USPS adds training partner

U.S. Postal Service officials have added the nation’s largest for-profit university to their stable of educational partners. USPS officials said the agreement with the University of Phoenix, including the University of Phoenix Online, will give USPS employees an additional avenue to realize their educational goals.

University officials have agreed to offer one three-credit course free to USPS employees who pay for three undergraduate or graduate courses. Tuition reimbursement for employees who take non-USPS training courses through the university will follow guidelines in the agency’s Employee and Labor Relations Manual.

"This is not an exclusive training agreement," a USPS spokesman said. The agency has existing agreements with other higher education institutions to offer college-level coursework to USPS employees.

The University of Phoenix is an accredited university with campuses nationwide offering traditional classroom courses. Students also can take online courses and hybrid courses that combine online and classroom education.

Recent growth in the numbers of for-profit institutions such as the University of Phoenix has lessened but not eliminated the controversy about some of their practices. Education Department officials fined the University of Phoenix $9.8 million last year for its aggressive tactics for recruiting students.

The Higher Education Act and the department’s rules prohibit colleges that receive federal financial aid from tying recruiters' pay to the number of students they enroll. University of Phoenix officials agreed to pay the fine without admitting they did anything wrong.

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