The Louisiana JumpStart program is a unique career and technical education program that prepares students for the transition to adulthood. It equips them with the necessary knowledge to live capable adult lives, with the ability to continue to tertiary education after completing high school while getting certifications in career sectors that offer high wages. To graduate with a career diploma, students are required to obtain credentials that are valued and promulgated by the industry. The Louisiana JumpStart program offers students an elective path to pursue a university-preparatory diploma. Schools are given a similar accountability grade credit for students who attain top academic honors as they do for preparing students for careers in job sectors that are in high demand.
The Louisiana JumpStart program was launched in response to Louisiana’s failing Career Diploma. At the time, Louisiana’s Career Diploma was seldom used and had fallen into disrepair. Students who had earned the Career Diploma credential were not sufficiently equipped for entry-level roles in industry sectors with high demand. As a result, the Louisiana JumpStart program was created to align Louisiana’s k-12 career and technical education strategy with the economic development strategies of the state.
The Louisiana JumpStart program brings together industry leaders and school systems to offer students the platform to obtain paid internships and on-site job shadowing. Students participating in the program are given a stipend for successfully completed sessions and earn industry-based credentials as well as academic credits. They are also trained on soft skills such as communication, time management, and teamwork, all of which are necessary for the modern workplace.