Recently, the Louisiana JumpStart program joined forces with the Louisiana Bankers Education Council to facilitate financial literacy among students. The objective of the collaboration is to provide access and advocacy for financial education resources and programs.
The Louisiana Bankers Education Council participates in Louisiana JumpStart’s program to teach financial literacy to educators across Louisiana. Members of the Louisiana Bankers Education Council are available as resources to schools and educators throughout the year on financial topics such as how credit changes to meet your needs, knowing your credit rights, what if you can’t pay your bills, building a good credit history, what to do if your credit application is turned down, how your credit application is usually reviewed, applying for credit, shopping for credit, understanding the qualifications for credit, finding the kind of credit that is best suited for you, and how to wisely use credit.
The Louisiana Jumpstart program has been hugely successful. For instance, in 2013, only two percent of high school diplomas were career-focused. Shortly after the launch in 2018, approximately 20% of students completed their high school education with a career-focused diploma. According to the State Department of Education, the amount of industry-based credentials rose to over ninety thousand in 2018, from eighteen thousand in 2014. Industry based credentials act as proof that students are ready for entry-level roles in the job market.
The objective of Louisiana’s Jumpstart program is to ensure that at least forty percent of students complete high school with industry-based credentials to ensure that those who do not proceed to college have other options than low-wage jobs or the military. At the end of the program, students should be able to successfully enter the workforce.
Many students believe that the JumpStart program has been very helpful. One of these students is Gabriel Bland, who graduated with a JumpStart degree from Lutcher High School. Like every other student, Gabriel Bland had to attain 9 of his twenty-three high school credits in fields like pre-engineering, welding, and cybersecurity. According to Bland, the Louisiana JumpStart program enabled him to get a better idea of what he wanted to do after he completed high school. Currently, Bland helps run a Gramercy-based plant in various capacities.
Another beneficiary of the Louisiana JumpStart program and graduate of Lutcher High School is Canera Miles. Currently, Miles works a forty-hours per week job that runs from 7 am to 3 pm. Thanks to the Louisiana JumpStart program Miles joined the workforce straight out of high school without the need of going to college without the assurance that he would get a job upon completing his four-year course.
The Louisiana JumpStart program has created unprecedented career pathways. However, there have been some challenges along the way. Recently, the State of Louisiana launched Jump Start 2.0 partly because earlier credentials were not aligned with high-demand, high wage jobs. Under the new version, the pathways were reduced from forty to eleven. The changes are scheduled to take effect for freshmen during the 2020/2021 academic year.
Another challenge of the Louisiana JumpStart program is the stigma associated with career and technical education. Every so often you hear phrases like “he is a jumpStart kid” This is something that needs to change if more kids are to participate in the program.
Under some of the state rules introduced recently, career and technical education programs will also have the opportunity to become student of the year. Students who decide to pursue tertiary training in construction will be eligible for scholarships of $1000. Every year up to 40 scholarships will be available for these students.
Borne, a JumpStart teacher and former defensive line coach at Lutcher High School recently created a “signing day” which is the same as that of high-profile football commitments. It recognizes students who attain career-focused credentials, as well as entry-level jobs. Only 15% of people in St. James have a college degree, so what happens to the remaining 85%? The gap needs to be closed, more people need to be trained to enter the workforce while going to St. James. This is where the Louisiana JumpStart program comes in. If enough students are enrolled in the program, the proportion of people qualified for the workforce would dramatically increase, making society better off.
The Louisiana JumpStart program has been instrumental in revolutionizing the state’s education systems. Today more students graduate from high school better prepared to enter college. The career-focused diploma that is part of the Louisiana JumpStart Program ensures that students are well prepared to join the workforce upon completing high school. Students also get the opportunity to learn critical life skills such as financial literacy which are essential for success in their personal lives. All in all, The Louisiana JumpStart program helps students come out of school more well-rounded and ready to make valuable contributions to their community.