Today, some Ville Platte High School students "graduated" from a summer program at LSU Eunice.
The students celebrated their completion of an information technology program that earnd them both an industry certification and credit toward graduation.
The university is collaborating with Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) and the Evangeline Parish School Board (Ville Platte High) for the project, which organizers say is the first of its kind.
LSUE offered students a "dual enrollment" opportunity to train in Information Technology over the summer and obtain their COMP-TIA IT Fundamentals Certification while also achieving a Carnegie unit that applies toward their high school transcript course requirements.
Today was the commencement ceremony for the program's students.
"These students are able to go out into the workforce and have a entry level position in IT skills or in Cyber security," says John Hamlin, vice chancellor for academic affairs. "It also gives them a stackable credential that they can continue to build on so that they can further their education and go on into higher learning."
The aim of the "JAGuar and Tiger Initiative" is to connect students to a postsecondary education and industry leaders; enhance their collegiate experience; encourage persistence in achieving academic goals and raise career aspirations.
"In the next few weeks of the program we can expect to be learning more about computer software, advancing our knowledge and then testing that knowledge and after that being fully ready if we want to attend here and if we want to go further into the field," said Zoey Wilson, a student.
The pilot program successfully ended with 100% of the 22 JAG-LA student participants successfully completing the program course work and instruction for the CompTIA IT Fundamentals career-training course with LSUE.
They have all tested and passed resulting in their achievement of their certification, a Carnegie unit that will apply to their high school transcript, and a nice stipend that totaled almost $2000.