As of December 31, 2018, we employed approximately 3,500 persons (including 700 part-time employees and student workers), which is approximately three times more persons than were employed by GCE in comparable positions ten years ago. We have launched a number of new business enterprises that reduced costs for the University, provided management opportunities for recent GCU graduates and employment opportunities for students and neighborhood residents, while spurring economic growth in the area.
About GCE Sustainability
We are in the seventh year of a $1.6 million partnership with City of Phoenix Police Department that focuses on improving safety and reducing crime in the communities surrounding the campus. Since the initiation of this program, crime has decreased substantially in the two-mile radius surrounding the University.
Increased Home Values
Together with Habitat for Humanity, we are participating in the largest home renovation project in the country in the West Phoenix area surrounding GCU’s campus. As of December 31, 2018, 221 different projects have been completed. These efforts, combined with GCU’s expanded presence in the community, resulted in a significant increase in home values in the 85017 zip code.
Student Tuition Organization Contributions
GCE contributes to private school tuition organizations and in 2018 increased its annual contribution to $3.7 million from $2.0 million in 2017. Financial contributions are allocated toward tuition assistance and awarding Arizona students with scholarships to attend Arizona private schools.
Donate to Elevate
Donate 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 its partner 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.
Employee Opportunities for Community Service
GCE’s charitable contribution program offers its full-time employees up to 16 hours of PTO annually for community service. This time is used to volunteer at an approved charitable organization. Over 40 organizations are approved for employee volunteerism, including Habitat for Humanity.
GCE and GCU continue to partner in countless community events and projects throughout the year, helping organizations such as the Phoenix Rescue Mission, Feed My Starving Children, Arizona Foster Care, Boy/Girl Scouts, Goodwill Arizona, St. Vincent de Paul, Young Life, Elevate Phoenix, Back to School Clothing Drive and St. Mary’s Food Bank. Our employees also went out into our surrounding neighborhoods to participate in GCU-sponsored programs such as Serve the City, Canyon Kids, Salute Our Troops, Colter Commons senior home visits and the Run to Fight Children’s Cancer.
GCE’s employees continue to share a commitment to and enthusiasm for GCU-sponsored community service projects, as well as charitable organizations throughout the valley. Through these activities, our employees have the opportunity to volunteer and provide servant leadership that benefits the surrounding neighborhoods and West Phoenix community.
Grand Canyon Education promotes the concept of lifelong learning and supports this concept by offering employees a generous tuition benefit for programs at Grand Canyon University.
Health and Safety Practices and Policies
GCE owns and operates 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 ground 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 rain water 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 percent more energy efficient than a standard office building.
In addition to its owned facilities, GCE leases four office locations in California. GCE may add additional space in Arizona and in other states in the southwest U.S. to accommodate our growth plans in 2019 and beyond. 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 world-view 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 student entrusted to its care.
GCE is proud to employ a diverse population, with more than 40 percent identifying as persons of color and a nearly 60 percent female workforce.
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.