UPS Metropolitan College celebrates its 10th anniversary - WDRB 41 Louisville News

UPS Metropolitan College celebrates its 10th anniversary

It's where students can go to college for free, but have to work part-time for 20 hours a week.  UPS's Metropolitian College is marking its tenth anniversary.

More than 10,000 people have participated in the program.  More than 2200 have received their degrees.

Jason Koerner was one of the first graduates of the Metropolitan College:  "I feel successful, but only successful because of the assistance that was given to me."

Koerner is in his first semester as a psychology teacher at Jefferson Community and Technical College:  "Financially, I was in no position to be able to attend college like I wanted to.  And I still remember how excited I was to hear that they had this program available, and I came to UPS directly out of high school."

He now has his Master's degree and also supervises the school-to-work program for high school students at UPS.

Those who are enrolled in the Metropolitan College either attend JCTC or U of L.  They receive free tuition and work about 20 hours a week at the UPS hub overnight where wages start at $8.50 an hour.

Student and mentor Ashley Chapman explains, "I work five hours a night, and go to sleep when I get home, and a lot of students have a hard time falling asleep.  But I go straight to sleep and schedule afternoon classes so that I'll get enough time to sleep and study before I have to go to work again."

Ashley says the schedule can be demanding, and that time management is important to being a successful Metropolitan College student.

Some of the students serve as mentors to help others get thru the program.  One of them, Cheryl Davis, says, "Sometimes, especially new students starting, I see them real agressive and wanting to take a full load and feeling they can do it -- to make sure they understand that they need to do well in classes as well, making sure they can take on the amount they can handle and manage their job as well."

The program not only is an opportunity for students to be able to go to college, but it guarantees that UPS will have a stable workforce.

George Poling of UPS Metro College points out, "As you can imagine, it's really hard to staff an operation that only uses people for a few hours every night and in the middle of the night to boot.  And UPS knew that college students made really good workers, so we entered into this partnership back in 1998 and I think it's been a tremendous success."

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