Magazine article Techniques

A Second Chance at Success

Magazine article Techniques

A Second Chance at Success

Article excerpt

The Career Academic Placement program in the Jackson Public Schools in Jackson, Mississippi, has gotten off to a successful start. Students who are at risk of dropping out of high school are getting a second chance at employment

A new career exploration program in Jackson Public Schools in Jackson, Mississippi, has students and teachers chattering about its benefits. Aimed at serving at-risk high school students, the Career Academic Placement program addresses education and personal needs by developing academic, vocational, employability and workplace skills.

(Because the program is just completing its first year, formal assessments have not been done.)

Teneshe Murray, an 18-yearold student at Provine High School, said CAP "put me on a level that I never thought I would be on. I thought I was going to be a dropout and just forget about my education."

The CAP program was born in response to a report from the state's Employment Security Commission in 1997. Its "Annual Planning Information Data" showed that of the more than 33,000 students under the age of 18 in Jackson, about 11,470 are from families whose income is below the poverty level. Those students, the report said, are likely to experience the following barriers to succeeding in a traditional high school: lack of self-esteem

poor academic performance frequent discipline problems pregnancy and resulting childcare needs

welfare and single parenthood

undiagnosed learning difficulties

The Employment Security Commission's report also noted

-Teneshe Murry, 18

Provine High School "many of the poverty-stricken young people lack the education and skills that will be needed to become a part of the working class. Competition with experienced workers may be more of a problem than that which the inexperienced, disadvantaged job hunter is prepared to deal with. "

With this in mind, and realizing that these young people need as much information, evaluation, experience, vocational training and remedial education as possible, Jackson Public Schools-in collaboration with the state department of education-developed the CAP program, which now serves more than 100 students.

The program, which also provides GED preparation, career assessment, vocational training and internship opportunities, gives students another chance at success outside the realm of the traditional school or classroom. …

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