JPPSS and Delgado Sign MOU Formalizing Partnership to Provide Students with Improved Career Options

As part of its plan to create direct career pathways in high-placement, high-wage jobs for graduating students, the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Delgado Community College, formalizing their partnership on a dual enrollment program for juniors and seniors attending JPPSS high schools.

Dr. Meza and Dr. Sullivan sign the MOU.

Dr. Meza and Dr. Sullivan sign the MOU.

Stimulated by the needs of the local economy and the vision to prepare high school graduates for high-demand career opportunities, the MOU establishes standards and guidelines for dual enrollment courses that may lead to a certificate of technical studies, certificate of general studies, or an associate degree from Delgado upon high school completion.

The first career program offered to JPPSS students will address the growing demands of the area’s healthcare industry. Beginning in fall 2013, a cohort of up to 40 students will participate in a one-year medical registration specialist program with an emphasis in bio-medical career paths. The program will award students with a certificate of technical studies in medial registration and credit toward an associate degree as they complete high school. JPPSS juniors and seniors who are interested in the program should contact their school counselor for more information.

Dr. Meza speaks to the group on the importance of the partnership with Delgado.

Dr. Meza speaks to the group on the importance of the partnership with Delgado.

“By making the medical registration program available to our students, we are giving them the opportunity to apply for a high-demand, high-wage position that offers a range of starting salaries from $25,000 to $30,000 as they complete high school,” said Superintendent Dr. James Meza, Jr. “This program is the first of several we plan to launch in partnership with Delgado and business and industry leaders to better prepare our students for a wide range of careers.”

“This agreement expands opportunities for high school students in Jefferson Parish to accelerate their entry into the workforce and to begin reaping the benefits of employment in an exciting, important career field,” said Dr. Monty Sullivan, chancellor of Delgado Community College. “Delgado is excited to extend our longstanding relationship with Jefferson Parish Schools.”

The dual enrollment program is designed for students who have the ability to benefit from instruction in either their chosen career path or enrollment in a transferable course at Delgado Community College in their junior and senior year of high school. Students enrolled in a dual enrollment course will receive high school credit/Carnegie units as well as transcript credit from Delgado Community College.

According to Meza, these dual enrollment programs are most likely to be successful when there is a strong connection between high schools, colleges, and regional businesses.

“This partnership demonstrates that we are committed to revamping the way we approach career and technical programs,” he said. “Working closely with Delgado and in collaboration with the local business community, JPPSS will provide students with career education opportunities that ensure their long term success and earning potential. Ultimately, we plan to partner with business and industry in the development of internships and scholarships for job placement.”

While the dual enrollment program is highly beneficial to students, Meza said that this type of innovative public education benefits business and economic development in the metropolitan area as well.

“Education is an economic issue,” he said. “It’s imperative for the future of our parish that we offer our students a direct path to jobs that are in demand from employers in Jefferson Parish and throughout the local area.”