We sought to generate awareness and interest in online education with the soccer community at large by addressing a real issue facing the sport that Southern New Hampshire University is uniquely positioned to solve.
In contrast to the role college plays for athletes aspiring to play in the NFL or NBA, talented soccer players are often faced with foregoing college in pursuit of a professional career potentially leaving them underprepared for life after soccer.
Given this insight, our idea was to establish Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) as the exclusive education partner of Major League Soccer (MLS). This breakthrough arrangement empowers athletes to pursue their higher-education degrees while playing through innovative, flexible online education options so they no longer have to postpone one dream to achieve another.
Current SNHU students will benefit from engaging with key MLS officials through coursework integration and league-based internships. The agreement also includes several community-based initiatives aimed at supporting youth programs, local charities and the military establishing deeper roots in MLS markets and empowering future generations.
We helped SNHU’s effort to build 26 safe places to learn and play in MLS communities, fostered donations exceeding $300,000 to the United Service Organizations (USO), celebrated more than 20 SNHU scholarships, enrolled more than 180 MLS players, retired players, and staff into SNHU degree programming, and aided in $100,000 of fundraising for U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Soccer for Success Program.