Kaplan University, Merkle Response ink partnership

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Kaplan University and Merkle Response Management Group in Hagerstown have entered into a partnership to provide tailored training solutions and accelerated degree opportunities for Merkle RMG employees, according to a news release.

The partnership combines credit-for-workforce training delivered by Kaplan as well the evaluation of work experience through a portfolio review as a way of reducing tuition costs and accelerating degree completion for Merkel RMG employees, according to the release.

Merkle RMG is one of the nation’s largest full-service direct response processing and fulfillment companies. Serving more than 200 nonprofit, government and commercial clients, Merkle RMG employs more than 600 people at its 125,000-square-foot facility in Hagerstown. Merkle RMG believes in developing employees’ skills to help them grow in their current roles and position them for promotions, according to the release.

Recently, Kaplan’s tailored training solutions delivered multiple on-campus and on-site courses that helped Merkle employees build skills in areas like human resources management, Microsoft Excel and Accelerated Management Training. Kaplan was able to articulate the AMT courses into college credit.

Together, Kaplan and Merkle RMG have developed a pathway to a bachelor’s degree in business or information technology using the articulated credit-for-workforce training provided by Kaplan.

Merkle RMG will be enrolling select managers as cohorts into the program. The cohort model is designed to create a support network, with all students starting at the same time and going through the entire experience together, according to the release.

The partnership agreement announced in February formalizes those efforts to date and also includes reduced tuition for all eligible Merkle RMG employees and their families for all Kaplan University degree programs, according to the release.

“The feedback from staff is that they appreciate and recognize the investment we are making in them,” Scott Ryan, vice president of operations at Merkle RMG, said in the release. “Our company culture is important to us and I’ve come to realize that you do not always need new external leadership hires for new ideas. Training and education can provide new ideas to existing leaders who are already part of our culture.”

Kaplan University-Hagerstown President W. Christopher Motz said in the release that he believes business-solution-oriented partnerships like this fill a need in the community.

“We are excited to partner with Merkle RMG to provide a flexible option for their employees and managers looking to advance their education while providing face-to-face, locally based support services,” he said. “An important part of our mission at Kaplan is providing solutions that meet employer needs to train and retain staff as a way of growing their business.”