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LAUNCH Career Readiness Initiative Gains Momentum, Impacting Hundreds of Additional JMCSS Students

JACKSON, TN - The Jackson-Madison County School System is expanding the career readiness opportunities available to students for the 2019-20 school year. Students in JMCSS will have access to more college courses, more industry certifications, and more opportunities to gain valuable work experience through L.O.O.P. (Local Options and Opportunities Program).

 

“By steadily increasing the options and opportunities for our students, we help to create a stronger future workforce that will benefit the students as well as the community as a whole,” said Jennifer Barham, JMCSS CTE Supervisor.  

 

During the 2018-19 school year, JMCSS announced the kick-off of LAUNCH, the district’s career readiness initiative. LAUNCH places a strategic focus on planning to enter high demand careers through additional career advising and increasing the number of college courses, industry certifications, and work experience earned by students. An immediate emphasis was placed on new partnerships with TCAT-Jackson, resulting in approximately 200 students taking dual credit and dual enrollment courses in areas such as Welding, Collision Repair, Cybersecurity, and Hospitality and Tourism. JMCSS students at all 5 high schools earned a total of 436 Industry Certifications including Certified Nursing Assistant, OSHA 10, Microsoft Office Specialist, and Automotive Service Excellence. This number is a significant increase from approximately 100 earned in 2017-18 and previous years.

 

There was also a dramatic increase in the number of college classes taken by JMCSS students in 2018-19. In the past two years, the number of college courses taken by JMCSS students has risen from 312 in 2016-17 to 2,328 in 2018-2019. The graduating class of 2019 took more college classes than any previous graduating class in JMCSS, as 50% of students graduated with college credit. This is up 20% from the class of 2018.

 

For the 2019-20 School year, JMCSS will continue to partner with TCAT-Jackson to expand dual credit and enrollment opportunities. Through this expansion, program offerings will include Mechatronics, HVAC, Office Management, and Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair, along with the programs already added in 2018-19. With these added opportunities, it is anticipated that an additional 300 students in JMCSS schools will enroll in these courses, for a total of over 500 students district-wide. Additional dual credit and dual enrollment courses will also be offered through Jackson State Community College, the University of Tennessee at Martin, the University of Memphis at Lambuth, and the Modern States Education Alliance. 

 

JMCSS will also expand L.O.O.P. (Local Options and Opportunities Program). In 2018-19, L.O.O.P.’s unique work-based learning opportunity served approximately 25 students through partnerships with Stanley Black & Decker, TBDN, Old Country Store, and Gourmet Your Way. Students were able to gain valuable work experience and earn industry certifications while completing their high school graduation requirements. While continuing the current partnerships, L.O.O.P. will expand to include placements at Delta Faucet and BlueScope Buildings. The projected L.O.O.P. participation is approximately 50 students for the 2019-20 school year. Partnerships with additional companies and organizations are continually being explored.

 

“This was a big year for the district in terms of adding new programs and developing new partnerships that create more options and opportunities for our students. Teachers and staff members have done a great job incorporating these new offerings,” stated Dr. Jared Myracle, Chief Academic Officer for JMCSS. “Students in our district have more opportunities for advancement available to them than ever before. We want to make JMCSS a leader in Tennessee and across the country when it comes to providing career preparation programs that make a difference in the lives of our students and their families.”

 

For more information on LAUNCH, L.O.O.P., or other programs related to career readiness in JMCSS, please contact Jennifer Barham (jkbarham@jmcss.org) or Dr. Jared Myracle (jamyracle@jmcss.org).