Johnson & Wales University and Compass Group North America have a long history of collaboration in preparing future leaders for excellence in their careers. A new chapter of this relationship began here at Johnson & Wales University in the Fall 2015 term as six Compass Group executives enrolled in the Master of Business Administration degree program offered by the College of Online Education. As noted by Dean Cindy Parker, “We are thrilled about this formal collaboration to provide high-potential senior executives at Compass Group the opportunity to excel in our world-class MBA program.”
Compass Group leadership hand-selected the executives to participate in the program and is covering the tuition for the program. The group represents six major divisions of the company and collectively generates more than half a billion dollars in revenue annually. Executives in the program include a Division President of Canteen; a Regional Vice President of Operations of Levy Restaurants; a Senior Vice President of Eurest; a Regional Vice President of Eurest Services; a Senior Vice President of FLIK; and a Division Vice President of Crothall Healthcare. Eileen Springer, Senior Vice President of Talent Acquisition & Development with Compass, said that the company’s goal is to “accelerate development of senior-level talent” through the MBA degree program. Springer cites this group of executives as “the future of Compass Group.” The Johnson & Wales University College of Online Education is a good fit, she explained due to its “brand recognition and flexibility.”
After a formal kick-off to the program held at the Providence Campus in August, the six Compass Group students are taking their courses with other JWU online MBA students but will travel as a cohort through the core courses in the program. The MBA program is designed to be completed in 18 months. To help ensure their success, the students will be supported by Online Academic Advisor Michael O’Malley throughout the program. In the final term of the program (Winter 2016-17), the Compass Group executives will collaborate on a Compass Group-defined project in Management 6800, the capstone course of the MBA program.
In 2003, JWU and Compass signed the Covenant Agreement, which “recognized how the two organizations would work together to strengthen each other,” said Maureen Dumas, Vice President of Experiential Education & Career Services at JWU. With the partnership, Compass made a $2 million gift to the University to support its career-education initiatives. Today, Compass hires more graduates from JWU than from any other university in the U.S. “There are more than 750 JWU alumni currently working at Compass,” said Springer.
The Compass Group MBA program is a pilot program, and based on its success, additional cohorts of Compass executives may be enrolled in Fall 2016 and beyond. “We are looking forward to seeing positive results from this exceptional group of executives and to furthering our relationship with Compass Group by expanding the program in 2016. The program also serves as the College’s first step in establishing corporate partnerships for our online programs,” noted Dean Parker.