Partnering with more than 1,700 businesses, Cristo Rey schools are changing the face of urban education in the United States. Assuming the role of an employee leasing agency, the Corporate Work Study Program has streamlined the process for employing their students. Students are not on the payroll of the employing organization; rather they are employees of the school’s separately incorporated Corporate Work Study Program, which the sponsoring organization pays annually for the services of the students.
Every Cristo Rey student takes a full course load of college preparatory coursework for four years, as he or she participates one day each week in a four-year Corporate Work Study Program to fund the majority of their tuition.
Students at Cristo Rey schools work in job-sharing teams of four. Each student works five full days a month. Their academic schedules are structured so that students work without missing any classes.
While initially serving as simply a financial proposition to pay the operational costs of the school for students who otherwise would not have the financial opportunity to attend a private, college preparatory high school, the Corporate Work Study Program has realized many real-world benefits for its students. The program has evolved into an innovative means of providing students with crucial hands-on, white-collar work experience, while simultaneously empowering them to assume an active role in financing the larger portion of their education. As a result of working in a business environment, students create positive relationships in the business and professional communities, build their resources, acquire valuable job experience and marketable skills, develop a network of business contacts and gain exposure to a wide range of career opportunities.