The state Department of Education on Thursday launched a Web portal as part of its effort to overhaul Louisiana’s career education options.
The portal is aimed at helping students who want to pursue the new curriculum, including information on the 47 pathways and fact sheets on how they can earn credentials that pave the way for high-paying jobs.
Students have to earn 23 course credits for a traditional high school diploma.
Under Jump Start, at least nine of the 23 have to be in a chosen career field to earn a special diploma.
The career field choices include construction, auto repair, energy, transportation and health care.
The overhaul means school districts, two-year colleges and private firms are supposed to be aligned in regional teams to prepare high school juniors and seniors for quality jobs.
Students in Jump Start split their day between workplace training and traditional courses.
Doing so will help them qualify for a credential, and then a job or more college training.
State Superintendent of Education John White has said that eventually, about 25,000 students will be enrolled in Jump Start, which would be roughly one-third of the high school students in Louisiana.
The push, which began in 2012, stems from years of problems with the state’s career education programs.
In the past, about 1 percent of students earned a career education diploma.
Last month, more than 400 educators earned career-field certifications, which means they are qualified to teach the courses.
Earlier this year, up to 700 local educators, industry officials and others gathered at the Baton Rouge River Center for a Jump Start convention, including career counseling, setting up career readiness classes and how similar efforts have worked in southwest Louisiana.
Jump Start is supposed to be fully operational for the 2017-18 school year.