Be Like Local 318's Lanette Kinsella: Get Your AFSCME Free College Degree


Lanette Kinsella of AFSCME Local 318 is a Motor Vehicle Examiner for the Department of Motor Vehicles in Wethersfield. With more than 13 years on the job, and a desire to advance in state service she is not standing pat when it comes to furthering her education.

Kinsella is among many AFSCME members across the country who took advantage of the AFSCME Free College program to earn an Associate’s Degree in Business Management.

“As an older worker, I felt that I needed to update my education,” she said. “The AFSCME program is a free opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

AFSCME’s Free College program has enabled members like Kinsella will earn the online, two-year degree from Eastern Gateway Community College in Ohio at no cost. What’s more, the program is also open to AFSCME family members and retirees.

AFSCME Free College offers many general education and technical courses that are transferrable to other colleges and universities, including in-demand programs such as health care administration, teacher education, programming and development, cybersecurity, advertising, human resources and accounting.

“Online learning is not easy. You have to put the time in. But it’s worth the effort,” Kinsella said. “The [organizational management] course I took has helped me at my job and will help me advance in my career.”

AFSCME members and their families can also do what Kinsella is planning to do next: earn a bachelor’s degree in teacher education or business administration – for free.

In response to the health and economic uncertainty facing many AFSCME members, the AFSCME Bachelor's Degree Completion Program, in partnership with Central State University, is making it possible for students who enroll in the summer 2020 term to complete their entire degree online with no out-of-pocket cost – as long as they remain continuously enrolled. Students may enroll part time, but continuous enrollment is required. 

Register for the Fall term starting January 11, 2021.

There will be no out-of-pocket cost for tuition, fees, or e-books through graduation, not just the summer term. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and go through Central State University’s aid process.

Students who are unemployed, furloughed or laid off need not worry. They and their eligible family members can still enroll in the bachelor’s completion program. AFSCME is here to help members and their families through these uncertain times. 

Members can learn more about this limited time offer by calling 888-897-9671 or get started online at