The Education That Works program at Memphis Catholic provides a unique and affordable alternative for urban families who seek a private, college-preparatory school for their sons and daughters. With the help of our corporate sponsors, Memphis Catholic offers students from low-income families a quality education and real-life work experience that are designed to prepare them for college and successful careers thereafter.
Basically, the ETW is a simple equation: Students + Sponsors = Success. Since the beginning of the Education That Works program at Memphis Catholic in the 2006-2007 school year, four of the five graduating classes have had a 100% graduation rate, and for the past three years, over 60% of our seniors have received academic scholarships to college. In a city where nearly 30% of public high school students drop out, much less attend college, 72% of ETW graduates who have gone to college are currently enrolled and on track to graduate in four years.
ETW also significantly impacts the success of our sponsor companies. In the Memphis metropolitan area, only 23.7% of the population graduated from college, and it is estimated that between 2010 and 2018, 68% of all new jobs created will require a college degree. There are many short-term benefits for the sponsor firms, but the biggest return on their ETW investment is the demonstrable contribution ETW is making in grooming the future workforce in Memphis.
Over half of the families we serve qualify for the federal free or reduced lunch program, and every high school student at Memphis Catholic participates in the ETW corporate intern program to earn approximately two-thirds of their tuition by working five full days per month for a ETW sponsor. Some 60% of our students also qualify for donor-assisted tuition assistance, but all families at Memphis Catholic pay some part of their tuition. Thus all parties are invested in the student’s success.
Our students come from over 30 zip codes in the Memphis metropolitan area. We have slightly more girls (51%) than boys (49%) and more non-Catholics (75%) than Catholics (25%). The ETW student body resembles the racial makeup of the city of Memphis. Some 75% of our students are black, 9% are white, 7% are multi-racial, 4% are Hispanic/Latino, 3% are African, and 2% are Asian.
To accommodate the unique work/study curriculum, ETW students have longer school days and a longer school year than their public school counterparts, equaling 287 more hours of instructional time per year than students in Memphis city schools. Their hard work pays off with higher test scores and expectations of success.
Director of Work Study
901.276.1221 ext. 16
901.276.1221 ext. 11