Corporate Work Study FAQ

How does the Corporate Work Study program differ from an internship or mentorship program?

In addition to being students, attendees of Providence Cristo Rey High School are also legally defined as employees of the Corporate Work Study Program and not as interns.  Internships traditionally involve supervised practical training pertaining to a particular job or profession.  Most jobs performed by PCRHS students typically exist in a wide array of work environments.  Our students are skilled at  data entry, filing, reception, mass mailing, and most entry level office work:  tasks that must be performed  in a variety of types of businesses.  Most companies which partner with Providence Cristo Rey’s CWS program are also able to find duties which relate to their specific business. Students are therefore able to gain practical knowledge about the various industries in which they work. This, in turn, gives them valuable perspective for college and as they start to sharpen their career focus.

Isn’t it illegal for a high school student to have a job during the school day?

This was once the case. When the first Cristo Rey school was founded in 1996 in Chicago, special permission had to be secured from the United States Department of Labor and the Illinois State Department of Labor.  Since then, due to the success of the Cristo Rey Network schools, including Providence Cristo Rey High School, Congress changed the laws to allow students participating in an academic work program such as ours to work, provided they met certain criteria (age of student, proper documentation, approved job type, etc.).

What does Providence Cristo Rey High School do to ensure these students are ready for the workplace?

The Corporate Work Study office has an obligation to both students and employers alike to prepare these students for what, for many of them, will be their first job experience.  To that end, all incoming students are required to attend a two-week training program at the end of summer.  During this program, the students are taught proper filing techniques, and basic Microsoft Word and Excel software,.  They also learn about confidentiality, teamwork, avoiding workplace harassment and discrimination, and even proper etiquette at a business luncheon.  Beyond that, over the course of the year each student will receive four quarterly reviews from their work-site supervisor grading them in 15 different categories.

How much of what my company pays goes toward the cost of education? 

100% of the fees paid by a company to  Providence Cristo Rey’s CWS program are applied to the student’s tuition bill.

Are corporate payments to the Corporate Work Study program tax-deductible as charitable contributions?

No.  Since partnering companies receive services rendered for the money they pay, these contributions are not considered charitable contributions, but a business expense.

How many students can a company employ?

When determining how many students to employ, it is important to remember that the goal of this program is to provide a necessary source of tuition funding by employing students as productive members of a corporate team. A company may hire as few as two students.  There is no upward limit on how many students a company may hire. As many as 14 students have worked for a single company in a year.

How may I learn more about the Corporate Work Study program and if my company is a good fit for participation?

Contact Kathryn Densborn, Vice President of Corporate Work Study and Institutional Advancement, at 317.860.1000 x 114 for more information. Read the testimonials from other CWS partners.