06/15/2010 02:24 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Higher-Degree Discounts at Wal-Mart

"Now on sale at Wal-Mart: college degrees for its employees. The purveyor of inexpensive jeans and lawnmowers is dipping its toe into the online-education waters, working with a Web-based university to offer its employees in the United States affordable college degrees." - The New York Times

Hello, students, and welcome to Wal-U, the most comprehensive learning-based environment available at Wal-Mart stores today! Please use the following introductory guide to help you get started earning your deeply-discounted diploma:

What courses of study are available?
At Wal-Mart, we like to think of ourselves as one big tightly-smiling family, which is why you have a choice of any degree you like... as long as "Dad" approves, that is!

For our employees, that means a wide range of options including, and limited to, the following degrees: Bachelor of Rollbacks; Bachelor of the Art of Product Placement; Bachelor Party, Pad, and Culinary Studies; Master of Cash Register Functions, and Master of the Science of Aisle-Navigation. We also offer 2-year degrees in Box Stacking, Unpacking, and Breakdown-Management, Dental Aisle Hygienics, and Count Management (formerly offered as "Inventory Specialist").

Employees who have achieved one of these degrees and wish to continue their Wal-Mart brand education have the option of earning their PhG, or Philosophy of Greeting, degree.

When and where will classes be held?
We know that our employees love the quality, convenience, and disposability that defines our stores, which is why any classes not performed on-the-job will be available online 24 hours a day!

In case you don't have a home computer, or if you bought yours at Wal-Mart, we have thoughtfully designated the computer your regional manager donated as a tax write-off three years ago as our "in-house lab," located in basement storage room C.

Use the time you spend waiting in line, or the even longer time you spend waiting for web-pages to load, studying!

Are my credits transferable?

Absolutely -- credits earned at Wal-U can be applied to any campus nationwide.

Unless they are applied to another Wal-U location, however, they are not likely to be accepted.

What sorts of classes will I be taking?
The following class-offerings might give you a good idea of the exciting new things you'll be learning while you pursue your degree. Locate your course catalogue for full class listings:

  • When the Price-gun Breaks: The Mathematics of Entering SKUs Manually: This practical-applications course teaches undergraduates how all those numbers on the cash register work. With special emphasis on decimal-point placement theory, twos, and appropriate manager-calling situations.
  • Psychology 113: The Eerie Valley: How Low is Too Low?: Did you know that some consumers wonder if they should trust salmon filets being sold in Missouri at $0.43/pound? Have you ever heard whispers that "anything this cheap had to come from a sweatshop?" Do you know individuals who think our trademark smiling yellow face is hiding something deadly behind that maniacal grin? In this course, you'll learn how to locate the ideal price-point for any object, as well as identify which organic foods, "lead-free" toys, and Wal-Med-brand chemotherapy drugs can be sold for less, and which should be billed as "premium" products.
  • How Were Those Pyramids Built? A History of Storage-Room Stacking from 1950 to the Present: Even before individually operated mini-cranes became a fixture of Super Wal-Marts nationwide, our ancestors were stacking boxes in incredibly complex patterns, maximizing both readability and eventual removal despite limited, arm-based technologies. With special guest lecturer Eddie, who used to work unloading trucks, but now just greets a few days a week "because of his arthritis."
Is there a dorm option? Of course! For your dorm assignment, simply check your mailbox in the next few weeks - that address will be where you're staying. What can I do with my Wal-U degree?

Anything you want -- use it for starter origami, laminate it and turn it into a uniquely personal place-mat, or let it help brighten up next year's Christmas when you lace it between the logs in your hearth to help them start. The amount of creative, exciting options that little piece of paper can give you are nearly endless.

If you meant what can you do professionally, the options are still nearly endless -- after all, there are a lot of Wal-Marts out there.