The JAG Model
The original JAG Model was launched in 1979 in the State of Delaware as a “school-to-work transition program” designed to keep students in school through graduation and help them transition into the workplace in quality jobs. The graduation rate and the employment rate for young people (16-24) are lower today than in the late 1970’s. In 2019, thirty-five (35) state organizations operate one or more of the six JAG Model Program Applications in 1,300 programs.
There are ten (10) common elements of the JAG Model that are embedded in the six program applications. These elements are adapted to the audience served in each program application.
1. Student Selection: JAG research has proven over three decades that we gain the greatest impact by serving those participants that have the greatest challenges to graduation, employment and/or pursuit of a postsecondary education. An advisory committee (comprised of faculty, administrators and counselors) assists the JAG Specialist in selecting students for the Program Roster. Priority is given to students that “need, want and can profit” from the services delivered by JAG Model programs.
2. Classroom Instruction: A trained JAG Specialist provides individual and group instruction to 35-45 students using the competency-based JAG National Curriculum that fits the needs of the program application of the JAG Model. JAG Specialists administer a pre- and post-test that provides a gain score to assess the attainment of the JAG competencies.
3. Adult Mentoring: The JAG Specialist provides individual attention to students focusing on reducing the number of barriers preventing him or her from receiving a high school diploma, securing employment or pursuing postsecondary education and/or training that leads to a career. Additional adult mentors are recruited to assist with barrier reduction or removal.
4. Leadership Development: All JAG students participate in a motivational student-led organization – the JAG Career Association – to build on the skills gained in the classroom and to develop leadership and teaming skills to improve employability and advancement. Annual State Career Development Conferences (CDC) provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their employability and leadership skills and be recognized for their achievements. JAG conducts an annual National Student Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the National Leadership Awards Events in November.
5. Guidance and Counseling: JAG Specialists provide informal guidance to students on career and life decisions and, based on the individual needs of students, connect them to school-based or professional counseling services to address more serious barriers.
6. Job and Postsecondary Education Placement Services: Specialists are engaged in intensive, one-on-one employer marketing and job development activities to identify quality job placement opportunities for each graduate. Grades are assisted in the exploration of postsecondary education opportunities and navigation of the financial aid and application processes to pursue the most appropriate opportunities.
7. Linkages to School and Community-Based Services: JAG programs are a school based “one-stop center” for youth with barrier to success to ensure that they receive appropriate academic and social services from available resources in the school, program and community.
8. 12-Month Follow-up Services: JAG provides 12 months of post-graduation follow-up and support services on the job and/or enrollment in a postsecondary institution.
9. Accountability System: Computerized tracking of participants served, services delivered and performance results (graduation rate, positive outcomes, rates, aggregate employment rate, full-time jobs rate, full-time placement rate, further education rate, wages, and return to school rate) is a critical component of every JAG program. The Electronic National Data Management System (e-NDMS) is the vehicle by which JAG programs are led, managed, and evaluated. Accountability is also assured with periodic site reviews and e-NDMS data reviews resulting in the preparation of an Accreditation Report for the purpose of continuous improvement. JAG data collection is used to produce research reports that have been invaluable in assessing the effectiveness of JAG State Organizations and local program affiliates in fully implementing programs, delivering services, and achieving high performance outcomes.
10. Technical Assistance and Professional Development: JAG staff and consultants provide new and established state organizations and local program affiliates with an array of technical assistance and professional development opportunities. JAG conducts extensive on-site training in launching new state organizations as well as annual events, including: (a) Pre-NTS Professional Development Workshops—intensive workshops targeted to implementing JAG Model programs and (b) National Training Seminar—the largest gathering of JAG staff and stakeholders to celebrate the achievement of high performance outcomes at the close of the 12-month follow-up period on May 31 annually and recognize high performing state organizations, sites, programs, and Specialists.