Opportunity for students to earn credit, get paid

Posted at 10:12 AM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-16 11:12:25-04

The Louisiana Department of Education today announced plans to expand its Jump Start Summers initiative, allowing nearly 2,000 high school students the opportunity to earn academic credit, engage in workplace-based learning and attain critical industry-based credentials, all while earning a wage, during the upcoming summer months. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) on Wednesday will vote to approve 46 new program providers across the state.

The proposed programs will last an average of four weeks, serve a total of 1,922 students, and the average stipend amount will be $605. The proposed programs focus on work in the fields of automotive, business, construction, culinary arts, health care, hospitality, tourism and retail, information technology and manufacturing.

"Workplace-based learning provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to master essential workplace behaviors and communication skills, while making their academic schoolwork more relevant," said State Superintendent John White. "This is true for all students–those who are university-bound, as well as those who are career-focused."

Jump Start Summers helps high school students prepare for college, career and life success by giving them the opportunity to attain high-demand, industry-based credentials in their areas of career interest, master essential workplace "soft skills," and earn academic credit during the summer. All students participating in Jump Start Summers programs engage in a work-based learning or job shadowing experience with an industry partner and earn a wage based on attendance, engagement and achievement.

The program also provides school systems the chance to earn accountability points by helping recent graduates who did not complete their preparation for adult life in high school earn industry credentials and master essential workplace behaviors and communication skills. It is funded by Supplemental Course Allocation, which gives school systems state money to offset the high cost of high school credit courses.

The Department launched Jump Start Summers in 2017. In its inaugural year, 11 school systems and one-course provider were approved to participate, and 261 students across the state enrolled. Ninety-six percent of students enrolled completed their paid internships. They earned a collective 304.5 academic credits and 445 industry-based credentials in skilled trades, information technology, automotive and advanced manufacturing.

Forty-six providers, 10 of which participated in the inaugural year, are recommended for approval for the summer of 2018.  These providers, if approved by BESE, will offer students opportunities for academic credit toward a Jump Start Career Diploma, the earning of state industry based credentials, job shadowing and/or internship opportunities, and stipends for student participation.

For a complete list of 2018 proposed providers and program descriptions, click here.

For more information on Jump Start Summers, click here.

For more information on All Things Jump Start, click here.