McDonald’s restaurants and Ivy Tech Community College across Indiana have launched an alliance to make college more affordable and offer training for the workforce that will be shared at more than 300 McDonald’s locations and 18 Ivy Tech campuses with 40 sites.

Through McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program, restaurant employees who work a minimum of 90 days at 15 hours per week will be eligible for tuition assistance of up to $2,500 per year as a crew member and up to $3,000 per year as a manager. Ivy Tech will offer “crosswalk credits” to McDonald’s restaurant employees for some on-the-job training and classes, plus individualized counseling – allowing them to earn a degree faster.

Leah Allman, vice chancellor of enrollment services at Ivy Tech’s Terre Haute campus, said crosswalk credits “basically allows work experience to count for an academic (business) course. It is a way for us to say that work experience has rigor and outcomes that is equivalent to a college level course,” Allman said.

McDonalds trainings are “cross walked” to eight Ivy Tech Business courses, including introduction to business, principle of management, techniques of supervision, human resource management, business development, case problems in business, principle of leadership and operations management.

Allman said the annual tuition assistance can help cover a large portion of expenses “and there is opportunity for this to really make an impact in terms of affordability,” she said.

Ivy Tech’s Terre Haute campus serves students Parke, Vermillion, Vigo, Clay and Sullivan counties and parts of Knox and Greene counties. McDonald’s has five restaurant locations in Terre Haute.

McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity tuition assistance program began in 2015. Throughout 2019, McDonald’s invested more than $1.2 million in tuition assistance to restaurant employees across Indiana.

“There is no limit,” said Robert Terhune, McDonald’s owner/operator and president of the Greater Indiana Operator Co-Op.

“We want to encourage as many of our employees and students across Indiana as we can to take advantage of this tuition assistance program. We believe this strengthens all of our communities throughout Indiana.”

Ivy Tech’s degree crosswalk will allow McDonald’s employees to work with an Ivy Tech counselor to determine which of their McDonald’s training and work experiences may articulate into credits which they can apply towards their certificate or degree.

The flexibility of Ivy Tech having both online classes and locations statewide will give employees the option to complete coursework on their schedule: whether that be during the day, evening, weekend or whenever it’s convenient.

As most Ivy Tech students working while attending school, Ivy Tech leadership says this new partnership fits in perfect with Ivy Tech Community College’s mission.

“Each Ivy Tech campus will dedicate an advisor to McDonald’s employee enrollment, questions and scheduling needs. We are committed to helping each and every employee further their education and achieve their dreams,” said Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann.

“This is the exact kind of forward-thinking partnership that enables Indiana to develop our skilled and ready workforce,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb.

McDonald’s and its independent franchisees employ almost 2 million people worldwide with more than 38,000 locations in more than 100 countries. Approximately 93% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

To learn more about the McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity education program, visit any Indiana McDonald’s or the Archways to Opportunity website ( or visit Ivy Tech’s website (

Recommended for you