JAG-K earns top national honor

Great Bend Tribune
September 14, 2019

TOPEKA – Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas (JAG-K) announced that for the fifth consecutive year it has earned the Jobs for America’s Graduates 5 of 5 Award. The 5 of 5 Award is bestowed upon those JAG programs that meet or exceed the performance measures in five categories: graduation rate, successful outcomes, employment, post-secondary enrollment and job placement.

Great Bend High School’s JAG-K program for grades 11-12 is one of the Class of 2018 JAG-K 5 of 5 Award winners. JAG-K currently has 79 programs in 41 Kansas school districts, serving approximately 4,000 students. The organization starts the 2019-20 school year with new programs in Colby, McPherson and Russell.

JAG has a 12-month follow-up period with all seniors as part of its successful evidence-based, data-driven national model. Seven JAG-K regions and 35 JAG-K programs also earned the 5 of 5 Award. JAG-K students had a graduation rate of 98 percent for the Class of 2018. 

“The JAG model has proven that all students, regardless of barriers, can be successful leaders and reach their full potential,” said JAG-K President and CEO Chuck Knapp. “The 5 of 5 Award is important because it shows our JAG-K students are meeting and exceeding goals. While a 98 percent graduation rate is impressive, we are also pleased that 90 percent of our graduates are on a successful career path.”

JAG-K is a nationally accredited in-school program that teaches students career and leadership development skills, requires community service, provides time for academic remediation and ensures students master a minimum of 37 core life-skill competencies. The learning strategies of the national JAG model are primarily introduced through Project Based Learning. JAG-K has been a leader within the national organization for implementing Project Based Learning.

JAG-K is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that partners with students facing various barriers to success, helping them graduate high school and pursue a successful career path. Knapp indicated there is currently a waiting list of school districts requesting a JAG-K program. Funding for the program primarily comes from a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) grant, administered by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). 

JAG-K (www.jagkansas.org) is an affiliate of the national Jobs for America’s Graduates program that started in 1980 and has 35 affiliate organizations across the country. In addition to school districts, JAG-K partners with DCF and the Kansas State Department of Education. JAG-K also receives private funds from contributors including Taco Bell Foundation, AT&T and John Deere Coffeyville Works.