Jan 27, 2020

Approximately 1,400 Participants to Map Next Phase of State's Premier Career and Technical Education Program

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Approximately 1,400 Louisiana educators and industry leaders on Tuesday, January 28, will convene at the 6th annual Jump Start Convention, held at the Raising Cane's River Center, to reflect on the progress of the state's premier career and technical education program, to build knowledge and share resources, and to strategize for the future. The event's theme is "Modern Pathways to a Prosperous Future."

Launched in 2014, Jump Start is Louisiana's innovative career and technical education (CTE) program. Jump Start prepares students to lead productive adult lives, capable of continuing their education after high school while earning certifications in high-wage career sectors. Students are required to attain industry-promulgated, industry-valued credentials aligned to one of more than 50 approved pathways in order to graduate with a career diploma. Jump Start is an elective path for students pursuing a university-preparatory diploma.

Prior to Jump Start, fewer than two percent of students graduated with a career diploma. Today, more than one in five students graduate with a career diploma. Similarly, the number of industry-based credentials obtained by Louisiana students has skyrocketed, from 17,885 in 2014 to over 90,000 in 2018.

"Jump Start has fundamentally changed the opportunities available to young people in Louisiana," said State Superintendent John White, who will deliver the event's opening address at 7:40 a.m. "However, it remains the case that too often those credentials are not translating into full-time employment after high school, youth unemployment remains high, and many high school graduates do not have concrete plans for their future following graduation. This convention presents an opportunity for educators and industry leaders to come together to discuss how we can better prepare our students for lifelong success, and in turn, move Louisiana forward."

At the day-long event, attendees will reflect on recent CTE gains. Among the highlights, in 2019:

  • Local education and business leaders across the state partnered to expand the Jump Start Summers program, which enabled 1,942 students, including those with disabilities, to receive paid, on-the-job career and technical training during the summer months. Participating students earned an average stipend of $939 and 1,650 academic credits, 472 dual enrollment credit hours, and 2,223 industry-based credentials.
  • Louisiana approved a new Jump Start pathway to equip both college and career-bound high school students interested in pursuing a career in education with the knowledge and skills needed to find success upon graduation. The Pre-Educator Pathway includes a special progression of courses to help students develop a strong foundation of academic knowledge and skills, as well as an understanding of diverse learners and the learning environment.
  • Louisiana expanded opportunities for high school students to develop knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, to help them succeed following graduation, all while earning career credentials and transferable course credit to LSU and Xavier University. The four new Jump Start STEM pathways, available to both college and career-bound students, include Xavier University Pre-Pharmacy; LSU Biomedical Sciences; LSU Computing; and National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center, or NICERC, Cyber Security.
  • Quest for Success, an innovative course that allows middle and high school students to develop essential workplace skills, explore various careers and industry sectors, and learn about themselves and their interests in order to successfully navigate life after high school, was scaled statewide. The course, which will replace the Journey to Careers course, was designed by the 22 educators who participated in the Louisiana Educator Voice Fellowship.

Attendees will also look to the future of CTE in Louisiana by reviewing the implementation plan for  Jump Start 2.0--a five-year expansion of the existing Jump Start program that emphasizes reducing the stigma attached to career education and better aligning offerings to state workforce needs--and by discussing what to expect from the program in 2020. 

This spring, for example, 11 Jump Start 2.0 pathways will go before the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education for approval. The pathways include: Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources; Architecture & Construction; Arts, A/V Technology, & Communication; Business Management & Administration; Health Sciences; Hospitality & Tourism; Human Services; Information Technology; Law, Public Safety, Corrections, & Security; Manufacturing; and Transportation, Distribution, & Logistics.

In addition, attendees will participate in 18 unique sessions that complement the event's theme. They will also engage with students and other school and industry representatives from across the state who are participating in the Galleria Walk, a showcase of success stories.

Learn more about the 2020 Jump Start Convention.

Watch a live video stream of the event's opening session, starting Jan. 28 at 7:40 a.m. Central.

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