Gilroy Working Scholars updates

Gilroy Working Scholars, sponsored by the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, is providing anyone who lives or works in Gilroy a special opportunity to complete a bachelor's degree for no cost and in a flexible online learning format that fits into the busy life of a working adult.

Program Overview

Over 31 million adults in the U.S. have earned some college credit but don't have a degree. In most cases, high tuition costs along with work and family responsibilities are preventing these individuals from obtaining a credential that has increasingly become the gateway to economic advancement.

This program's goal is to help working adults in Gilroy overcome these barriers and earn their college degree from a reputable university. Because of its focus on serving working adults, Thomas Edison State University has been selected as the program's university partner.

Thomas Edison is a public, state university in New Jersey. It offers online programs and has one of the most flexible credit transfer policies in the country which allows students to transfer as much of their previously earned college credit as possible.

Thomas Edison also utilizes the College Accelerator platform, which enables students to complete nearly all of their course requirements from a smartphone or tablet. Students can access their courses at any time and can go at their own pace--all without the burden of homework assignments or the need for textbooks.

How It Works

Anyone who lives or works in Gilroy is eligible to receive College Accelerator licenses at no cost. With this license, participants can earn college credits from courses and transfer them to Thomas Edison State University, where they can be applied to the university's Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree program.

Here are the steps:

1. Apply to the program by filling out this short survey.

2. Work with your success coach to create your degree plan. See a sample.

3. Take courses for credit on

4. Transfer your credits to Thomas Edison.

5. Complete your final course(s) from Thomas Edison.

6. Graduate with a bachelor's degree from a respected public institution.

Click here to apply.


Gilroy Working Scholars participants can earn their bachelor's degree with all the costs covered by, scholarships, employer tuition assistance, and grants. Scholarship funding is available on a first come, first serve basis for eligible students.

See a detailed explanation of how this is possible here.

Click here to apply.

Why We're Doing This's mission is to make education accessible and over the last six years we've invested over $60 million into our online learning platform to help students from around the nation earn affordable college credit that transfers. California is our home, and while it is arguably the global epicenter of economic opportunity, we recognize that not everyone who lives or works in cities like Gilroy has equal access to participate in the region's prosperity.

The great equalizer is education. The data strongly suggests that a college degree is the key to unlocking an individual's economic potential, but high tuition costs and juggling work and family commitments often prevent working adults from obtaining this life-shaping credential.

This is why we've teamed up with Thomas Edison State University and the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce to develop a comprehensive bachelor's degree program that removes financial barriers and is designed to fit within the busy life of working adults.

A Model For The Nation

By providing the first ever truly debt-free college solution to the workers and residents of Gilroy, we aim to show the rest of the nation how a creative partnership between a private tech company, a public institution and a not-for-profit organization can be a model for educating our nation's hard working individuals and providing them opportunities for economic advancement.

Here's what UpSkill America, an innovative non-profit that works with businesses to help frontline workers gain the education needed to advance their careers, has to say about Working Scholar's pilot program that launched in Mountain View, California:

One of the themes we stress at UpSkill America is that we should each do whatever we can, where we are, to help others get the skills they need to move up in their careers. I can't think of a better example of this than the Mountain View Working Scholars program. I'm blown away by the commitment and its partners are making to the community to help people earn a bachelor's degree. -Jaime Fall, Director UpSkill America

If you would like to bring a Working Scholars program like this to your city or business, please email

About offers over 80+ flexible, online college courses that students can take on their own schedule. The courses consist of a sequence of short, 5-minute video lessons that students can watch on their phone or computer. Students can study in five-minute bursts or for hours at a time. The schedule and pace is up to each student.

Here's what's CEO has to say:

A bachelor's degree is the key to upward mobility and the foundation for success in today's knowledge economy. By removing financial barriers, Working Scholars provides equity of access to an accelerated and flexible bachelor's degree program that is designed to fit into the busy life of a working adult. -Adrian Ridner, CEO and Co-founder of

Read more about Learn more about the Mountain View Working Scholars program and how it's impacting the community in this video on NBC's Bay Area Proud segment.

About Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University provides flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults. One of New Jersey's 11 senior public institutions of higher education, the University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 100 areas of study. For more than 40 years, the university has served as New Jersey's only institution dedicated exclusively to adults. Today, the University remains a pioneer in the use of the latest technologies to develop and deliver academic programs that work around the unique needs of adult learners and continues to serve as a national leader in the assessment of adult learning, including professional and military training and college-level knowledge acquired outside the classroom.

Here's what Thomas Edison's Vice Provost has to say about Working Scholar's pilot program that launched in Mountain View, California:

The Mountain View Working Scholars program is a prime example of what happens when Silicon Valley innovation is applied to bringing the world of higher education into the century it belongs. This partnership between Thomas Edison State University and will allow the people of Gilroy, who work so diligently to keep their city running strong, to obtain the college degrees they need and deserve to advance their own lives and careers. -Marc Singer, Vice Provost, Center for the Assessment of Learning at Thomas Edison State University

Read more about Thomas Edison.

Get Started

Apply to Gilroy Working Scholars to begin completing your degree! A success coach will contact you shortly after receiving your application to help you get started.

Click here to apply.


For students, please email

If you would like to bring a Working Scholars program like this to your city or business, please email

We can't wait to tell you more about the program.

Thomas Edison State University

Gilroy Chamber of Commerce

By Meghan Cooney
November 2019

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