ecoEDI is a low-profit limited liability company (L3C) that facilitates successful post-high school educational opportunities for socially and economically disadvantaged students of all ages.
Through a flexible online course platform, our students enroll in the best college, technical and vocational courses from providers around the country, at a price they can afford. We support our students with staff, counselors, study and career skills development, career and education planning, and a partnership network.
Our programs include everything from pre-college coursework, associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, to vocational, skills-based and technical training.
We work from a socially driven, student-first business model, which is integrated into the very structure of our business as a low-profit limited liability company. Our first and highest goal is each student’s success.
ecoEDI was founded in 2017 by CEO Renee Joseph.
Our mission is nothing less than working with communities to cultivate a generation of competent, self-sufficient students through attainable, affordable education and mentorship.
We Aim to Fundamentally Change the Post-High School Education Experience
For Low-Income, Minority, and Disadvantaged Students
Our programs are designed around students with challenging realities, giving them the scheduling options, pricing and support that will ensure their success. We want to fundamentally change the way that minority, low-income, and disadvantaged communities view an education – it should be an affordable investment that pays off in the long run.
Beyond simply helping people attain and afford a post-high-school education, we aim to equip these underserved communities with the tools for lifelong success, both inside and outside the classroom.
Our Founder’s Story
Our founder and CEO Renee Joseph spent almost two decades in a battle to earn the college degree she felt she needed to pursue her dreams. A minority and low-income student raised in and out of the foster care system, Renee thought she was prepared for a challenging road through college. But she found herself stuck in a higher education system that was not equipped for the reality of her life, and she racked up student loan debt at four different for-profit universities.
Despite spending enough time in physical and virtual classrooms that she might have earned two degrees, the diploma itself eluded her. Yet, Renee continued to take classes, all the while building a successful career, raising two children and caring for a mentally disabled younger brother.
Eventually, Renee found a university that gave her the support, counseling, mentoring and accountability that she needed. In February 2018, she earned a Bachelor of Science in business and human resource management. Shortly after finishing that degree, she began an MBA program.
While Renee was working to complete her own education, her children began thinking about their own career paths. One came to her for help and coaching to find a first job, needing guidance for everything from researching where to apply, to completing job applications to interviewing. Her other child, while still very young, developed a 10-year education and career plan, complete with a chosen field and college.
Renee also knew that both of her children would need a post-secondary education to achieve their dreams. With her own student loans to pay back and retirement to save for, it wasn’t going to be possible for Renee to pay for their educations via traditional paths. Research into affordable alternatives left her frustrated; it was difficult to understand her options, many weren’t truly affordable and the education wasn’t always of good quality. And, Renee wondered, what about all the people who want to get an education but don’t have the support system that her children do?
That was the catalyst for ecoEDI. Her children helped come up with the company’s name and logo, and they continue to be the inspiration behind Renee’s work.
“For thousands of low-income, minority and disadvantaged students, the current progression to post-secondary education simply isn’t working,” Renee says. She is determined to keep other students like her from slipping through the cracks — and ensure that they complete their educations far more quickly, and more affordably, than she did.
“Hands-on advising and support were so influential for me [while] pursuing my education in the midst of a successful career,” Renee says. “How much more impactful could this level of hands-on intervention be for students who haven’t yet fallen through the cracks, or who have given up after unsuccessful or frustrating experiences?”