MINNEAPOLIS, April 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a rigorous evaluation led by the global certification nonprofit B Lab®, Walden University was recently recertified as a Certified B Corporation® (B Corp™) as part of Laureate Education's B Corp recertification. Walden garnered a final score of 92.3, an increase of more than 3 points from 89 in 2015, when the institution first became eligible for assessment.
Results of the assessment identified areas of improvement and impact. Since 2015, Walden has markedly increased its impact on the communities it serves. For example, in 2017, Walden employees had nearly 16,000 volunteer service hours, almost 10,000 hours more than in 2015.
"Making a positive and sustainable difference in the world is at the very core of Walden's mission," says Dr. Ward Ulmer, interim president of Walden University. "Our B Corp™ certification is a direct reflection of who we are as a learning institution and our commitment to advancing the greater good. Walden couldn't be more proud to continue alongside organizations such as Ben & Jerry's, Patagonia and others that are purposefully improving the world around us."
Walden is part of the Laureate International Universities network, which is owned by Laureate Education, a Certified B Corporation that is committed to balancing financial results with environmental and social responsibility. Walden and Laureate share a mission to make quality higher education accessible so more students can pursue their dreams. According to the B Lab assessment, 72% of Walden's students are from traditionally underserved communities.
Since its founding in 1970, Walden has been focused on fostering social change through educating scholar-practitioners, increasing access to higher education and preparing students and graduates to apply research that helps solve problems in the world. Throughout its nearly 50-year history, Walden has inspired and prepared more than 165,000 students and graduates from more than 180 countries to make a difference around the world.
Most recently in 2017, Walden held its 10th annual Scholars of Change video contest where students and graduates demonstrated how they are applying their Walden education and experience to create positive social change in their communities and around the globe. The year also marked the 12th annual Global Days of Service, a weeklong volunteer event.
Last year was also notable because Walden publicly renewed its vision of how the university can better foster social change through research, practice and the education of motivated scholar-practitioners in Walden 2020: A Vision for Social Change. The working plan guides the university's efforts to become a leader in connecting its virtual presence with both local and global actions to make a difference—and to be here for good.
One part of that plan was creating the Walden University Center for Social Change, a connective hub that fosters networks to support research, practice, partnerships and collaborations related to social change initiatives. In 2017, the Center for Social Change launched and announced its inaugural class of Social Change Fellows who are recipients of its Research and Applications for Social Change Grant, established to enable members of the Walden community and others to make significant and meaningful change in academic and social communities.
Currently there are approximately 5,000 companies legally registered as PBCs in the U.S. and more than 2,400 Certified B Corps globally. Laureate Education and its network institutions are the second largest B Corp in the world. In addition, Laureate is the largest multinational company to have all subsidiaries certified, and its network institutions are the first to be certified on B Lab's Higher Education Addendum, the portion of the assessment specific to higher education institutions with a focus on an institution's impact on its students.
About Walden University For more than 45 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Students from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university offers more than 85 degree programs with more than 435 specializations and concentrations. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org. Walden is one of more than 70 institutions in 23 countries that make up the Laureate International Universities network. For more information about Walden, visit www.WaldenU.edu.
About Laureate Education Laureate Education, Inc. is the largest global network of degree-granting higher education institutions, with more than one million students enrolled at over 60 institutions in more than 20 countries at campuses and online. Laureate offers high-quality, undergraduate, graduate and specialized degree programs in a wide range of academic disciplines that provide attractive employment prospects. Laureate believes that when our students succeed, countries prosper and societies benefit. For more information: www.laureate.net.