Working Scholars Program Continues to Expand its Reach in the Bay Area updates's Working Scholars program has some exciting updates to share. Keep reading to find out what's currently happening and learn the story of one of our scholars.

About Working Scholars

Working Scholars is a program created by to help residents of select Bay Area cities earn a no-cost college degree. Participants take online, self-paced courses on that lead directly to college credits. Those credits are then transferred to Thomas Edison State University, where the scholars complete final requirements and earn their bachelor's degree. Working Scholars is currently active in Mountain View, East Palo Alto, Sunnyvale and Gilroy.

All in the Numbers

The Working Scholars are making amazing progress. Here's a quick look at what's been achieved in the past 6 months:

  • 501 hopefuls applied to the program
  • 583 courses were completed
  • 65 new Scholars joined the program
  • 90% retention rate within our 4 active chapters

Working Scholars

What's New With Working Scholars?

Working Scholars Sunnyvale was officially launched in late January. More than 150 people joined our launch event at Sunnyvale City Hall and more than 130 hopefuls applied for the program. We're excited to continue our fundraising efforts to open up more spots for those on the wait list. Special thanks to our supporters Google, LinkedIn and Friends of the Sunnyvale Public Library as well as our fiscal sponsor, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. was honored as Outstanding Large Business at the Mountain View Celebration of Leaders event (pictured below) in early March for its contributions and service to the community via the Working Scholars program. Working Scholars' very own community relations coordinator, Mitch Harnett, was also named Ambassador of the Year.

Celebration of Leaders

Ravenswood School District in East Palo Alto was awarded a grant by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which will go toward implementing Working Scholars in their school district to create a teacher pipeline.

What's next? Working Scholars San Francisco will be launching in the coming months and we're in initial planning stages with several cities in the Bay Area. Stay tuned for more details!

Scholar Spotlight: Elvira Macias

Elvira Macias (pictured below), a busy mom and school secretary, joined East Palo Alto Working Scholars this past August. Elvira is an EPA native, who attended De Anza College after high school but was unable to complete her degree once life simply got in the way. Now that her youngest child has turned 18, Elvira is ready to achieve her dream of getting her bachelor's degree in business administration and move up in her career. She works diligently at home and in her spare time to fit studying into her busy schedule and has already completed six courses since joining the program. Elvira is looking forward to the day she earns her degree and the career opportunities this achievement will unlock.

Working Scholars in the News

  • The Mercury News discussed the Sunnyvale launch of Working Scholars with CEO & Co-founder Adrian Ridner.
  • GovLoop named Working Scholars one of the most impressive government successes of 2017.

Learn more about's Working Scholars program.

By Jessica Lyons
May 2018 updates working scholars

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