MANCHESTER, NH (July 27, 2015) -- Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) entered into a multi-year partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS) today, becoming the League’s exclusive education partner. This breakthrough partnership is the first of its kind for MLS. Through this agreement, SNHU will empower MLS players to pursue higher education degrees while also pursuing their careers as professional soccer players. MLS will provide exclusive learning opportunities and experiences to current SNHU students.
As a private, nonprofit university with an 80-year history, SNHU is an ideal partner for MLS with the potential to reach and support students that require innovative education options. SNHU has more than 55,000 students nationwide and a 600-acre campus in Manchester, NH.
“We are excited to partner with an organization that shares our passion for providing accessible, affordable, high-quality education. Partnering with MLS will allow us to meet students where they are and show them that higher education is within their reach,” said Paul LeBlanc, president, Southern New Hampshire University. “Our partnership will include community-based initiatives aimed at supporting youth programs, local charities and the military, as well as once-in-a-lifetime internship opportunities for our online and on-campus students.”
SNHU will provide educational scholarships for MLS players and staff throughout the partnership. Similarly, current SNHU students will benefit from engaging with key MLS officials through coursework integration as well as access to internships within the League. The agreement also includes several community-based initiatives aimed at supporting youth programs, local charities and the military.
Both organizations recognize the value of higher education in attaining long-term personal and career-related goals. This is particularly relevant for players looking towards career options after retirement.
“Through this unique partnership we have the ability to provide players who want to play professionally with an opportunity to continue to pursue a high-quality college education,” said MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott. “This is a truly innovative agreement and one that will provide great benefits to both our players and our league.”