Despite its name, Metropolitan College is not a college. It was established as a
partnership among Jefferson Community and Technical College, the University of Louisville
and charter business partner UPS. This partnership provides eligible Kentucky residents
access to a tuition-free post-secondary education and outstanding employment opportunities.
With funding support from the Kentucky and Louisville Metro governments and UPS,
the mission of Metropolitan College is to assist students to integrate work, academic
and career goals, and personal lives through a unique combination of programs and
Everyone benefits when more people have access to an education and Metropolitan
College is here to provide people with that opportunity.
Metropolitan College is a joint education-workforce-economic development
initiative among the University of Louisville (U of L), Jefferson Community and
Technical College (JCTC), Louisville Metro and State of Kentucky governments, and
the region’s largest employer, UPS. Metropolitan College was a critical element
of the incentive package that convinced UPS to remain in Kentucky and to expand
its major overnight air hub, Worldport. This uniquely innovative education program
offers access to post-secondary education opportunities for eligible employees in
the Next Day Air operation at UPS Worldport. Acknowledged by the U.S. Department
of Labor for best practices in innovative solutions to workforce development, Metropolitan
College and UPS offer a well-documented solution for the elimination of the financial
barriers to higher education for residents of Kentucky. Since its inception in 1998,
this innovative partnership has helped thousands of students receive a free education
and on-the-job training while reducing the annual turnover rate of new hires from
100% to less than 20%.
Participants in the Metropolitan College program work part-time at UPS in the Next
Day Air operation, receiving wages and full benefits. Metropolitan College participants
may attend Jefferson Community and Technical College or the University of Louisville
(specific admission criteria must be met) where they are eligible for full undergraduate
Kentucky resident tuition for all coursework passed with a “C” or above.
In addition, Metropolitan College participants are eligible for book reimbursement
(up to $65 per class) and academic completion bonuses. To fulfill the program’s
mission of assisting students to integrate their academic, work and personal lives,
Metropolitan College has a team of Student Development Counselors who assist students
in a wide array of support services to ensure their success both in the workplace
and in the classroom.
In addition to UPS, Metropolitan College has also facilitated post-secondary education
opportunities for the employees of Community Alternatives Kentucky (CAKY), a subsidiary
of ResCare. Metropolitan College also facilitated educational assistance for Humana
through the Humana Higher Education Program. These partnerships provide good examples
of how the Metropolitan College model can be scaled to fit the needs of other companies.
Developing a responsive and educated workforce for the region and state is another
key component of the program. Metropolitan College partnered with KentuckianaWorks
and Jefferson Community and Technical College to develop the CREW Career Center.
CREW, which stands for Connecting Resources, Education and Workforce, provides comprehensive
career development services for all Jefferson Community and Technical College students
and Metropolitan College students while also operating as a career one-stop for
citizens in the Louisville Metro region.