Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG) provides high-quality, comprehensive drop-out prevention and school-to-work transition services for youth in 7th grade through the college level on a statewide basis. iJAG is an independent, statewide 501(c)(3), private nonprofit corporation established in Iowa in 1999 (modeled after the highly successful National JAG program) and was created to assist students with multiple barriers to graduating from high school and/or successfully transitioning from high school to continued education and careers.
iJAG has achieved impressive consistent results including an eleven year 93% average iJAG student high school graduation rate. The ultimate goal of iJAG is to identify and enroll the students most in need of the program and engage them with classroom and project-based learning experiences that result in quality careers after graduation. iJAG works to develop workplace competencies in students that assist in their success in career/life transitions by: providing individual career education, increasing academic achievement, and providing school-to-work transition by following up with students for one year following high school graduation.
Through iJAG programs, college, high-school and middle-school students discover their individual talents, develop skills, and seize opportunities to achieve their personal potential. Each iJAG program is operated as a "for-credit" elective course during the regular school day. The iJAG specialist serves as adjunct faculty within multiple partnering school districts. The specialist continues to work with students into the summer in areas of leadership, employment, and academic support. Critical to the success of the iJAG program is the relationship established between the student and the iJAG specialist. Each specialist works with a total of 35-45 students in a small learning environment and plays a unique role of teacher, advocate, guidance counselor, and mentor.
iJAG offers a venue for students to interact with employers and community-based organizations through project based learning. The iJAG program teaches 37 core competencies comprised of six skill sets: personal skills, leadership skills, communication skills, job attainment skills, job success skills, and career development skills. iJAG has proven to be a cost effective and successful program by increasing:
- Graduation Rates
- Academic Performance
- Job Placement
- Continued Education/Training
iJAG teaches students the skills they need to overcome financial, social, and personal barriers so each student can achieve their potential and become productive adults. For the past 11 years, iJAG has successfully prepared Iowa’s young people to be responsible and productive employees, customers, and citizens.