NEW TOPS TECH EARLY START AND COURSE CHOICE PROVIDERS PROMOTE SKILLED WORKFORCE AND COLLEGE CREDIT PATHWAYS

Dec 04, 2014

Change in Law Allows for TOPS Tech Funding to Help Students Obtain Technical Career Credentials

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education today announced the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has approved new Course Choice providers and, for the first time, TOPS Tech Early Start providers as required by Act 737 of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session. Through Act 737 TOPS-Tech Early Start provides tuition for high school juniors and seniors to pursue an industry-based occupational or vocational education credential in a top-demand occupation while still in high school.

“Offering our students quality courses aligning with the future demands of our state’s job market is key,” said State Superintendent John White.  “These programs will expand new ways of providing students an opportunity to access a customized pathway to prosperity, giving students a competitive edge in the workforce.”

TOPS-Tech Early Start

Act 737 of the 2014 Legislative Session expands the use of the TOPS-Tech Early Start award to provide tuition for high school juniors and seniors to pursue any technical or applied course leading to an Industry-Based Certification, Certificate of Applied Sciences, or a Certificate of Technical Sciences while still in high school. The courses could be in job sectors such as construction, automotive, or engineering. The state will pay for up to two courses per student each semester, at a rate of $150 per course, for courses offered at a Louisiana public or non-public post-secondary institution or any Louisiana training provider recognized by the Louisiana Workforce Commission and approved by BESE. In the first year those providers are listed below.

Training Provider

Course Type

Region

Description

Associated Builders and Contractors

Face-to-Face

Greater New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles

Portfolio of construction craft training curricula

St. James Parish School Board

Face-to-Face

Statewide

Portfolio of academic and career preparation courses including construction crafts, cosmetology, and hospitality



Course Choice

Course Choice provides opportunities for Louisiana students by partnering with industry, higher education, online education, and schools themselves to offer a diverse range of courses for students.

Act 482 of the 2014 Regular Legislative Session brought Course Choice into alignment with the Supplemental Course Allocations, allowing students to choose a potential career path through diverse college- and career-training preparatory courses. The courses are offered through universities, colleges, technical colleges, business and industry, and are based on the needs of Louisiana’s economy and workforce.

For the 2014-2015 school year, there are 42 providers offering more than 1,000 courses ranging from foreign language to Dual Enrollment and special skill crafts. BESE approved the following five providers bringing the total for the 2015-2016 school year to 47.
 

Course Provider

Course Type

Region

Description

Edmentum

Online

Statewide

National provider of online learning courses used by many Louisiana districts; offers portfolio of AP, STEM, world languages and academic courses

Pinnacle Learning Solutions

Online

Statewide

Owner-operated course provider by former Louisiana teachers; offers portfolio of elective courses including AP

St. Agatha Career Center

Face-to-Face

New Orleans

Proprietary career school training students and serving long-term care institutions in New Orleans; offers Nurses aide training

Urban League of Greater New Orleans

Face-to-Face

Greater

New Orleans

The Urban League will offer Career Readiness courses to students in New Orleans area

Youth Empowerment Project (YEP)

Face-to-Face

New Orleans

YEP offers counseling and instruction in partnership with high schools to help at-risk students graduate



For more information on the Course Choice/Supplemental Course Academy, please click here.

For more information on TOPS-Tech Early Start, please click here.
 

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