LEESVILLE, La. --Vernon Parish students who are interested in preparing for college and career have the opportunity to participate in the Jump Start Initiative program. It is a program that prepares them to continue their education at a technical or community college. It also earns them industry credentials that will help them attain entry-level employment.
The Jump Start Initiative program was recently held at the conclusion of the regular school year, May 28 - June 27. This was the 2nd year of the program for VPSB. A total of 19 students were enrolled this summer. There were 10 students in the Computing Technology Industry Association (COMP TIA) and nine students in the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) Welding Level 1 program. This was an overall increase of six students compared to the 2018 program.
Jump Start program students
- Attain industry credential that employers value
- Complete introductory Career Essentials courses during which students master workplace "soft skills" behaviors and communications skills that help them find good jobs and succeed
- Can be introduced to workplace internships during high school
- Complete the type of course work that will enable them to continue their education through employer training, technical college courses, and four-year colleges (if they so desire)
Students this summer participated in activities such as job shadowing, program mentoring, hands-on training and visitations to industry sites. Students received a stipend if they successfully completed program requirements.
Some of the unique benefits of Jump Start programs are:
- the opportunity for students to focus more intensely on attaining valued Industry Based Certifications (IBC's) in a "work-like" setting;
- the opportunity to more fully engage students with disabilities and students with other risk factors;
- the opportunity for university-bound students to earn IBC's outside of the regular academic pressure of the school year
- the opportunity for cross-district collaborations
- the opportunity to engage more fully with local industry and community
For example, part of the program requires sustained interaction with industry partners. The welding students had several professional welders conduct on-site visitations to demonstrate skilled work techniques and to discuss employment opportunities. The students also visited Custom Welding Shop in order to tour the facility, view equipment, discuss welding skills and witness projects at various stages of progress.
The technology students worked closely with members of the VPSB technology department where they learned to build computers. Each of the students was responsible for building a computer from scratch while being closely supervised by the VPSB tech department. The newly built computers will be placed in the district at different VPSB sites.
During the summer program the 19 students earned a total of 19 Carnegie units. There were nine students who earned NCCER Welding level 1 credits and 10 students who earned COMP TIA (Fundamentals, A+, Network and Security) Carnegie credits in the Information Technology program.
NCCER Welding Level 1 was conducted at Pickering High School and the instructor was Preston Broxson who maintains a NCCER Welding Level 1 certification. Information Technology was at Leesville High School and the instructor was Scott Lee who maintains a COMP TIA Fundamentals certification.
Jump Start is Louisiana's premier career and technical education (CTE) program designed to enable students to earn industry- based certifications. The Jump Start Summer Initiative is an extension of the year-long program that is offered throughout the school year at each of the nine Vernon Parish high schools. Vernon Parish currently offers 20 Jump Start pathways and 25 IBC's.
Lisa Lohman, VPSB Curriculum Supervisor, Jump Start Supervisor and Program Director said "Participation in the Jump Start Summer Initiative offers the students the opportunity to earn additional high school credits, while earning credentials aligned to high-wage, high-demand careers."
Parents can work with their professional school counselor to complete their student's Individual Graduation Plan to determine whether their student will select a TOPS University or Jump Start pathway. They help their student select which Jump Start industry credential they want to earn. All students, including those on a TOPS University pathway, can earn industry credentials in high school.
The Jump Start Summer Initiative is funded by VPSB through the use of Supplemental Course Allocation (SCA) funding.