonald’s also offers employees tuition assistance through its Archways to Opportunities program. Employees can work toward their educational goals through Archways programming in tuition assistance, English education, high school completion, and resources and support that help eliminate barriers for employees returning to school. As of March 2016, Archways to Opportunities awarded more than $450,000 in tuition assistance to more than 350 McDonald’s employees in Michigan.

McDonald’s employs 32,000 people statewide at more than 500 restaurants, which are owned by more than 100 small business owners. For more about Archways to Opportunities, visit

For more information on how to take advantage of this opportunity, call the GRCC Business Department at (616) 234-4220.


McDonald's USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to more than 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @McDonalds and Facebook


Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.