From behind the counter to university: McDonald’s crew eligible to earn Athabasca University credits through new partnership
McDonald's Restaurant


Partnership gives McDonald’s Canada restaurant employees flexible pathway to earn a degree while they work.

March 22, 2022 – Athabasca University (AU) today announced a new partnership with McDonald’s Canada offering restaurant employees in company-owned and franchised locations the option to work towards a university degree while they are on the job.

Employees who complete McDonald’s Canada Management Development program courses will now be eligible for credits in one of four AU programs: Bachelor of CommerceBachelor of ManagementBachelor of Human Resources and Labour Relations, and the Bachelor of General Studies programs. The Management Development program is part of McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program, which lets crew members turn experience gained from their restaurant positions to further their education.

Empowering employees through flexible learning

“Athabasca University’s mission is to transform lives and communities by removing barriers to higher education, and this partnership with McDonald’s Canada fully delivers on this promise,” said Dr. Matthew Prineas, Provost and Vice-President Academic at AU. “It’s exciting to work with a partner like McDonald’s Canada, which has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to professional development. Together, we can help learners achieve their education goals and, in turn, become better leaders and difference-makers.”

AU’s open, online learning model means that McDonald’s employees can earn a university degree from anywhere—without leaving their communities to study. It also means they do not have to put other work and life commitments on hold.

“The skills employees learn while working in company-owned or independently franchised McDonald’s restaurants and training programs are invaluable, transferrable and applicable to real-life situations. With Archways to Opportunity and flexible schedules, employees can build on their experience without having to disrupt their lives,” said Brad McTeer, National Learning & Development Director, McDonald’s Canada. “Now, through this partnership with Athabasca University, employees have even more options to consider, like the Management Development program, as they take the next step toward their future. We look forward to seeing the great things this program will help them accomplish.”

McDonald’s employees will be able to count training programs towards degree credits to reduce the number of courses and time required to earn a diploma or degree. This cost-savings measure makes earning a designation more accessible while valuing skills employees have acquired on the job as building blocks for a career.

“The McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity program was beneficial to my personal and professional growth. I was able to gain a business diploma and become a well-rounded manager thanks to the training I gained at McDonald’s coupled with the courses I took through the Archways program. Knowing what I know now about the program, I’m an advocate to ensuring my team members can benefit from it too,” said Brittney Ivany, Market People Lead at McDonald’s Canada.

About Athabasca University

Athabasca University (AU) is one of the world’s foremost and fastest-growing online and open education institutions, serving 43,000 students across 87 countries. AU is a comprehensive academic and research university offering online bachelor, masters, and doctorate programs alongside online courses for both personal learning and professional development. It is uniquely founded on the principles of flexibility and openness, giving students control over their studies to learn whenever and wherever is right for them. For more information, visit:

Media inquiries:


Athabasca University contact

Bryan Alary
Manager, Content and Media Relations

McDonald’s Canada contact


Corporate Relations, McDonald's Canada  


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