Leaders from Columbia College and the Independence Chamber of Commerce have announced features of their newly implemented partnership. Chamber members, their employees, spouses and dependents under the age of 25 are now eligible for a 15-percent discount on tuition to pursue their degree at Columbia College.

“Columbia College is excited to offer this innovative benefit to hundreds of eligible Independence Chamber of Commerce members,” said Columbia College-Kansas City Director Cindy Miller. “Many small businesses aren’t able to offer educational benefits to their employees. This tuition discount, which also extends to spouses and their dependents, will make higher education more accessible and affordable to individuals we proudly serve in the area. Our location has been an active member of the Chamber for 30 years and we look forward to a continued bright future with all of our business partners.”

Organized in 1920, the Independence Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit business organization dedicated to promoting the economic growth of Independence, Missouri. It represents a partnership of more than 700 member businesses and professionals in the local community.

“This partnership will not only support the efforts to meet current workforce needs, but will also help to enhance job readiness with a skilled workforce for businesses and provide higher education affordability,” said Chamber President and CEO Tom Lesnak.

Tery Donelson, the college’s senior director of Operations and Military Partnerships, credits Lynne Stuver Baker ’64, a member of the college’s Board of Trustees, for her pivotal role in finalizing the new partnership. “For more than 60 years, Lynne has impacted the Columbia College community in a positive way,” said Donelson. “We’re grateful for her continued assistance and dedication to the college.”

Columbia College offers six sessions lasting eight weeks each, allowing students to complete their degree quickly. The college is very transfer-friendly and also features the Truition® program, which offers a transparent look at the cost of college by eliminating all fees and providing books at no cost.

Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Missouri, Columbia College has helped students advance their lives through higher education for more than 170 years. As a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. The college, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, features more than 40 locations nationwide and offers day, evening and online classes. Columbia College has more than 95,000 alumni worldwide.