Major League Baseball and Northeastern University have established the sport’s first partnership to provide professional baseball players with access to higher education programs and degrees. The agreement follows last year’s inclusion of a new Continuing Education Program in MLB’s collective bargaining agreement, which now provides players with additional funds devoted to their educational development. MLB selected Northeastern over a competitive field of other leading universities.
“Major League Baseball has long understood the importance of player development, both on and off the field,” said Paul Mifsud, MLB’s vice president and deputy general counsel for labor relations and player programs. “MLB’s agreement with Northeastern University will provide players with a variety of world-class options to continue their personal and professional development.”
The innovative partnership will provide a wide range of educational opportunities to interested players—both during and following their baseball careers—through in-person and online instruction. Players will have access to Northeastern’s full range of academic offerings, including bachelor’s degree programs in high-demand fields such as finance, health sciences, information technology, human services, communications, and psychology, as well as master’s degree and certificate programs in areas such as data analytics, sports leadership, digital media, and project management.
“We recognize the challenges that professional baseball players, like so many others in our society, face in obtaining high-quality educational opportunities,” said Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun. “We must be boundless, and meet learners where they are. That is why this partnership with Major League Baseball—to prepare players at all levels for the next step in their lives and careers—is so important.”
The university will enhance players’ academic experiences through access to Northeastern’s renowned experiential learning model, which integrates in-class learning with real-world job skills development, and its global network of more than 3,000 industry partners. Enrolled students can also take advantage of the university’s network of campuses in Boston, Charlotte, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto.
Players will be guaranteed personalized attention throughout their academic journeys at Northeastern. The university will provide players with an academic advisor who will offer academic and career counseling; develop tailored academic, degree, and career plans; advise and register players for classes; and be a dedicated point of contact for players.
Northeastern also will support the objectives of MLB’s Front Office and Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program by providing academic and career counseling—regardless of social and cultural backgrounds or prior levels of academic experience—to prepare players of all backgrounds for potential roles in the front office or on-field staffs after their playing careers end.
Northeastern has a proven track record of developing and delivering innovative programs for learners at all career and life stages. The university pioneered a partnership with the Boston Ballet to provide dancers the opportunity to earn bachelor’s or advanced degrees while continuing their demanding practice and performance schedules. And in 2015, Northeastern launched the Center for the Advancement of Veterans and Servicemembers, which is dedicated to helping military veterans achieve their educational and career aspirations.