View of MGM casino with a large golden lion sculpture out in front.

MGM College Opportunity Program

Adaptability   ●   Stability   ●   Career Pathways

About

The MGM College Opportunity Program (COP) focuses on developing 21st Century workforce skills by providing educational opportunities for MGM employees through tuition assistance. It is the first ever partnership between a state-wide higher education system and a Fortune 500 company, specifically the Nevada System of Higher Education and MGM Resorts International. UNLV is currently participating as a COP institution and offers a variety of degree and certificate programs for MGM employees to achieve their educational and career goals. Ultimately, the initiative helps employees to develop and enhance adaptable workforce skills to take on new challenges in their careers, increase satisfaction and engagement within the workplace, and facilitate opportunities for career advancement and stability.

The MGM Public Policy Institute’s (MGMPPI) engagement with the MGM College Opportunity Program centers around organizational investment in human capital: the benefits that accrue to the individual, subsequent improvement in organizational performance, and the scalability of a program that moves people into the middle class. In addition, the MGMPPI provides feedback to MGM Resorts International and the Nevada System of Higher Education on employee perceptions regarding the implementation of the Program.

Portraits of six different College Opportunity Program graduates. 

MGM College Opportunity Program graduates who received their master’s degrees in 2020. Top Row: Monica R., internal auditor with MGM Resorts Corporate; Anne Clarice G., former assistant manager in sourcing and procurement with MGM Resorts Corporate; Jazmyne D., internal auditor with MGM Resorts Corporate. Bottom Row: Shana V., casino host with Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa; Andrea B., lounge server with Mandalay Bay; Tiana E., event services supervisor with MGM Resorts Corporate.

State-Wide Program Metrics*

Over 750
MGM employees who utilized the program to enroll in higher education in 2019-2020
7
Colleges and universities available for enrollment
124
Eligible academic degree and certificate programs

Program participants reflect over 75 different employment positions at 16 different MGM properties across 6 states

8%
ARE OVER THE AGE OF 50
37%
ARE THE FIRST IN THEIR FAMILIES TO RECEIVE A COLLEGE DEGREE
56%
ARE RACIAL/ETHNIC MINORITIES
58%
NO PREVIOUS COLLEGE ENROLLMENT

*Metrics are based on MGMPPI survey data and NSHE provided data

Degree and Certificate Programs

Through the MGM College Opportunity Program, MGM employees can enroll in a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs at seven different colleges and universities in Nevada, including areas such as Hospitality Management, Urban Leadership, Communication, Business Administration, Psychology, Computer Programming, and Emergency Management.

A man writing in a notebook while reading a book.
A woman smiling at a table in the student union.


Art, Music, and Graphic Design


Business, Finance, and Marketing


Computer Technology


Education

Two woman in class taking notes with students listening in the rows behind them.
A man reading a book in the library.


Hospitality and Culinary Arts


Liberal Arts and Social Sciences


Public Health


Urban Affairs and Public Safety

MGM College Opportunity Program Survey Data

The College Opportunity Program is designed to enhance workforce adaptability skills, support financial stability, and create new career pathways for MGM employees.

Data from COP participants demonstrates MGM employees developed and enhanced adaptable skills that allowed them to take on new challenges and opportunities within the workplace:

  • 80% of participants felt their academic program helped to improve their work skills
  • 65% of COP students believed their academic program helped them to take on new challenges at work

With tuition assistance, MGM employees can enroll, progress, and complete their academic programs while continuing their employment at MGM:

  • 55% of COP participants reported they would not have enrolled in higher education without the College Opportunity Program

One of the goals of the College Opportunity Program is to facilitate opportunities for career advancement in current or new career fields:

  • 59% of participants found their academic program very useful for advancing in their current career fields
  • 25% of program participants were motivated to enroll in a degree or certificate program to transition to a new career field

Over half of College Opportunity Program participants found that enrollment in their academic programs increased satisfaction and engagement within the workplace.

College Opportunity Program Experiences

Amy Krebs Merk

"This was not something I would have done without the opportunity; this path was the best thing for me. It’s allowed me to implement leadership skills, which have helped me consider a more diverse audience in my job."

Amy K. M.
MGM Integrated Media Buyer
Master of Arts in Urban Leadership
Henry M. in a red graduation cap and gown.

"This program has the flexibility for working adults. I would encourage anyone considering getting their degree to take the same path as mine."

Henry M.
Manager of Pool Operations at the Vdara
Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Studies