Jan 19, 2016

Focus of Jump Start Turns to School-Level Rollout More than a Year Ahead of Schedule

BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education today hosted the 2nd Annual Jump Start Convention at the Baton Rouge River Center. Nearly 1,200 Louisiana educators and business leaders gathered to celebrate current successes and focus on classroom implementation for the 2016-2017 school year.

Jump Start is the state’s new initiative to provide students with basic and advanced career credentials that allow students to continue their education after high school. Jump Start is for all students. College-bound students can also earn industry-valued credentials. To achieve the Jump Start credential, students complete graduation pathways of courses and workplace-based experiences developed by Jump Start regional teams made up of industry, colleges, and school districts. Thousands of students in Louisiana are currently pursuing a high school diploma through one of 47 approved graduation pathways. Jump Start Regional Teams are currently developing additional pathways to submit for approval.

During the convention, Department staff delivered updates on the classroom implementation of Jump Start to those in attendance, including:

  • This year’s 10th graders must select a TOPS University or Jump Start TOPS Tech Career diploma pathway as part of their Individual Graduation Planning process. Pathways are structured so students can change pathways as their interests evolve and still graduation on time.
  • Because graduation pathways require frequent updating, the Jump Start team will review all pathways every 60 days through the 2016-2017 school year. The most common change will be adding relevant courses not included during additional development. No comparisons of pathway version will be necessary as no courses will be omitted and no credentials will be deleted during updates.
  • Several hundred Louisiana students are now pursuing the Micro-Enterprise Credential. Because small business play a large role in Louisiana’s economy, this pathway will help students develop the financial fluency and workplace skills to be an asset for small business employers.

“Jump Start is raising the bar for high school student career preparation across the state,” said State Superintendent John White. “Our focus is now turning to classroom implementation to make sure students and parents are aware of the opportunities they have. This program is designed to give our students the credentials they need to participate in the job boom Louisiana is experiencing.”

“The Jump Start program greatly enhances our efforts to realize Ascension's vision of every child successful in an ever-changing world,” said Patrice Pujol, Ascension Parish Schools Superintendent. “By working collaboratively with our business and industry partners to provide career training opportunities for high school, students, our students are graduating career ready. This program is beneficial for both college-going students and those entering the workforce who simultaneously earn diplomas and industry credentials. Jump Start provides clear paths forward for students' life-long success in high wage, high demand jobs right here in Louisiana.”

“Because of the Jump Start initiative, our district has been able to forge partnerships with business and industry that previously did not exist,” said Superintendent Tony Authement, Rapides Parish Schools. “Consequently, we have collaboratively carved out pathways for our students that will truly meet the demands of the workplace and ensure that our students are prepared for success upon graduation. As an example, UTLX Manufacturing, one of our community’s largest employers and one of the country’s largest producers of railroad tank cars, partnered with us to not only help create viable pathways to align with their workplace needs, but also donated $50,000 worth of welding equipment to the four schools in our district with welding programs. As a result, students will be trained on the exact equipment that welders at UTLX use each and every day."

Business leaders delivered an overview of the workforce skills and credentials, recruiting process, and hiring requirements of Louisiana companies, including ways students can be successful at their company and in industry. Additionally, educators and business professionals in attendance participated in breakout sessions to learn specifics about implementing Jump Start in the classroom. Those sessions included:

  • Jump Start Internship Programs: Maximizing Student Workplace Opportunities Statewide – maximizing resources available statewide in 2016-2017 such as Workplace Internships, a new Virtual Workplace Experience course, and the Baton Rouge Area Chamber Micro-Enterprise Credential attainable by all Louisiana students.
  • Industry and Education Partnerships: A New Model of Industry Engagement – rebooting industry engagement statewide with goal of better aligning the Jump Start pathways supported and student credentials earned.
  • Jump Starting Externships: Providing Teachers with Cutting-Edge Industry Experience – developing successful externships providing teachers with experience in modern industry methods and how Jump Start can help schools fund future externships for career and technical education teachers.
  • Counselor Support: Critical School-Level Support for Jump Start Success – support for Professional School Counselors working with families to select the right Jump Start Pathway as part of the Individual Graduation Planning process.
  • Practical Steps Districts and Schools can take to Maximize Jump Start Funding – district administrators and principals will learn steps to help generate and effectively use funding that is in addition to the Minimum Foundation Program funding districts receive each year.

“Certiport is pleased to be working with Louisiana educators and stakeholders to develop the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management certification,” said Aaron Osmond, Certiport Business Unit General Manager. “This credential addresses a national and international need for a small business/entrepreneurism industry credential that confirms high school students have mastered concepts and skills essential to small business success. What Louisiana is implementing today is likely to become the worldwide standard for high school student industry credentialing. At this year’s Jump Start Convention, Certiport will be sharing with Louisiana educators how they can take advantage of the Micro-Enterprise Credential, as well as exciting new opportunities to help both their career-oriented students and their university-oriented students attain multiple high-value IT credentials.”

“ABC continues to support Jump Start, a program that has helped high school students attain hundreds of industry credentials with our instruction and support,” said David Alexander, Director of Education for Associated Builders and Contractors “In 2016, we will continue to explore opportunities to expand the number of high schools we work with - during the school year and over the summer - to give Louisiana high school students the opportunity to earn high-value credentials that will lead to high-wage careers.”

“Jump Start is a crucial partner for the Louisiana Workforce Commission as we work to ensure that young people have the outstanding preparation that will provide paths to family-sustaining jobs and make Louisiana’s workforce the nation’s most effective,” said Ava Dejoie, Louisiana Workforce Commission Executive Director.

“Nepris is a technology company that connects K-12 students virtually with industry experts in every industry, anywhere in the country or the world,” said Sabari Raja, Nepris Co-founder and CEO. “Our mission is to open the world of academic and career opportunities to students, to help them imagine and realize their best possible future by connecting them with industry role models.”

For the rest of this school year and during the 2016-2017 school year, districts will develop instructional capabilities, instructors will become credentialed to help students achieve industry certifications, and students will have the option of graduation through the Jump Start Graduation Pathways. Full implementation of Jump Start will begin in the 2017-2018 school year, at which time basic diplomas will no longer be awarded.

For more information on Jump Start, please click here.

For more information on approved Jump Start Graduation Pathways, please click here.

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