In 2017, Starbucks and ASU introduced this unique online education platform, at no cost to users, for Starbucks partners (employees) around to the world to achieve personal and professional goals, and inspire leadership in their communities. This platform is open sourced and is available for customers and other learners around the world. Starbucks Global Academy (SGA) is comprised of four major learning tracks: Global Social Impact, Personal Growth and Development, Pathways to Advanced Education and English Language Learning.
The To Be Welcoming curriculum will be provided to Starbucks partners (employees), reinforcing Starbucks commitment to creating a more welcoming environment. The intent is that these courses will drive thoughtful dialogue both within Starbucks and beyond.
This project is an extension of Starbucks long-standing partnership with ASU that began in 2014 to launch the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, an opportunity for all eligible U.S. partners (employees) to earn their bachelor’s degree with full tuition coverage all the way to graduation at ASU’s top-ranked online degree program.
These 15 courses address conscious and unconscious bias toward groups that have been marginalized at both the individual and systemic level. This curriculum is intended to help users navigate ways to engage with difficult topics through academically robust, objective, and research-based content. The foundational course will introduce thought processes and terminology that will be presented throughout the curriculum. The 14 remaining courses will cover topics in more depth, including race, gender, religion, political culture, disabilities, sexuality, nationality and age.
For this curriculum, ASU has developed a robust internal and external peer advisory board, across disciplines, expertise areas, and universities. In conjunction with ASU’s accomplished faculty, this peer advisory board will serve as an additive measure to ensure the most relevant and highest-level content.
The course content was developed by a team of more than 50 subject matter experts and a curriculum and learning specialist at ASU, drawing from industry-leading research on topics related to bias and empathy.
Additional course materials were developed in partnership with other academic experts. Curriculum, activities, and content was informed by existing research drawn from the broad fields of sociology, law, psychology, justice studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies, political science, communication, and current events. For the video panel discussions, the group brought together experts on the topic to engage in meaningful conversations with each other, with the goal of illustrating to the audience how to dialogue about these topics in a respectful, thoughtful manner. Together, the core group developed pedagogical/teaching tools and created opportunities for broader engagements around the intersections of race, religion, political culture, age, class, gender, sexuality, and disabilities.
The information presented in this series underwent a minimum two-part review process. Reviews were completed by an established peer advisory board featuring ASU faculty, external subject matter experts and community members with knowledge on the topic. Internal review was accomplished by having topic experts within ASU review course content and add materials relevant to the topic to help advance understanding. External review was accomplished by having individuals and/or organizations external to ASU, with expertise on the topic, review course content.
Each To Be Welcoming course has a unique certificate that is issued by Starbucks Global Academy upon course completion by a user. However, ASU credit hours will not be awarded for completion of To Be Welcoming courses and these courses are not aligned to any ASU degree programs.
In today’s technology-enabled world, learning is constantly happening in any location, on any device, at any time. A self-paced learning environment allows all learners to complete high-quality, consistent content within their preferred location, timeline, pace. The To Be Welcoming curriculum allows users to complete courses in any order and revisited as often as desired, encouraging learners to drive their own development and accommodating individual experiences and interests. The intention is that these design characteristics will inspire inquiry, vulnerability, and genuine respect for others while naturally building confidence within learners.