CWU News

New partnership good for ITAM students and Zappos employees

Central Washington University and Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer based in Las Vegas, have a new relationship that will lead to jobs for students and degrees for employees.

Under the agreement, CWU students studying information technology and administrative management (ITAM) will have more internship and job opportunities at Zappos; and Zappos employees will have opportunities to earn ITAM degrees from CWU.

“We are excited to collaborate with contemporary companies like Zappos, whose leadership is using information technology to build new ways to best deliver products and services,” said Professor Robert Lupton, chair of the ITAM Department. “This captures the strength of the curriculum as being relevant, current, and applied.” 

CWU’s ITAM programs—offered online and in-person—prepare students for IT-infused careers in areas such as e-commerce, management, selling, purchasing, operations, merchandising, distribution and logistics, and entrepreneurship. Classes emphasize critical thinking and communication skills—elements often missing in the IT field. They also cover database management, cybersecurityand leadership and supervision.

“ITAM students learn the knowledge and competencies required for them to compete and work in the modern business world,” Lupton said. “CWU ITAM degrees will directly help Zappos employees be leaders in the fast growing online market.”

Under the new partnership:

  • Zappos will be invited to guest speaking engagements and recruiting events at CWU.
  • Company representatives will work with students on class projects.
  • CWU faculty will make recommendations to Zappos about potential student employees.
  • Zappos internships will be created for qualified students.
  • Tuition waivers will be available to Zappos employees who enroll in ITAM at CWU. They’ll pay the in-state tuition rate for the online undergraduate program and 125 percent of the in-state tuition rate for the one-year online graduate program.
  • CWU and Zappos will work together on core ITAM curriculum and specialization courses.
  • Zappos will share industry trends with CWU.

New programs may emerge from the partnership in the future, such as a specialized Zappos employee training or certificate program.

“We’re very excited about our new friendship with CWU," said  Jake Mccrea, content developer for ZapposU. "It’s really a win-win-win situation: Zapponians will have easier access to leading-edge educational opportunities that can accelerate their professional growth, CWU students will gain insight and access into Zappos’ unique business and culture, and educators within each organization have so much we can learn from each other!”

Employers in any industry recognize the value of the applied skills taught in ITAM and the value of a degree conferred by a reputable, 125-year-old state university. And with CWU’s online options, busy professionals have the flexibility to advance their careers. All of CWU’s online programs are fully-accredited and led by faculty committed to teaching, learning, and individual student success. For more information about ITAM, go to

Media contact: Barb Arnott, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2841,

September 8, 2015