GCE along with GCU, have launched a number of new business enterprises that reduced costs, provided management opportunities for recent graduates and employment opportunities for students and neighborhood residents, while spurring economic growth in the area.
About GCE Sustainability
Furthering Job Creation
Improving Our Neighborhood and Increased Home Values
Together with Habitat for Humanity and in concert with our largest university partner, we are participating in the largest home renovation project in the country in the West Phoenix area surrounding GCU’s campus.
These efforts, combined with GCE and GCU’s expanded presence in the community, have contributed to a significant increase in home values in the 85017 zip code. GCU and their partners collaborated with Habitat for Humanity. As of January 2023, GCU and its partners collaborated with Habitat for Humanity to contribute over 31,000 volunteer hours, serve over 465 families and complete nearly 1,200 repairs.
Student Tuition Organization Contributions
GCE contributes to private school tuition organizations, which are entities that allocated financial contributions toward tuition assistance and scholarships for disadvantaged students to attend Arizona private schools. In both 2021 and 2020, we contributed $5.0 million to these organizations.
Allocate to Elevate
Allocate to Elevate is a program that allows employees to contribute money in lieu of state income tax payments to three projects. This program benefits private schools in Arizona and the partnership with Habitat for Humanity, as well as local public schools and public charter schools through extracurricular activities that require students to pay a fee. Employees are encouraged to designate tax dollars to the school or program of their choice.
Students Inspiring Students
GCE continues to support GCU’s free tutoring/mentoring program that serves Phoenix-area K-12 schools. Students who seek academic assistance in the GCU Learning Lounge may become eligible to receive the Students Inspiring Students full-tuition scholarship. To serve our clients and community, GCE seeks donations to fund this neighborhood scholarship program.
Sponsoring K-12 Educational Development
GCE supports GCU’s K-12 Educational Development Department through sponsorship of GCU’s Canyon Professional Development and K-12 Targeted School Assistance programs. Canyon Professional Development offers professional development opportunities for educators and administrators, and their student/parent engagement programs aim to help students become college ready. K-12 Targeted School Assistance programs also offer tutoring and mentorship and more to community schools to improve learning environments and outcomes. Both initiatives elevate public, private, charter and home schools in the form of scholarships, program discounts, professional development, events and more.
Continuing Community Involvement
GCE and our employees’ partner in countless other community events and projects throughout the year. We offer our full-time employees a maximum of 16 hours of PTO annually for community service. GCE has over 40 approved organizations where employees may donate their time.
Employee Tuition Benefit
Grand Canyon Education promotes the concept of lifelong learning and supports this concept by offering its employees a generous tuition benefit program through its university partner, GCU.
Health and Safety Practices and Policies
Online education is inherently more environmentally friendly than traditional campus education with a reduction in greenhouse gas production caused by traveling to and from a brick-and-mortar campus. It also increases student capacity while eliminating the need for construction of a physical campus. A majority of our university partners’ students are enrolled in hybrid or online educational models. In addition, a significant number of our university partners’ students utilize an eBook format versus paper textbooks, which is more environmentally friendly in that it saves paper and other materials, and there is no shipment required.
GCE owns a four-story 325,000-square-foot administrative building, which includes office space for approximately 2,700 employees, and a parking garage in close proximity to GCU’s campus. We constructed GCE’s retained facilities in 2016 and every aspect of the design was intended to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact.
Lighting load and related electricity usage is a major environmental drain for most office buildings, and this is especially true in Arizona. GCE’s office building is orientated with north/south exposure in order to minimize direct sun, and exterior courtyards were arranged to ensure summer shade thus creating outdoor areas that can be used throughout the year. The design also utilized significant window glazing to allow for daylighting thus reducing the need for supplemental electrical lighting. As a result, the building is designed to use just .41 watts per square foot of electrical energy for lighting, which is half of what a typical environmentally efficient building uses.
Water usage is another environmental factor for office space that is magnified by the Arizona sun. GCE’s office building utilizes a rooftop rainwater collection system for irrigating the landscaping below, which reduces water consumption. Additional environment-friendly design features include low VOC paints, use of recycled building materials, interior and exterior LED light bulbs, and implementation of an energy-efficient VRF mechanical system. Overall, GCE’s office building is 60% more energy efficient than a standard office building.
In addition to its owned facilities, GCE leases 28 off-campus classroom and laboratory sites for use in serving its university partners, four office locations in California, one office location in Colorado and office space in Indianapolis. GCE works to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact in operating its leased facilities just as it does with its owned properties.
Additionally, GCE encourages and promotes employees to implement Valley Metro’s Share the Ride program and the Maricopa County Trip Reduction Program. GCE offers incentives to employees who participate in these programs, such as monthly gift card drawings and free bus/rail passes.
Grand Canyon Education is a faith-friendly shared services provider that embraces a worldview of both charity and stewardship. This is simply stated as, 'to love others as yourself'. We are a community of people who value the pursuit of truth and find great understanding in the convergence of differing viewpoints, backgrounds and ideas. We welcome employees from all walks of life, which contributes to a growing diversity within our population. Our diversity encompasses a multitude of dimensions, including age, disability, national origin, race, color, religion, gender, veteran status and more. Our Christian perspective compels us to treat every individual equally with respect and compassion. All community members deserve a comfortable space to express their feelings, so that every voice is heard, welcomed, valued and provided safety. Finally, our diversity is critical to enriching the workplace and the educational endeavors of our partners. Maintaining a diverse environment requires a measure of tolerance and understanding commensurate with the dignity and value of all human life. In sum, GCE values diversity because it values every employee and university partners’ students entrusted to its care.
Health and Safety
GCE provides healthy and safe workplaces and complies with relevant health and safety laws. GCE provides its workers with safe and healthy work environments which, as a minimum standard, is in compliance with state and federal health and safety laws and regulations. GCE takes adequate steps to prevent accidents or injuries to health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in the course of work. Additionally, GCE provides health and safety training appropriate for employees’ specific industries. GCE ensures that all equipment and tools, including personal protective equipment are in proper working condition, maintained and certified. GCE ensures workers are free to express their concerns about workplace conditions without fear of retribution of losing their jobs in accordance with its Open Door Policy.