USC Upstate Selected by Amazon as an Education Partner for Career Choice Program

Spartanburg, S.C. – Alexa, meet Sparty. The University of South Carolina Upstate has been selected by Amazon to be a partner in the global retailer’s Career Choice program. Through the program, all eligible hourly Amazon workers will have an opportunity to earn a degree or learn new skills at USC Upstate with the cost of tuition pre-paid by their employer.

USC Upstate one of only five South Carolina institutions in the network, which is comprised of hundreds of schools across the nation.

“We are absolutely thrilled to join Amazon’s Career Choice network,” said USC Upstate Chancellor Bennie L. Harris, Ph.D. “Advancing the economic mobility of the citizens of our region and state is fundamental to our mission. We are ready to help Amazon employees reach greater heights.”

Amazon’s Career Choice program is an education benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. The program meets individual learners where they are on their education journey through a variety of education and upskilling opportunities including pre-paid college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas, and GEDs. In the U.S., the company is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs.

“We’re looking forward to USC Upstate coming on board as an education partner for Career Choice, adding to the hundreds of best-in-class offerings available to our employees,” said Tammy Thieman, Global Program Lead of Amazon’s Career Choice program. “We’re committed to empowering our employees by providing them access to the education and training they need to grow their careers, whether that’s with us or elsewhere. We have intentionally created a partner network of third-party educators and employers committed to providing excellent education, job placement resources, and continuous improvements to the experience. Today, over 90,000 Amazon employees around the world have already participated in Career Choice and we’ve seen first-hand how it can transform their lives.”

Amazon’s Career Choice program has a rigorous selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners that are focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and overall offering education that leads to career success.

“Participating in Amazon’s Career Choice Program has been a positive experience,” said Kori Spann, an employee at Amazon’s fulfillment center in Columbia, SC. “It gave me the ability to step out into a new career field while maintaining a balanced work schedule. In addition to the stress-free enrollment process, Amazon offered flexible scheduling to accommodate my school schedule allowing me to focus on learning a new trade.”

Amazon said its employees can study online, at campuses, or in one of its Career Choice classrooms located within its fulfillment centers.

“We are honored to be selected by Amazon as a partner in their network for educational opportunities for their employees,” said Donette Stewart, vice chancellor for enrollment services and director of admissions for USC Upstate. “Our enrollment team is ready and eager to assist the employees with every step of the enrollment process at Upstate. We are committed to the success of Amazon employees and look forward to welcoming them to the Spartan family.”

For more information on Amazon’s Career Choice, visit:

The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional comprehensive university offering more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and education. Located along the I-85 corridor in Spartanburg between Greenville and Charlotte, USC Upstate is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the South’s best college for veterans and South Carolina’s No. 1 public regional college. It serves as a significant talent producer for the state, with nearly 5,000 students, approximately 1,300 new graduates each year, and nearly 30,000 alumni, many of whom live and work in the state. The USC Upstate Spartans compete in 15 NCAA Division 1 sports as a member of the Big South Conference. For more information, visit

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