To deal with skills gaps in the federal government, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has formed a partnership with the University of Maryland University College to offer discounted tuition for federal employees and their families.
The agreement will give those employees living outside Maryland a 25-percent discount on tuition. UMUC’s current out-of-state tuition rates are $499 per undergraduate credit hour and $659 per credit hour for graduate programs before the discount.
UMUC will be working with “the chief learning officers and chief human-capital officers throughout the federal government to address skills gaps in areas like information technology, cybersecurity, contracts management, human-resource management, programs in areas like that,” said a UMUC spokesman, Bob Ludwig.
Federal agencies can also encourage their employees to pursue training in occupations where skills gaps exist governmentwide, said a spokeswoman for the federal personnel office, Brittney Manchester.
With the alliance, federal employees, their spouses, and legal dependents will be able to enroll in any of UMUC’s 95 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, most of which are available online. The 25-percent discount will apply to all undergraduate programs and most graduate programs, according to a news release.
The partnership “fosters a high-performing, well-trained work force with the necessary skills to ensure the mission of government is met efficiently and effectively, day in and day out,” said Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personnel Management, which has designated closing skills gaps as one of its key management goals. “We need to make federal employment attractive to our nation’s top talent, and this alliance does that.”
The discounted tuition will begin with UMUC’s summer semester.
While the partnership with UMUC will give federal agencies a way to encourage their employees to pursue training or retraining, Ms. Manchester said, the personnel office is exploring additional partnerships.
“If you can save some money in going back to school,” said Mr. Ludwig, “I think that’s a huge help.”Return to Top