·Concurrent Enrollmentat a Local Community College: Students in the Jobs for America’s Graduates program are able to earn 2 college credits through a local community college as they are concurrently enrolled in a job skills course. The 37 Core JAG competencies align with the job skills course content. The professor of the college course serves as a mentor to the JAG Specialists.
English Credit: High School students will receive English Credit when enrolled in JAG. The JAG curriculum has been aligned to English Language Arts (ELA) standards.
·Microsoft IT Academy: JAG Students in Minneapolis Public Schools are able to be enrolled in Microsoft’s Learning Management System by their JAG Specialists. When students are ready, they can receive vouchers to take a Microsoft Certification Exam through Certiport at no cost. Students are able to get certified in Microsoft Programs such as Word, Outlook, Excel, as well as receive advanced certifications such as coding. Being proficient in Microsoft programming not only provides skills needed for college or the workplace, but also enhances resumes and employability. Some colleges will also accept certain certifications for college credit.
·JAG Installation and Induction Ceremony: All JAG students are part of the JAG Career Association. This is an opportunity to induct Career Association officers and for students to understand the important role they play as part of their club. Each JAG site has their own chapter of the JAG Career Association. This year several different ceremonies took place, including a ceremony with the majority of JAG sites on a Riverboat on the Mississippi River and smaller ceremonies with individual JAG sites that celebrated cultural differences and teamwork.
·Edison HS –JAG students conducted the Black Leadership Council Career Day which was officially sponsored by Edison JAG Career Association.
Established Partnerships: JAG strives to build meaningful partnerships with businesses and community organizations. Organizations that partner with JAG provide guest speakers, company tours, post-secondary information, assist in teaching JAG competencies, sponsor field trips and events, mentor students, provide clothing assistance, and provide financial assistance to programming. Currently, partners participate at varying levels. Partners include: AT&T, MN National Guard, Wells Fargo, Excel Energy, MN Department of Human Services, SuperValu, Western Union, American Staffing Association, Archer Daniels Midland, YouthPrise, Microsoft, and Ready for Success.
SMART Goal Seminarwith Active Army/Reserves and E.J. Henderson Foundation: The Active U.S. Army/Reserves offered a SMART Goal setting seminar in conjunction with the E.J. Henderson Foundation. Three sites were able to receive the seminar – PYC Arts and Technology High School, VOA HS, and Wellstone International High School. Former Pro-Viking E.J. Henderson presented, as well as, Captain John Anderson, who also majored in Sports Psychology and is currently training for the Olympics in Greco-Roman Wrestling.
AT&T Aspire Mentorship Academy: Local leaders from the AT&T Aspire Mentoring Academy have committed to working with JAG to coordinate mentoring events, either in a classroom or an AT&T facility. This partnership allows for students to interact with business professionals and expand their knowledge of available careers, as well as, begin/continue exploring pathways to college readiness.
Student Leadership Conference:The 2016 Jobs for America’s Graduates Student Leadership Conference was held at the Marriott Minneapolis NW in Brooklyn Park on Monday, April 25th. While at the Student Leadership Conference, students enrolled in the JAG program experienced workshops focused on improving leadership skills, post-secondary options (military/trades & apprentices), the college admissions process, mock interviews during an Employability Skills Competition, and a 42 organization Career/Job Fair was provided for all participates. Over 400 students/guest were fortunate to hear MPS (Edison High School) Alumni as keynote speaker – General Sandra Best; first female generalin the Minnesota National Guard. In her new role, she oversees the command/leadership of both the 148th Fighter Wing and the 133rd Airlift Wing, based in Duluth and St. Paul.
The Spanish-language television station, Somali Unified Television, and Univision affiliate, WUMN-LP, covered the event and interviewed JAG Specialist, students, and volunteers. Students who competed in the Employability Skills Competition voiced an appreciation to practice what they are learning in class in a real-life situation. The Jobs for America’s Graduates Student Leadership Conference was made possible with the sponsorship of the Minnesota Timberwolves, United Way, Hennepin Technical College, JAG National, Minnesota State University Mankato, Metro State University, the Mexican Consulate, as well as, staff from College and Career Readiness and Contract Alternatives.
National Student Leadership Academy: One student from each JAG site was able to attend the JAG National Student Leadership Academy (NSLA) in Washington, DC over a 3-day period. This event takes place every December. Over 800 students from across the nation attended. Students attended 5 leadership workshops, participated in a talent show, and had several tours of Washington DC – including a wreath-laying ceremony for JAG at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
Overall, 2015-2016 was an extraordinary year for JAG-Minneapolis Public Schools. In looking toward 2016-2017, the JAG-MPS sites that have been approved are as follows: