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Students get a jump start on careers this summer

by Minden Press-Herald

Webster Parish Schools, along with the Louisiana Department of Education, has expanded its Jump Start program by participating in the Jump Start Summers initiative.

“This initiative allows Webster Parish high school students the opportunity to earn academic credit toward a Jump Start Career Diploma, engage in workplace-based learning through job shadowing and/or internship opportunities, attain critical state industry-based credentials, all while earning a wage during the upcoming summer months,” said a press release from Webster Parish Schools.

The programs will last an average of four to eight weeks and serve a total of 43 students in the areas of welding and health care.

In an earlier press release, State Superintendent John White said, “Workplace-based learning provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to master essential workplace behaviors and communication skills, while making their academic schoolwork more relevant. This is true for all students — those who are university-bound, as well as those who are career-focused.”

“This is our first year to participate in the Jump Start Summers program”, said Dr. Beverly Smith, Jump Start Coordinator for Webster Parish.

“We see this as a win-win-win situation for our students, schools, and businesses.

“Students have an opportunity to earn credentials, Carnegie credits, as well as dual enrollment credit. Students can also earn a wage based on attendance, engagement, achievement, and completion of the program. Schools can benefit by students completing the program and earning credentials.

“This allows schools to earn additional accountability points toward school performance scores. Businesses will benefit by helping to better prepare students for the workforce by providing workplace experiences through job shadowing opportunities.

“Webster Parish partnered with Northwest Louisiana Technical College to offer dual enrollment credit in Certified Nursing Assistant.

“Welder’s Helper training is taking place on the local high school campuses with Webster Parish teachers providing the training.

“We hope to expand our program in the future so that more students will have this great opportunity.”

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